2015 looks set to be a challenging year for innovation communications: the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer finds that more than half of the global informed public believe that business innovation is driven by greed and money rather than a desire to improve people’s lives. Furthermore, it believes that the pace of development and change in business today is too fast and that there is not enough government regulation of many industry sectors.
If this sounds to you like insurmountable odds for communications professionals tasked with engaging publics on innovation and change, there are also signs of encouragement: the Trust Barometer provides useful pointers “towards trusted innovation”, noting that 81 per cent of respondents agree that personal and societal benefits are the keys to building trust in innovation.
However, one interesting paradox stands out from the report: trust in a particular industry sector does not assure trust in that industry’s particular innovation. For example, while the technology industry is much more trusted than the financial services industry, the financial services industry is slightly more trusted to develop and implement electronic payments than the technology industry is trusted to develop and implement cloud computing. More thought-provoking results can be found on the Barometer's web page.