Productive, powerful, lasting relationships are built on trust. Customers, clients, donors and other supporters have the right to make other choices. A stakeholder relationship is never an entitlement. Those relationships must be earned and constantly reinforced.
As you survey ways to grow trust, look at your organization’s public relations and try to remember:
- Trust isn’t about “spinning” information.
- Trust isn’t about short-term thinking.
- Trust isn’t about talking one way and acting another.
- Trust isn’t about trying to fool anybody.
Instead, focus on these four ways that organizations can create and sustain trust:
1. Trust begins when actions are consistent with words.
2. Trust is built when there is a higher motive than simply making money — when organizations embrace the idea that serving the needs of others ultimately serves their needs as well.
3. Trust is built when leaders create a culture that stands for something. It really is true that organizations that don’t stand for something will be seen as standing for nothing.
4. Trust is built when trust building is central to an organization’s priorities.
Building trusts starts in the corner office
The active participation of leaders is essential to achieving good public relations that result in trust. Where that leadership engagement exists, there is an opportunity to integrate communication and relationship building as essential ingredients in accomplishing business goals.
How well issues are thought through and subsequently communicated often means the difference between success and failure. That is why public relations, aka trust building, is indeed a leadership issue.
Important issues demand leadership engagement
Think about these critical issues and their potential impact on your business:
- Siting a new facility
- An increase in offshore manufacturing
- Right-sizing the organization
- Merging cultures
- Reinforcing expectations for
- Adding a new person to your management group
- Strategies to reduce costs
- Plans to grow
The list is virtually endless. Each of those issues impacts one or more stakeholder group and requires both clear thinking and good communication.
Leaders must participate in the public relations strategies to assure those are in lockstep with their vision, goals and business conditions.
It’s all about trust
Trust is the ultimate tiebreaker in decision-making. In fact, trust is a competitive distinction to pursue.
Leaders are well advised to treat trust as their most valuable asset. ●
Davis Young is the principal of DY Author & Speaker LLC and is the author of “Trust is the Tiebreaker,” an ebook published by Smart Business Network, currently available on Amazon.com. Contact Young at (440) 248-9550 or Dysolon@aol.com.