By: Marissa DiGiacomo
On Monday, November 11th, PRSSA-UD had the opportunity to hear from the Executive Vice President of Edelman, Greg St. Clair. Wow, what an honor! If you know anything about the world of PR, you may know that Edelman is the largest Public Relations firm in THE WORLD. St. Clair was able to share with us inside information about the Trust Barometer, a fancy name for a way to measure how the public trusts their brands through four institutions, Non Governmental organizations, business, media, and the government. This tool is dependent on the whole globe, not just the US.
In 2016, there was a crash in trust and the mood of the public but in 2018 we experienced a battle for truth. There is now an expectation for brands to start taking a stand due to how important it is for people to buy things from brands doing good. For example, people want to see CEO’s of brands speaking out and discussing social issues. You have the power to determine where you shop, whether that be supporting Starbucks for banning plastic straws or boycotting Chic-Fil-A for donating to anti-LGBT charities.
St. Clair shared with us that “trust washing” is a term for when brands use societal issues as a marketing ploy to sell more. When brands act on their words, they become more authentic. For example, Dove soap promotes paternity leaves. The public as a whole hasn’t heard much about this because they don’t brag about it. He notes that companies can engage on different societal levels including living their values and partnering with communities.
St. Clair states the core of PR is a passion for writing and storytelling. He notes that it is imperative to learn the craft of writing. St. Clair started out his career working in politics and over time he developed his love for storytelling through content and visuals. This proves to us, as young professionals, that no matter what field you start out in, there’s always a chance you may find more passions throughout your career.