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Trust and the Coronavirus: Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report
Release Date: 20 March 2020
Edelman conducted a 10-country special Trust Barometer report on the Coronavirus March 6-10 of 10,000 people in 10 markets (1000 people per market): Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, the U.K. and the U.S. The key findings:
1. A majority of respondents say their employers – not the media, government, or health companies – are the most credible sources of information on the coronavirus.
· Sixty-three percent said that they would believe information from their employers after one or two exposures, versus 58 percent for a government website and 51 percent for traditional media.
2. Concern about fake news and false information being spread about the virus is high – 74% of respondents hold this concern.
· Still, the public relies on mainstream news organizations nearly twice as much as global health organizations (WHO) and their national counterparts (CDC).
· Social media is the least trusted source of information in developed markets.
3. People want to hear more from scientists and doctors, and less from government officials and journalists.
· Scientists and “My Doctor” are the most trusted, 83% & 82% respectively
· There is also a reliance on communities – 63% trust “a person like yourself” as a trusted source of information
· People trust government officials and journalists the least
· “The CEO of my employer” falls squarely in the middle as a trusted source of information
· 85% of respondents want to hear more from scientists and less from politicians.
4. People are checking for information frequently, with 7 in 10 respondents checking at least once per day.
· 33% say they check several times a day
· People check more frequently in Italy, South Korea and Japan, which have had major outbreaks
· 63% want daily updates from their employers; 20% want communications several times a day.
5. Employers are seen as better prepared than national authorities.
· In eight of 10 countries surveyed, “my employer” is seen as better prepared for the virus than my country
· 62% trust “my employer” to respond effectively and responsibly to the virus.
6. People trust business and government to act effectively in partnership more than they trust either entity alone.
· 45% trust a combined business/government effort vs. 20% trusting government combatting the virus alone
· Business alone is one-quarter as trusted as government alone in fighting the virus.
7. Expectations of business are high.
· 78% of respondents expect business to act to protect employees and the local community.
· 79% expect business to adapt its operations, including remote working, cancelling non-essential events and business travel bans.
· 73% count on business to adapt its HR policies (e.g., give paid sick leave or prevent at-risk employees from coming to work).
8. Employees expects transparency from employers.
· Employees want clarity on everything from how many colleagues have contracted the virus (57%) to how the virus is affecting the organization’s ability to operate (53%)
· Employees want to be informed beyond the effect on the company, including advice on travel and what can be done to stop the spread of the virus. Their preferred medium for getting this information is via email or newsletter (48%), followed by posts on the company website (33%) and phone/video conferences (23%).