RICHMOND—Carter Ryley Thomas has partnered with veteran public relations research specialist Walter Lindenmann to introduce an affordable research-based rapid assessment tool that measures trust.
Packaged under the name Trust Factor, the new product is designed to measure the trust various stakeholders put in the innate character and honesty of an organization, and then compare that trust level with up to three peer organizations. Trust Factor provides recommendations about how to create higher levels of trust among various key audiences.
“Trust is the universal filter used by every audience to help decide if they want to work with you, buy your products or invest in your stock,” said Mike Mulvihill, CRT’s senior counselor for Trust Factor. “Trust Factor is an early warning tool that quickly and inexpensively helps your organization get a handle on trust and determine what next steps should be taken to improve trust to impact bottom line outcomes.”
Trust Factor is an extension of CRT’s RC2 (Reputation-Change-Culture) work that draws on the experience of Lindenmann, former head of research at Ketchum. It is intended to provide organizations with a diagnostic tool to identify the existence and severity of potentially harmful discrepancies in trust. Mulvehill says it goes beyond a simple analysis of trust levels to provide strategic counsel on how to strengthen key relationships and reduce the gap between actual and desired perceptions.
“Trust is a term that is bandied about quite a bit in the field of communications because it is at the core of reputation, image, brand persona and corporate value,” says Lindenmann. “But organizations have not had a diagnostic tool that allows them to conduct periodic trust check-ups and proactively monitor trust issues. Especially in light of the events of the past few years, the business community has increasingly recognized that trust is an essential element to any organization’s relationship with virtually any stakeholder audience.”
The product will be available from CRT and from other partners in Lumin, an “intellectual collaborative” launched earlier this year, through which the Richmond-based agency partners with fellow-independents PainePR, Padilla Speer Beardsley, Patrice Tanaka & Company, and Peppercom.