February 16, 2009
PR View by Susan Isenberg
In today's trust-bereft marketplace, it's engagement that people crave, and engagement that builds trust. These are among the findings of the Edelman Health Engagement Barometer—a 5,000 person, five-country study that looked at perspectives on how people want health companies, organizations, brands and services to engage with them. Trust and health engagement form a virtuous circle—with one fueling the other and together supporting a company's license to operate.
Additional findings point to the desire for complete transparency, with information specific to personal health being communicated by knowledgeable, authenticated sources. This new era of public engagement calls for organizations and brands to make deeper, more open connections, and to authentically interact with their publics without seeking to control these interactions. And no one source is the most trusted: Today's publics scour multiple sources for validation of health information.
Findings from Edelman's 10th Trust Barometer support these conclusions: It shows that informed publics demand a much more democratic approach to running, shaping and driving business. Various publics expect business, governments and NGOs to collaborate on serious issues, including access to healthcare. Without effective engagement with all stakeholders, building trusting relationships with regulators and customers is impossible. So let's pay heed to this virtuous circle.
Susan Isenberg is managing director, health, US at Edelman