This paper is an another major addition to the Institute’s growing collection of baseline papers examining what existing research teaches us in specific areas of practice. Brad Rawlins, Ph.D., Brigham Young University, reviews academic and trade literature on the concept of trust. His paper links to literature demonstrating how essential trust is for any social relationship. It offers a working definition of trust for PR purposes and ways to measure trust.
“Trust is critical to the functioning of our society at all levels-interpersonal, small group, organizational, and societal-and is especially central to the practice of public relations,” writes Rawlins. “You can’t have credibility without it. And, trust appears to be the most central component to satisfactory relationships. If the purpose of public relations is to establish and maintain relationships with key stakeholders through communication and other efforts, then public relations is essentially in the trust-making business.”
Download PDF: Brad Rawlins Trust and PR Practice