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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 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual study of the state and dynamic of trust in institutions, revealed that “trust has changed profoundly in the past year—people have shifted their trust to the relationships within their control most notably their employers. Globally, 75 percent of people trust ‘my employer’ to do what is right, significantly more than NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] (57 percent), business (56 percent) and media (47 percent.” The Barometer also found that half of the mass population believes that the system isn’t working for them and they have an urgent desire for change. This growing pessimism and worry have given rise to people’s increased engagement with the news, which surged 22 percent in 2019. About “40 percent not only consume news once a week or more, but they also routinely amplify it. But people are encountering roadblocks in their quest for facts, with 73 percent worried about fake news being used as a weapon.”

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