Survey: Elite do not trust bloggers

Dan Edelman has come a long way from his successful media tour in the early 1950s parading twelve pairs of identical twins as a part of his marketing assignment for the Toni Company. His public relations company Edelman is now headed by his son Richard, who is President and CEO although Dan remains the chairman.  Edelman has just released a survey showing low public faith in bloggers and social networking sites.

The surveys are held by the company scanning the ‘global opinion forming elite’ in 18 countries , meaning college-educated, in the age group of 35-64, having a household income in the top quartile, and interested and engaged in media, policy affairs and business news. This year they had an additional segment surveyed in the 25-34 year group.

The Edelman Trust Barometer now defines the levels of trust for the world’s business and industry and is a much awaited event since the last nine years. On the negative, the Edelman is also known for inventing the ‘flogs’ or the fake blogs as a successful PR tool. The results of this survey are all the more interesting because of this element. Edelman is also acclaimed to be the only global survey of its kind.

The Ninth Edelman Trust Barometer sprung quite a few surprises this year.

The biggest revelation is the lack of trust in the world’s bloggers. The trust in them stands at an all time low of just 4%.

The most trusted source is found surprisingly ‘the word of mouth’. Ah! Surprising isn’t it? I guess businesses need to learn much from this one revelation, because most of the word of mouth comes from two important segments, the clients and the employees. While the former segment has quite an army catering to it at least in theory, the latter is almost desolate in most companies…Quite a thought, right? The survey also says that the word of a regular employee of a company is worth almost double that of the CEO. Did I hear a snigger somewhere?

Contrary to the negative vibes about the media and its tendencies to exaggerate, the survey discloses a high level of trust in main stream media. Credibility of the media, especially business magazines are at an all time high. Ten out of the eighteen countries under survey shows that while mainstream media has the advantage; social media is gaining valuable ground. Brand value also shows a solid ground, Google, BBC and CNN, its party time for you ! The younger group shows an entire new reaction to the world’s methods of spreading information. They do it at multiple forums including social networking sites and at a frequent pace. Companies beware, if they have a complaint, the yuppies spread word on the web. The same applied to gathering information too. Wikipedia remains the favorite all round and Britannica is still wearing a suit.

And the worst news goes to the social networking sites and sharing platforms. Facebook, MySpace and Youtube! They don’t trust you, neither the yuppies nor the elders! The bottom of the graph is reserved for you.

Read the report fully at http://www.edelman.com/trust/2008/TrustBarometer08_FINAL.pdf

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