That's if you believe the results of the Edelman Trust Barometer 2013.
Australian results show only 41% of people find the CEO (or equivalent) credible as a spokesperson. And government officials rank only marginally higher.
Yet most PRs reflexively put forward their top leaders when it comes to communications. That may be counter productive because less than half the people trust them, and even that level of trust is down 8% on 2012 results.
So if the CEO lacks the credibility who could be your communications champions?
Topping the list are academics or experts. 74% of people would believe them. Followed by:
- A technical expert from your organisation (71%)
- A person like yourself (62% and up 31 points from 2012)
- A representative from a non government organisation (62%)
- A financial or industry analyst (57%)
- A regular employee (51%)
- A government official or regulator (47%)
... and sitting at the very bottom of the trust totem is the CEO (41%).
It goes against conventional wisdom for anyone but the CEO to speak on behalf of your organisation. But if your communications struggle to cut through, it may be time to consider someone who enjoys more public respect.