Flash Communications

Tales from a student-PR agency at Kent State University

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It’s All About Trust

Carrie Drummond

Guest Blogger: Carrie Drummond, senior public relations major

At the end of October, I had the opportunity to attend “Earn Trust,” the last session in the Meeker-Young PR Series at Kent State University. The series of PR workshops was open to professionals and students, and each session focused on a different way to make the best PR moves for your client.

I wasn’t able to stay for the entire day of events because I was busy at work for Flash Communications, but I did get to stop by and listen to Kevin Cook, executive vice president/director of corporate affairs for Edelman. I knew it was going to be a great part of the day to catch because I’ve been hearing about Edelman since I joined the PR track at Kent State.

Cook talked about The Edelman Trust Barometer, a surveying tool that the PR firm uses to determine the public’s trust levels in regards to business, government, media and other institutions. It was fascinating to go over the stats from last year’s worldwide survey. PR pros can use that information to better reach their publics. Once you know who your audience trusts, you can try to make a connection between the trust agent and the audience. On the flip side, you can make sure to avoid promoting people or institutions that your audience doesn’t trust.

The bottom line for me was that you need to know your audience. It’s one of the basics we’re taught from the start here at Kent State. Know who you’re talking to. Know what they like and why they like it. Know how to reach them. Know what influences them. And if you know and care about your audience, trust will be right around the corner.

What’s your first question when analyzing your audience?