Can People Trust You?

Did you know that people are relying on businesses for their information more than ever?

Trust in mainstream media and in government officials is at an all-time low; in fact, according to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer, business was trusted more than the government in 18 of the 27 countries they surveyed, and is the only organization considered both ethical and competent.

That’s a lot of power and influence for business to hold. This means a few things for you: first, that you as a company have the opportunity to influence the way others perceive the world through what you put on the Internet; and second, that you have the responsibility to give the public correct information. 

Here’s three simple ways your company can be sure to spread truth rather than misinformation: 

  1. Verify your information before making it public: By ensuring your information is accurate, and even linking your sources, you show that you are reliable and that you care about communicating truth. Beware of echo chambers and biased sources. If you must use a biased source, find another source that is biased towards the other side–this will help you find the truth (i.e. reading about a political topic on both Fox News and the New York Times to get a bipartisan view).
  2. Own up to your mistakes: Transparency in the face of a mistake is hard. It may lose you some customers for a short time. But overall, it will build customer loyalty and trust. It will create an environment where your customer feels that you will take care of them–which, hopefully, is your goal.
  3. Remember that even though misinformation may seem profitable in the short term, it will be your doom in the end: In this age of information, the truth is more accessible than ever–and spreading it is easier as well. Some companies try to profit off of people’s gullibility–but the truth comes out eventually. For example, this tweet shows a flyer distributed among students of Bates College just prior to Election Day 2016 which falsely claims that in order to vote, one must pay to update their driver’s license and vehicle registration (Some form of ID is required to vote; however, that need not be a driver’s license. Whether a photo ID is required depends on the state. One’s vehicle registration is completely disconnected from their ability to vote). Though this flyer likely resulted in an uptake in profits from vehicle registration, the lie was exposed quickly on social media.

To conclude, one of the most important things a company can do is be aware of the power that they hold. If that power is used ethically, not only will you be a benefit to society, but your customers will trust you more and you likely will see your business begin to improve. 


Grieco, Elizabeth. “Americans’ main sources for political news vary by party and age.” Pew Research Center, 1 April 2020.

Ries, Tonia E. “2021 Edelman Trust Barometer.” Edelman, 2021.


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