Survey says CEOs have to build trust

CHICAGO: Americans' trust in business is eroding as a result of recent events ranging from September 11 to the Enron scandal, confirms a new survey done for Golin/Harris International.

CHICAGO: Americans' trust in business is eroding as a result of recent events ranging from September 11 to the Enron scandal, confirms a new survey done for Golin/Harris International.

The PR message is that CEOs must take the lead in showing companies are trustworthy, said Rich Jernstedt, Golin's CEO.

Responding to the statement "recent economic events have created a crisis of confidence and trust in how we do business. I don't know who to trust anymore,

37% of those surveyed agreed strongly, 32% agreed somewhat, while 10% disagreed.

The survey, done by NFO Worldwide in early February, shows "a desire for plain speaking

from corporate America, said Mark Rozeen, Golin SVP.

CEOs in the '90s were expected to drive up company share price, Rozeen explained. "But today, CEOs need to carry the flag for those companies."

The survey found industries trusted the least today are the oil and gas business, the insurance industry, Wall Street, utilities, airlines, the accounting profession, and the chemical business.

Those with the highest trust ratings are supermarkets, major retailers, drug stores, computer hardware/software makers, and the health and beauty business.

Rozeen said supermarkets and retailers have succeeded in building customer relationships that other large industries have lost sight of. "People want to develop a personal relationship with a company,

he said.

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