Trust through meaningful connections

Information is as reliable and valuable as its source. As presented in Gloria Origgi’s essay, it’s time to “say goodbye to the information age: it’s all about reputation now.” To rely on the news, we must trust the source of our information. But how to build and ensure a reliable reputation?

Reputations cannot be built on only promises of knowledge, sustainability or their services. Trust is the foundation of a solid and consistent reputation and can be managed by constantly meeting and exceeding stakeholder expectations on all aspects of performance and behavior. Also when opinions and values are developing over time, because society is changing all the time. What is hot or accepted today can be unacceptable soon. This requires both agility and a clear purpose for the organization itself. You don’t know how to adapt if you don’t know where you are going.

To actively manage your reputation, it is essential to create strong connections with stakeholders and the larger society, based on trust and transparency. This all starts with establishing a clear purpose: the brand’s true value. Having a clear understanding of your added value and your key asset creates the foundation for your purpose and the connection with others. And if you develop the purpose from a stakeholder perspective, you fuel your purpose with relevance for your stakeholders. They have to understand where you are, what you are aiming for and what it is your organization brings to society. At the other hand, it is crucial for you to understand them. What are their objectives and opinions, what do they expect from your organization? Having a dialogue with your stakeholders will help you to align with your stakeholders along with interests and it will create valuable and reliable relationships, beneficial for all. Dialogue is about listening, sharing, connecting, respecting and learning. Join others and initiate dialogues yourself.

An inspiring eye-opener and steep learning curve for leaders and people

And of course, having fantastic relationships and understanding each other is still not enough to get trusted. You have to prove it. So if you share good intentions, perform and behave accordingly. Take action, change, contribute and make it happen in a way society may expect from a brand or organization like yours. That is where meaning comes in and people dare to trust you. And then? Do it over and over again. It will accelerate you in realizing your ambitions.

For information or news sources this means that they have to do the same. Society expects them to provide reliable news, based on reliable facts and thorough research. That is their role in society. Of course, they can express opinions, but that should be clear and not be presented as news. This is about the integrity of the information and their behavior, always. And a little good is not good enough. One mistake at a relevant moment for society immediately puts them back miles on trust. That means that they have to display expected behavior for years before the public takes them seriously again. Despite their special position and press freedom, information sources have to act as any other private or public organization according to expectations of society. They should purely cherish their role, as society attributes it to them.


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