53pc find companies not credible, says Mepra
Manama, March 4, 2009
Fifty-three per cent of those surveyed in a research said corporations were not credible or reassuring, a recent symposium held by Middle East Public Relations Association (Mepra) has revealed.
Research carried out for Mepra by YouGov, the market research company, was among the topics discussed at Mepra’s symposium “Bridging the Communications Gap” held recently.
This is one of two surveys Mepra has recently commissioned into the communications industry and the areas of trust and credibility.
The key findings of the YouGov research are:
- In terms of the credibility of corporations and government, government fares better by a small margin. Only four per cent of those surveyed say they believe corporations to be highly credible/reassuring, while 53 per cent cited corporations as not credible/ reassuring or not at all credible or reassuring. Government scores higher (10 per cent) on very credible/reassuring while scoring 43 per cent among those who cited government as not credible/reassuring or not at all credible or reassuring.
- Only seven per cent of UAE respondents say their employers are their most trusted source of information. Forty-two per cent trust family and friends most while 23 per cent trust the media foremost. Government, as a source of information, is most trusted by 19 per cent. In terms of overall credibility government scores higher than the corporate world with a mean average of 2.64 compared to 2.32 for corporations (where 5 is very credible and 1 is not credible at all.)
- In the breakdown of results among the individual Emirates, Abu Dhabi residents say the government is their most trusted source of information (32 per cent - against 19 per cent average across the UAE) narrowly beating family and friends (31 per cent - against 42 per cent across the UAE).
- Asians trust the media most as a source of information (26 per cent) immediately followed by Western expatriates at 25 per cent. Emiratis trust the media the least as a source of information (11 per cent). Arab expatriates trust the government most as a source of information (31 per cent) – even more than Emiratis (28 per cent) while Western expatriates trust the government least as a source of information (5 per cent).
- The view that employers are the least trusted source of information, is held almost equally across all Emirates (6 per cent-8 per cent) and ethnic groups (5-8 per cent).
- Emiratis find government most credible and Western expatriates the least. Asians find corporations the most credible while Western expatriates the least again – followed closely by Arab expatriates and then Emiratis.
- Credibility of both corporations and government follows a trend with age with the young (under 21) being more trusting in the credibility of both government and corporations than older segments. Those over the age of 40 are least trusting of both government and corporations.
Under Chatham house rules (which prohibits the naming of sources when referring to or reporting discussion), experts from the world of government and corporate communications discussed and debated the challenges of communications in light of these survey results and the current economic climate.
“The survey results are perhaps not entirely surprising in the current economic environment, but nevertheless highlight the communications gap,” said Dave Robinson, chairman of Mepra.
“It is clear that more work needs to be done to address the issue of trust. MEPRA represents PR people and communicators working across government, agency and corporations to provide insight, support and direction in this regard. It has never been more important for all communications practitioners to work closer together to effect results.”
The second survey into the communications industry and its role in supporting and generating communications across government and corporations was also di