Trust in business leaders has been growing notably during the COVID-19 pandemic. The public appears to trust them more than established institutions, especially when these business leaders have been lending their support, giving thought leadership views, and financially supporting the healthcare system to speed up vaccine development.
Working with clients across various verticals, experts from PRecious Communications weigh in on why business leaders seem to be more trusted than established institutions nowadays.
Other institutions are not living up to expectations
For me this is about two concurrent trends: For once it seems it’s less about CEOs suddenly stepping up but rather other institutions not being seen as living up to the expectations put upon them as we are facing a period of unprecedented uncertainty.
What might certainly have helped is that over the past years, many global brands evolved from being seen just as a money-making machine to value-based, purpose driven organisations that stand for more than just the products they sell. So to some extent, their core focus of wanting to survive, coupled with a newfound and communicated vision of society might have put them in a prime position to believe that they know what they’re doing. And in a crisis of these proportions, sometimes strong leaders are not necessarily admired for having the perfect answers, but by simply communicating what they are sure about, doing, and following that path – as that seems to add some certainty to the world around us.
Contributed by Lars Voedisch, Founder and Managing Director
Building trust with a consistent face is more paramount than ever
We know from experience that for an establishment to succeed, leaders from both the visionary and the integrator camps are seen as highly important figures in communicating the steps required to move forward as we rebuild the economy.
Building trust with a consistent face is more paramount than ever in such times. A brand’s spokesperson, often assumed by a business leader who knows the operations and who engages consistently with media during this period of time would have the ability to form an intangible bond that evokes trust, stability and ultimately, confidence with the brand’s direct stakeholders. As a result, products and services produced or rendered by the brand he/she represents would enjoy the spillover effects of tight media clout that the business leaders have built over this period of time.
The above applies across all formats of media and content – from print, online, broadcast and social media.
Contributed by Robin Chang, Vice President, Brand Communication & Strategy
Business leaders need to do more, to provide insights that will benefit their target audience
2020 was definitely a tumultuous year, not just from a health perspective, but also from the public’s daily lives. The world, and news, was rife with uncertainty, and nobody really could predict the pandemic’s future path. However, many industry leaders stepped up to try and make sense of and explain the situation and lead impactful programmes such as vaccines and the way we work and play. This mix of insights and action was what made business leaders stand out as trusted sources of information.
At PRecious, we saw last year how media in Southeast Asia were keener on receiving relevant opinion pieces and thought leadership commentaries from business leaders. Moving one big step above corporate and product announcement, these insights helped readers and the public better process the uncertainties around them, and were definitely welcome from the editorial perspective. This is something that business leaders should look to continue in 2021.
Business and communications leaders need to understand that building trust is not just about showcasing their latest product or service but providing insights that will help their target audience process and execute their own business decisions.
Contributed by Clarence Lim, Practice Head, Inc
In good times and bad times, people want to be reassured
Yuval Noah Harari in his book, ‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’, articulates how humans arrived at the top of the food chain because of two critical skills that we mastered – fire and ‘communication’.
Communication – the exchange of information through means such as speaking, writing, sign language etc. Meeting business revenues, achieving sales targets, driving exponential growth cannot reassure people like sensible and sensitive communications can – from business leaders.
In good times and in bad times, people want to be reassured. It’s a natural condition – to make them feel taken care of, seen and heard.
Business leaders need to step forward to establish trust and exhibit empathy through the realm of consistent communications. Creating positive relationships, enabling better collaboration, resolving conflicts are all critical communication constructs in building, regaining or retaining confidence in today’s trust economy.
Contributed by Rajiv Menon, Practice Head, Edge
Inspired by this post? If you are a startup or a corporate and are looking to build trusted relationships with your key audiences. Get in touch with us to expand your brand awareness. Let’s push creative boundaries together.