Our Confidence Is Slipping
According to Gallup, our confidence is slipping in U.S. institutions. In spite of all the goodwill built in 2020, Americans lost confidence in the institutions most affected by the coronavirus. These institutions include the medical system (-7 points 2020 to 2021), small businesses (-5), organized religion (-5), banks (-5), public schools (-9), even the U.S. Supreme Court and the criminal justice system (-4).
Gallup says that there was an “uptick” in average confidence driven by the pandemic and that now we are returning to more typical levels. As the pandemic became political and controversial, many institutions struggled with how to message and deal with ongoing virus containment issues.
I hypothesize that some of the downward movement is due to the lack of marketing, public relations and advertising around the institutions. Most institutions cut back or completely shut down outside messaging during the pandemic. Many still have not returned to full volume. You just can’t turn off the efforts and expect a return to normal. In the future, proof of performance marketing will be key to returning confidence in our great institutions. For example, public schools took nearly a 10 point drop in public confidence from 2020 to 2021. It will take more than just stories about masks to return the public trust. It will take achievement stories, innovation stories and success stories to bring back the public’s confidence.
Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.