Trust – it’s top of mind for many right now. What or who can you trust? Anyone? No one? A global pandemic will pretty much fray the faith of the most stalwart let alone the rest of us mere mortals.

If 30% of the UK would rather risk living like we are now than getting a vaccine, where do we imagine the trust barometer is on the corporate world? The capital markets? The banking and tech industries?  Sectors that were not much able to generate the fuzzies before the world turned upside down.

It’s fairly stark, if a brand is to succeed in building trust; it needs to take responsibility for its actions and do the right thing, not just by its customer, but its employees, its supply chain and the community which it serves. For some firms that are still sporting the greed is good ‘80s vibe, it will be like turning a tanker, to change an operating culture into one that cares for more than just the bottom line.

But it does at least create a more level playing field for brands and providers that have the jump on some of the old guard.

Firms, maybe conceived in more enlightened times or by more enlightened founders with a positive ethos and more holistic approach to growth, may now find it is their time to bask in the glow of consumer preference.  And not just for B2C. Our B2B world should be just as keen to back the good guys, or be found wanting, not least by its shareholders.

So how does that impact the comms strategy? To my mind, pay per click and other paid media routes will hold less sway this year than owned and earned media. Owned media gives a firm the space and platform to tell its own story, share its beliefs and demonstrate its commitment to its communities; while the value of the third party objective endorsement will make earned media one of the strongest assets in the marketing tool box once more.

But this means now more than ever, PR should not be used to paper over the cracks. At this stage to talk the talk but not follow through with the walk, is not just spin, its pedalling lies and we should have no part of it. But to have the opportunity to represent those brands that are doing it right, that are doing their bit to make the world a better place whether that’s addressing diversity, looking to actively close the inequality gaps, supporting learning and retraining or just actively looking to make a positive difference, well then isn’t that something to shout about? And aren’t we lucky we get to do just that!

Proud to share some recent good news from our clients and industry friends who are tipping the scales in the right direction:

About Sam Howard: Sam Howard is the founder of The Comms Crowd. Headquartered in London, The Comms Crowd was founded in 2012. We are the new breed of communications agency: an independent collective of senior consultants with deep industry and sector expertise working in collaboration to deliver integrated B2B comms to FinTech, Tech and Cyber Security clients.