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Public Relations

Current Trends and Issues

Of top concern in the public relations profession is building and keeping trust—with clients, audiences, and the general public. This has always been part of a PR practitioner’s job and it is even more of a priority now, in light of a current atmosphere of distrust of the media. Findings from the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual study of the state and dynamic of trust in institutions, revealed a "lack of faith in societal institutions triggered by economic anxiety, disinformation, mass-class divide and a failure of leadership had brought us to where we are today – deeply and dangerously polarized." The only institution that respondents deemed competent and ethical was business. More than half of the respondents said their countries were more divided than they had been in years past. Many believe that it's the chief executive officers' job to "improve economic optimism and hold divisible forces accountable." According to the study, the four steps needed to move forward are: 1. Since Business is a trusted institution, it should inform the debate on and deliver solutions regarding climate, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), and skill training. 2. Government and business should collaborate on helping us move toward a "just, secure, and thriving society." 3. Business can restore economic optimism by investing in fair compensation and training, and also [by focusing] on local communities, to tackle the mass-class divide and polarization. 4. Business should also be a truth advocate, by providing information that is reliable, holding sources of false information accountable, and promoting civil discourse.

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