The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, the first to be presented in Nigeria by Chain Reactions, has been indorsed to benefit and guide different sectors such as business, media, government and NGO’s. The presentation which took place in Eko Hotels and Suites received massive endorsement by experts and prominent Nigerians who asked Edelman to include Nigeria in subsequent global reports in order to domesticate the statistics.
The Edelman Trust Barometer report stipulates that trust in the monitored four sectors: NGOs; Business; Media; Government dipped with the media recording the most decrease by minus 5 and this is mainly from the traditional media.
In his presentation of the annual report, Managing Director of Edelman, South Africa, Jordan Rittenberry said: “The growth of populism has seen the mass population reject established authorities. The informed public consists of people who are educated and economically better while the mass population is made up of people who are illiterate or semi-literate and fall under the low-income earners strata. Currently greater influence lies with the growing mass population.”
“In the case of Brexit and the last American election, we saw the media combating fake news and this was witnessed all over the world with businesses being rocked by scandal after scandal. All these factors combine to show that trust is in crisis in 2017. What we used to see as the pyramid of influence is gone; no longer are the days when the better source of information is presumed to be held by the elite as there is a democratization of information and communication. What we are seeing is an emerging new model that is populist. Edelman is working with Chain Reactions to ensure Nigeria is covered in the next Edelman Trust Barometer statistics.”
Other speakers include Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, who gave a keynote speech; Chairman/CEO, Channels Television, Mr. John Momoh; Managing Director, Edelman, South Africa, Mr. Jordan Rittenberry; Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Proshare Nigeria Limited, Mr. Olufemi Awoyemi; President, Public Relations Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), Mr. John Ehiguese; President, Africa Public Relations Association (APRA), Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, and former President, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Maxi Mike Okereke.
Mrs. Ibukun Awosika on her part emphasized the need for all the sectors to embrace professionalism and accountability over selfish interest in other to add value in whatever they offer.
“I consider the issue discussed very critical, and it is important going forward for any organisation especially for the nation. When trust is broken, when we can no longer trust institutions, there is a major problem because it becomes very difficult to communicate. People generally have low trust level; they tend to believe the accusation first before they find out what is true. You can see it play out in our polity, people no longer trust institutions” she said.
According to John Momoh, “The media around the world has lost credibility due especially to the emergence of social media and the traditional media has its own blame as interference like politicians, editorial policy are really weighing on media responsibility. Channels TV for instance is a network built on trust which is why the station is where it is today.”
Corroborating, Awoyemi affirmed that trust is sacrosanct in all aspects of life be it private or public. “In God we trust, every other thing is data. If you are not a professional you cannot do TV like Channels TV because the only currency Channels has is trust.”
On her part, consumer rights advocate, Sola Solako said consumer education is very crucial and should be seen as a tool to regain trust. “Businesses need to emphasise quality, pay tax as good corporate organisations and government needs to religiously implement what they promise the electorate” she insisted
The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer is the 17th edition of the annual trust and credibility survey but it was the first time it would be presented in Nigeria courtesy Chain Reactions.
Speaking on the success of the event and its benefits to Nigeria, the host, Managing Director/Chief Strategist of Chain Reactions Nigeria, Israel Jaiye Opayemi, said: “There is a global implosion of trust as people are losing faith in institutions such as government, the media and NGO’s. According to the Edelman 2017 Trust Barometer public trust in institutions of authority is decreasing while trust in business, SME’s are on the rise and people are believing more in their ability to make the difference in life rather than wait on the institutions like the government.”
“Institutions should communicate more and do exactly what we say. People now listen more to their peers and less to their bosses or constituted institutions as they network and exchange ideas. Business organisations who want to reach these people must identify peer group leaders and influencers. CSR intervention is crucial as corporate organisations need to touch the lives and build trust beyond profit as people tend to buy the stocks of companies they trust. The media, NGO’s, business organisations and thos who run government should take key learnings from and what Chain Reactions is positioned to do is to develop a Trust Barometer for the society: trust for government, trust for media, trust for businesses and trust for non-governmental organisations.
Others professionals at the launch were Vice President, Nigeria Guild of Editors/Deputy Managing Director, The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Steve Nwosu; Founder, Consumer Advocacy Forum of Nigeria (CAFON), Ms. Sola Salako; Publisher, Encomium, Mr. Kunle Bakare, and Chief Operating Officer, Soulcomms Publicis, Moji Saka. Some spoke as members of the two panels that discussed trust as a subject matter with the immediate Past President, PRCAN, Chido Nwakanma as the moderator.