There a bunch of statistics going around about people trusting Internet the most among all media. This naturally leads people who read statistics like they are the lifestyle pages to assume that they need to be online to become trustworthy.
Brief newsflash because I am tired and need chocolate badly: PEOPLE DO NOT TRUST INTERNET, THEY TRUST OTHER PEOPLE.
The whole idea behind the "trust internet" conundrum is that Internet has become a means of expression of individuals as opposed to offline media which is the means of of expression of corporations, brands, syndicates, what have you. People, as opposed to the other mentioned, tend to speak for themselves and express personal opinions which often come from experience as opposed to a corporate agenda. If the dishwasher sucked, they will say so because there is not back story to it. There is no allegiance to something that is not right. So people trust other people. That is why forums and online communities is where most loyalty and most engagement happens. That is why blogs are slowly creeping up on online newspapers in journalistic interest. Because people do not trust brands above people but the other way round.
So, some practical advice when you want to take advantage of the "trust internet" phrase
- do not communicate as "the brand" "the company" "the HR department"
- use language like you would to a person
- if possible attach a picture and not your company logo
- if possible try not to censor
and most importantly if you yourself do not believe in what you say, don't say it. And then people will trust you, on Internet.
communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.