Raising the Bar on Many Industries

by , Mar 17, 2002, 12:00 AM
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Raising the Bar on Many Industries

Germaine to brand perception and corporate image planners, The Golin/Harris Trust Survey, conducted by NFO WorldGroup, a consumer and business-to-business opinion and market research firm, found that trust in American companies is disappearing. Reported in a summary in the InternetPRGuide, by a margin of seven to one, survey respondents said that "recent economic events have created a crisis of confidence and trust in the way we do business in America." Richard Jernstedt, CEO of Golin/Harris International, concludes that "When more than two-thirds of Americans express this level of skepticism and cynicism, American business has a serious problem that goes beyond the 'Enron factor.'"

Jernstedt said "when you look at trust levels across the entire spectrum of American business, almost every category is affected. No business can escape by saying 'it's not my problem.'"

The Trust survey uncovered at least 14 business sectors that have scores of -25 or less with an average of -20 for all companies studied indicating they have severe trust problems. A positive score indicates a strong trust profile, while a negative index number signals trust challenges that should be addressed. Negative responses include:

- Oil & Gas (-63)
- Telecom (-42)
- Insurance (-59)
- Advertising/Marketing (-41)
- Brokerage/Wall Street (-58)
- Media Companies (-39)
- Airlines/Travel (-52)
- Public Relations (-31)
- Accounting (-48)
- Pharmaceuticals (-30)
- Chemical (-43)
- Management Consulting (-25)

10 business have a positive or only moderately negative scores:

- Groceries/Supermarkets (+40)
- Fast Food Restaurants (-1)
- Major Retail Chains (+36)
- Food Products Manufacturers (-1)
- Drug Stores (+9)
- Entertainment/Sports (-3)
- Computer Hardware/Software (+8)
- Banks/Savings and Loans (-6)
- Health and Beauty (+8)
- Automotive (-10)

The survey also asked Americans "What are the most critical actions that companies you don't trust should do to earn your trust this year?" Recommendations Americans list to win back trust include:

- Open and honest business practices (94%)
- Clear, effective and straightforward communications (93%)
- Visibly demonstrate concern and consideration for employees (83%)
- Provide outstanding products and services regardless of price (72%)
- Do a better job understanding and addressing needs (65%)
- Demonstrate industry leadership (65%)
- Change the way the company communicates financial activities (61%)
- Make the CEO a spokesperson beyond reproach (50%)
- Make Board of Directors more hands-on and involved day-to-day (50%)
- Be involved with the community (50%)

Learn more here.

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