Traditional Media Still Ranks High in Trust with Consumers

Twitter is a fabulous tool for disseminating information during an emergency. Because it’s easy to get the information out quickly, the sources sometimes get their facts wrong. These kinds of gaffs are why consumers cast a wary eye at social media with respect verifyto trust. Edelman Trust Barometer for 2014 shows that consumers still find traditional media most trustworthy.

The Edelman report covered multiple industries on a global basis and reveals interesting trends. For example,  consumers consistently rank the technology (79%) and automotive (70%) industries as trustworthy. On the other hand, banks (51%) and media companies (51%) have appeared at the bottom of the Edelman list for several years, though the numbers are improving for these sectors.

Consumers are growing more accustomed to accessing a variety of media to learn about a story that interests them. They not only turn to traditional TV or newspapers. They may access these resources online. Consumers also check out social media.  But, the level of trust consumers have in specific formats varies widely:

  • Traditional 65%
  • Online search engines 63%
  • Hybrid media 53%
  • Social media 45%
  • Owned media 44%

Sometimes, trust isn’t always the driving factor when consumers want information. For example, when they want to get the details about a breaking story regarding business, consumers turn first to online search (28%), TV (25%), and newspapers (20%). Online search also outflanks the other formats when consumers want general business information (30%) and when they want to confirm the information they heard about a breaking business news story (36%).

While businesses will seek to disseminate their news stories through multiple channels, media companies should discuss these trends with marketers and emphasize the importance of advertising in specific formats in order to get the message in front of consumers.


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.