The issue of trust permeates most every story about communications

Look through this, the first print edition of PRWeek in 2012, and you will find a common thread running through it.

Look through this, the first print edition of PRWeek in 2012, and you will find a common thread running through it. This thread encompasses conversation, engagement, trust, and authenticity and the way these elements are fundamentally intertwined in the way modern brands, companies, and organizations communicate their vision and manage reputation.

Our corporate analysis describes the increasingly sophisticated methods businesses adopt to engage their own employees as front-line ambassadors. If handled correctly, your own people can be your most powerful advocates, and companies such as PepsiCo and Philips are showing how it's done. The subject of doing good being good for business comes under the microscope in our marketing analysis, where the efforts of brands such as Kraft and Starbucks illustrate cause-related activities that are building stronger bonds with end consumers and, indeed, employees.

Reaching out and communicating supports what many fashion and other brands are doing to engage influential bloggers to shape marketing strategy and the direction of a company's products and relationships with customers. As our digital analysis highlights, designers such as Rebecca Minkoff, manufacturers such as Schick and Kellwood Co., and retailers including H&M and TJ Maxx are leading the way in this department.

All these articles emphasize the importance of trust in building a brand or business, a factor underlined by this month's Newsmaker, Cigna's CCO Maggie FitzPatrick, and guest columnist Roger Bolton elsewhere in the issue.

Conversation, engagement, trust, and authenticity: four great principles to underpin effective communications in 2012.

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