Altruism could help corporations build trust during crisis situations


A new study has pointed out how corporations can continue to build and strengthen their trust during and after crisis situations – through altruism.

According to a team of researchers at the North Carolina State University altruism and social media could help corporations build, cultivate and strengthen trust with consumers on mobile devices during and after natural disasters, such as hurricanes.

Social responsibility efforts during and after a disaster or crisis situation are a key to gaining trust for companies. Combining these altruistic efforts with social media could go a long way for the company.

Researchers at the university asked 1,433 U.S. adults questions pertaining to use of social media during and after a natural disaster; the information they seek and share; the frequency of collecting and sharing such information; extent of sharing any corporate social responsibility efforts being carried out; how they perceive the motives of relevant companies; and how they feel about the companies themselves.

Scientists concluded that there exist a strong link between how social media users viewed corporate social responsibility motives and how they viewed the companies engaged in those efforts.

If users felt the efforts were focused on the public good, they were more likely to trust the company. But if users felt the efforts were profit-driven, they were more skeptical of the company.

The researchers also found that users who frequently used social media to find and share information were more likely to trust companies engaged in corporate social responsibility efforts.

Authors of the study note that findings of their study could be taken as advice by companies and that they should use social media for offering useful information and resources during and after crises solely geared towards public good and this in turn will help them garner trust that will go a long way for the company and its success in future.

“What organizations can do is understand and value public perspectives; utilize the organization’s various social/mobile media platforms; show care and empathy; be honest; be open and transparent in providing useful and timely information; and engage in actual dialogue with stakeholders both during and post crisis”, one of the authors said.


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