August 11, 2020

Trust Through Collaboration: An Analysis of The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Spring Update

We’ll break down the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Spring Update and illustrate what has changed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past few months, we’ve seen and analyzed consumer behavior changes and the general public as external factors affect the way people live and work. From digital reliability to purchasing trends occurring worldwide, we’ve come across drastic changes and transformations within every industry. We’ll break down the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Spring Update and address how consumer trust has shifted towards the U.S. Government, business leaders and the media during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Our Government: The New Trust Outlet

The global pandemic has caused the U.S. Government to transition into one of the most trusted and relied-upon institutions to do what is right by the mass population today. Edelman’s survey for the 2020 Trust Barometer Spring Update shows that out of four institutions (Government, Business, Media, and NGOs), the public had the most trust for the government since May 2020 (Edelman, 6). Since 2011, Edelman’s surveys have shown that the U.S. Government has been the least trusted by the general public. With a trust percentage of 63%, COVID-19 created this shift and turned everyone’s heads towards government help and reliability to adjust to the “new normal.”

Consumer Shift In Taste: A Hunger For Knowledge

The consumers’ call for expert voices, as shown through media, has never been higher. Every day, people are looking to find the truth about COVID-19 and where they will stand in the upcoming months. Edelman’s report addresses growth in trust towards online health experts and political leaders in all major countries. News sources backed by qualified journalists and experts have reached an all-time high. More people rely on traditional media and search engine knowledge to find information on current events. Because of this, people are turning away from business leaders who aren’t able to meet the demands caused by COVID-19. 65% of the general population states that CEOs should take the lead on addressing the pandemic rather than waiting on government officials to impose further demands (Edelman, 28).

A Collaboration To Build Trust

This spike in trust in the U.S. Government establishes new opportunities for businesses to take advantage of during the pandemic. For Americans to safely return to work, health authorities, the government and business leaders must collaborate and strategize properly to ensure the safety and productivity of businesses and their employees. As stated by Edelman, the general population would prefer CEOs to be more conservative in getting back to normal operations, even if it means waiting to bring people back to work until the virus has been brought under control (Edelman, 35). The rise in the need for CEOs to display public leadership has grown immensely in the last few months. Consumers are changing their values, actions and views towards many top companies that thrived pre-pandemic, and they will continue to do so, depending on the steps these businesses take over the course of COVID-19.

The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Spring Update shares invaluable information on how the general public currently views business leaders within the political space. With the challenge of containing safety within workplaces and who people should turn to during a time like this, there are still many calls for CEOs to work conservatively with their government to find the most efficient way to get around the barriers of COVID-19 safely.


Edelman. May 05, 2020. 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Spring Update: Trust and The COVID-19 Pandemic.

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