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The Recipe for Trust

Updated: Sep 29, 2023


What an organization says about itself and what people believe about that organization are seldom one and the same.


You don’t have to look far to see both tragic and comical examples of the disconnect between brand messaging and actual identity (Twitter, anyone?). Allowing too much disconnect makes audiences suspicious whenever you open your mouth.


On the other end of the spectrum, organizations can grow paralyzed by how others might define them, and as a result, they stop communicating or only provide basic information on an as-needed basis. But under-communicating has devastating impacts too: People think you are hiding information from them and tend to spawn theories about why.


In both cases, the resulting vacuum of trust leads to revenue losses, high turnover, devaluation of past products and, in some cases, collapse or dissolution. It’s easy to see what might damage trust, but what does it take to build it? When it comes to effective communications, what might the recipe for trust look like?


We’re glad you asked…


Introducing Our Recipe for Trust


There are ample resources on trust out there, but most are geared toward leadership or are more complex than they really need to be. Our mission is to take a communications-based perspective and strike the right balance of depth, breadth and practical usability.


Be clear about your mission, set priorities and articulate your values.


Say what you’re going to do, how you’re doing it, how you’ve done it and what you did. Repeat. Don’t let the fear of being imperfect get in the way of necessary pivots. Communicate the pivots. Repeat.


If I have to search far and wide to find or understand the answer to my question, I’m going to naturally suspect a coverup.


Be consistent. If you say you're doing something, do it. If you did it, tell us how it went and what differences it made. Again, this doesn’t mean you can’t pivot; just bring us along for the ride.


There will always be mistakes! Trouble doesn’t come from mistakes as often as it comes from trying to hide, deny, minimize or offload those mistakes onto someone else.


Sure, there are some pretty lovable bots out there, but real trust is a human-to-human thing. In a highly-digital world, separate yourself from the bots with humor, personality, and occasional off-topic commentary (pet pics, anyone?).



There’s more to say on each step in the recipe, and that’s how we’ll spend the rest of 2022. Check back for a deeper dive on each of the six ingredients of trust. Then, as you build plans for 2023, find ways to apply them. Together, we can create a healthier, more trustworthy communications ecosystem.

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