In Nigeria today, businesses are now more trusted than governments as about 37 per cent of the general population say CEOs are credible, while 29 per cent say the same about government officials in the countries surveyed. Chain Reactions and Edelman is still helping interested Nigerian businesses build their asset of trust and reputation to maintain this trust and grow their financial bottom-line.
The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer Survey Report was launched for the first time in Nigeria to help build and raise trust equity in businesses, the media, government and non-governmental organisations. The survey was carried out by Edelman Intelligence and consisted of 25-minutes online interviews conducted between October 13th to November 16th 2016.
The global online survey sampled more than 33,000 respondents across 28 countries. The survey asked respondents how much they trust the four institutions of government, business, media and nongovernmental organizations to do what is right.
Speaking on the implication of the report to the business world and brands, Managing Director/Chief Strategist, Chain Reactions Nigeria Israel Jaiye Opayemi, said: “The cheering news from the report is that businesses are now more trusted than governments as about 37 per cent of the general population say CEOs are credible, while 29 per cent say the same about government officials in the countries surveyed. Chain Reactions and Edelman will be helping interested Nigerian businesses build their asset of trust and reputation around this. It is our hope that those of you here today saddled with the responsibility of managing the reputation of different corporate brands will do the same for your respective brands.”
Contributing to the discourse, Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria, Ibukun Awosika emphasized the need for all sectors to embrace professionalism and accountability over selfish interest in other to add value in what 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 a 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.
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 earner 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/CEO, Channels Television, Mr. John Momoh; 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.
Though the survey has not been done in Nigeria and some other countries yet, the results are instructive for a country like Nigeria as the world becomes a global village with trends travelling across borders and time zones.