The Convergence Summit, held virtually on March 18, 2021, garnered high ratings on the post-event survey with 100% of respondents saying the event was useful to their career. Here’s a taste of the content from two of the key sessions.


2021 Edelman Trust Barometer

Kevin Cook, President of Edelman Chicago, said the 21st annual Edelman Trust Barometer reveals an epidemic of misinformation and widespread mistrust of societal institutions and leaders worldwide. Moreover, the United States was ranked third from the bottom of the 27 countries surveyed.  


According to the data, information from employers is more trusted than any other source of information including the media, which was deemed the least reliable. Business remains the only institution seen as both ethical and competent.  This places business communicators in a key role for providing reliable information to their stakeholders.


The implications for communicators and business leaders are clear: Individuals are seeking leadership and solutions from businesses because government officials, journalists and religious leaders are not deemed as credible.  According to the data, business is now expected to be a guardian of information quality.


Furthermore, workers have new expectations for their employers, according to Cook. They now seek business to help solve societal problems such as the pandemic, job loss, fair and equitable pay and social injustice.


As a result, business is leading the way in charting a new path forward within today’s environment of information bankruptcy. Meanwhile, government, media, religious and other institutions will have to focus on ways to rebuild and maintain trust among their employees, constituents, customers and other stakeholders.


Moving Forward Playbook: data-driven steps for communications success


John Fimiani, CEO and co-founding partner of Upward Brand Interactions, has revealed insights and ideas from his most recent COVID Playbook. He stressed that communicators and marketers need to tailor their communications in the post-Covid world to embody a more positive tone, but simultaneously staying aligned with the ever-changing climate we live in.


Some of his advice to marketers includes:

  • Take a vertical market focus: winning categories include medical, major health care systems and digital retail.
  • Concentrate on digital sales and service: including e-commerce, digital access and delivery.
  • Find ways to more deeply and broadly serve your existing customers with new and complementary products.

He provided several strategies to help businesses thrive:

  • Reimagine your message for a post-Covid world. Imagine you can make a difference in the lives of your customers.
  • Shift your focus and dollars to digital channels where customers and prospects are engaging their brand.
  • Consider the use of active pay-per-click campaigns.


His recommendations reflect enduring trends that communicators should pay attention to: Digital transformation in how we buy, sell and consume; reallocation and reimagining of our work and public spaces; surging innovation, entrepreneurship and industry changes; and permanent work from home schedules on multiple days of the week.