PRmoment Leaders PRCA PA Mediapoint PA Assignments PRmoment Awards Winners North

Belief matters but trust is crumbling, says Angie Moxham

We all know that trust has eroded from the traditional pillars of our communities. And has been for years. And years. Whether it’s because our politicians shimmy hither and thither, throwing tribal and confusing shapes over liquorice allsorts (currently Brexit); GPs who, these days, can only health date us once in a blue moon; bank managers (who?) or even just ATMs as they disintegrate from our tired high-street eyes; media which is partisan at best and faking or dumbing-down news at worst; and sorriest for me, teachers whom – whilst we still love and respect them– we sadly can’t trust to do the best or right job because they’re so under-supported and under-funded.

And, of course, as Edelman tells us in its Trust Barometer, post-Trump, trust in the US is at an all-time low.

Trust is tough.

Belief matters
For some years now I’ve been mulling and mithering on about belief versus trust. My view is that trust matters. Of course it does. But it’s a rear-view mirror perspective. Let’s be honest: I can only trust you if I believe you’re worth investing my time and energy in. And then only after we’ve experienced each other – one-night stand or beyond – such that that experience makes me want to elongate our relationship.

So belief matters most. Whether you’ve yet to build trust or are trying to regain it.

Feel it, don’t just think it
And relationships rule. In my view it’s all about the RQ: the relationship quotient. Hardly a new term, but barely written or worried about by us comms peeps. In my view, to drive belief we need rational and emotional relationships. More emotional, typically. If you haven’t read Thinking Fast and Slowby Daniel Kahneman, just know we’re wired way more towards emotion-led living and decision making. Kahneman’s Nobel Prize winning theory, which I totes buy, is that we’re feeling beings that think, not thinking beings that feel.

Be true
I believe the ultimate mix of appropriate IQ and EQ delivers the best RQ, which will trigger the belief journey. And, if you stay authentic and committed to your purpose, you’ll build and hold on to trust.

In a webbed world, where there’s nowhere to hide as people talk around digital campfires, the sooner brands, politicians and leaders learn to walk and talk in an authentic and consistent manner – building belief – the more brownie trust points they’ll earn.

Written by Angie Moxham, founder of agency The Fourth Angel and previously founder of agency 3 Monkeys

If you enjoyed this article, sign up for free to our twice weekly editorial alert.

We have six email alerts in total - covering ESG, internal comms, PR jobs and events. Enter your email address below to find out more: