The Media is Untrustworthy and the Only One That Gets Harmed by That is You

Bill Salvin is one of my favorite thinkers in our field. He’s got oodles of experience and writes well on very important matters. And he’s a heck of a nice guy. His most recent post is on the issue of trust, specifically the issue of trust of the media. he passes along a link to the 2011 Edelman PR Trust Barometer and notes the following:

According to the study, trust in media is very low. In the US, only 27% of those surveyed trust the media. It’s even lower in the UK at 22%.

I’ve written previously on how poorly the media passes along stories, so I would argue that this lack of trust is well-deserved. Mr. Salvin gives us some advice about how to do the work we do in this less-than-perfect situation:

Companies that plan to rely on outdated crisis communications plans that focus on press releases and traditional media relations are placing their reputations in the hands of what many believe to be an untrustworthy source. The opportunity here is in developing your company’s social media presence so that you can connect directly with the audiences you need to reach. The cool part is the news media also uses and monitors social media, so you can check that box, too.

I think it’s high time we start taking responsibility for our own reputation. Politicians today talk about going around the media filter and speaking directly to their constituents. They aim to build and maintain their reputation without having to depend on good stories getting picked up by the media while hoping that less flattering stories don’t make the news.

Are we doing the same? Or do we continue to place our agencies’ reputations in the hands of one of the most untrustworthy industries out there?