For your organisation and its communications to succeed, a good measure of trust always helps.
Here are 3 things I think about when trying to build trust with an audience, customers, staff – people.
1. Use real and honest voices
Integrity lies at the foundations of a trusted brand, organisation, individual or entity. Choosing voices that have it – that are genuine experts, that have real experiences to share, that believe what they say, and sound like who they are when they say it – can be a powerful way to inspire trust.
Your voices need to be authentic and genuine. Take the (in)famous Ricky Gervais Netflix advertising for Optus. There is nothing he says in this that you feel he doesn’t believe. The adverts content doesn’t say very much about Optus, but the fact they have enabled an honest voice to represent their company makes you want to trust them more now too.
2. Be transparent
This means more than just chucking something up on a website (a penchant of many a government department). It means sharing useful, relevant primary sources – the evidence for what you say – in ways people can easily find them. What do I mean by this? Make your data, plans, reports, metrics available to people on line, through media, or via your own content channels, in ways that are meaningful and relevant for your audience – if, when and where they might seek this information. Substantiate your claims for anyone looking to dig a little deeper. Do this no matter whether the story is good or not so good, and especially when it might be bad, if you want to be believed.
This one is probably the most obvious. But if you promise something to an audience, make sure you deliver. It’s two pronged. It’s about demonstrating that you’ve got the capacity – the smarts, the competence – to deliver. And then fulfilling that promise, or at least renegotiating with honesty and transparency. It’s the stuff reputations are built on. Do 1 and 2 first, and you’ll find 3 a lot easier. It’s a bit like building a pyramid, with honesty and transparency helping to build the relationships it takes to deliver.
In places where competition is fierce, something as true and simple as trust can be what sets you apart from the crowd.
Talk to us about trusted communications.