Trust is fundamental commercially, and never more so than in the communications industry.
I read this week that people are starting to “Tweet and Delete”, i.e. putting posts on Twitter and then swiftly removing them as to arouse suspicion and interest. This seems a somewhat sneaky tactic to me and one that walks a fine line in terms of the premise of Twitter: a social platform that people freely engage with to share ideas. Twitter is not a marketing channel (yet at least) and as such, trust in intentions is integral to its functionality and ongoing appeal and popularity.
As society becomes more complex and as technology evolves (so fast it is hard to keep up!), there is one key component that keeps us all in check and grounded and that is trust. Trust is also fundamental commercially, and never more so than in the communications industry. Here we see it played out internally, amongst our colleagues and externally, with clients and the media. If it fails in just one of these areas, it has a knock-on effect on the others.
Earning our clients trust
Despite being an outsourced service provider, we like to work in partnership with our clients. This means getting to know them, understanding what really matters, how they like to work and making sure that we are considered an asset to their teams. Achieving this ensures we have clear and honest relationships, something we know really matters to our clients. Not only are we trusted to deliver fantastic results, but to also adapt to an organisation’s culture and act in a way that is appropriate when we are meeting senior decision makers and influencers outside of the PR and marketing team.
Gaining trust with the media
There are two factors when it comes to the media. The first is the quality and reliability of the message or story angle that you are pitching in. Journalists won’t come near you with a barge pole unless they trust the validity of your story or pitch. Secondly, they want to know that you or your client will not ‘stand them up’ at the last minute, so no stringing them along until their deadline and then not answering the phone for the last piece of vital information.
Trust in a team
Here at Westgate, we have a brilliant team and this makes a huge difference to our delivery of results. This isn’t a given though and we work hard to maintain this. Everyone is clear of their roles and responsibilities so we know what is expected of us and what to expect of each other. We all trust each other’s ability to deliver and be accountable and vitally, we respect each other’s time and flag any issues if there is a delay or uncertainty about an action. This ensures we work like a slick, well-oiled machine and can repeatedly deliver great results for our clients, while having a pleasurable time in the process (so important for this to be sustainable).
So while the world tries to evolve and develop at 101mph, it’s worth just taking a step back now and then to remember the importance of trust as the glue that holds it all together.