For every organization, building trust and creditability with all of your target audiences, both internal and external, should be a top priority.  And although everyone should be doing it, few really know how. Communication is the foundation for building trust and credibility, and the Trust Formula is how you do it. Trust formula?  There’s a formula for that? As a matter of fact, yes, there is!

Most people see communications as creative, which it can be; however, there is also a significant amount of science involved.

Like other science-based fields, there are tested and validated formulas that are used to plan, build and execute. Communication is no different.

If you were to google “Trust Formula” you would see several variations listed, but the one pictured here is our preferred.

Why? Because it is based on Shared Values; common ground between two parties that is critically important to each.

Let’s break this down into the elements:

  • I = Integrity: It means being honest and having moral-based principles. If you can’t be honest, and authentic as well, it is highly unlikely you will be able to build trust and credibility.  The truth matters.
  • SV = Shared Values: There is a very long explanation (See Gemini, Caps, Ernst and & Young explanation), but the short version is you basically have some things that are very important to you that you have in common, or share, with another. For example, you may value honesty. When you can identify shared values and base your communication on those, your ability to be effective grows exponentially.
  • C = Credibility: Keeping it simple, credibility means you are trustworthy. This must be demonstrated, not just words.
  • R = Reliability: People can count on what you tell them! If you say you will be open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00p.m. and then close unexpectedly, without notice or notification, on Tuesdays, that’s a problem.

The rest is repetition. You need to tell your audiences who you are and what you stand for, what you are going to do, & then do what you say. Trust and Credibility are built over time. This is not a one-and-done effort.

Both trust and credibility are earned, not given. And if you break either one, it takes a significant amount of time and resources to fix.

If you are looking to build trust and credulity with your audience segments, call us at (951)294-3190, or email or

We can help.

Watermark Staff

Author Watermark Staff

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