From a person like me to a person like you: a view of #EdelTrust2012

Okay, so the first thing you should know about me is that I’m relatively new here: it’s only my second month working at Edelman Toronto. It just so happened that within that timeframe, the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer was just getting underway and I, being the new girl, eagerly jumped on board to help out (#keener) with digital content. I have to say I’m glad I did: what I’ve seen so far has been fascinating, and I can feel the excitement is growing as we get closer to our Toronto launch event at the Windsor Arms. On a more personal level, it’s also been a great way to get to know the team, and to get some perspective on the people, culture and intellect around the world that make Edelman such a great place to work.

The Edelman Trust team has been impressive – we’re all working hard and wearing many hats, and as my particular area of interest has been digital content, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some fantastic people across the board on content strategy and logistics, as well as helping to curate, monitor and track the online conversation. I’ve been in the agency world for a number of years, but I have never been a part of a project that has truly felt so global in nature; the survey covers 25 countries. I’ve tracked comments going by on the #EdelTrust2012 twitter stream in German, Spanish, English and French, to name just a few of the languages – and seeing the impact this study has had on a global level across multiple sectors and industries has been humbling and rewarding.

To me, one of the most interesting findings in the 2012 Trust Barometer was the rise in credibility of a “person like me” as a trusted source of information – globally, to 65 per cent this year from 43 per cent in 2011, indicating that people now trust one another more than they do established institutions when forming opinions about companies. Anyone who knows the digital and social media space knows how influential networks of personal connections can be. Given that social media’s open platform has a tendency to level the playing field, we now turn more frequently to one another to get our information, and influence can come from anywhere regardless of level or status. More than ever, this means that companies are going to have to re-think the role of the traditional spokesperson, and look at new ways of engaging employees at all levels to help carry the message.

Pun intended, trust me: it’s pretty exciting being a part of the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer, and things are just getting started. If you want proof, check out the incredible panelists we have lined up for our event on Thursday with our global CEO Richard Edelman – it’s looking to be our biggest Trust event yet here in Toronto, and the discussions will not disappoint. And if you want to join the conversation, follow us @EdelmanTO and watch the Twitter discussions on #EdelTrust2012 – we’d love to have more “people like you” on board.

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