While the Occupy Wall Street movement has cooled a bit, one thing hasn’t changed: public distrust of corporations is at an all-time high. According to a poll taken last year by GfK Custom Research, a majority of Americans (64 percent) say it’s harder to trust corporations now than a few years ago. Over half (55 percent) say that it will be tough for corporations to gain their trust in the future. And among so-called “influencers,” corporate distrust stands at a whopping 74 percent.
This dismal impression is in keeping with the popular (more like unpopular) view of CEOs, the public face of corporations. According to Edelman's most recent Trust Barometer, 2012 saw a massive decline in trust of CEOs. On the other hand, trust in peers (regular folks like employees) dramatically increased, and for the fifth year in a row, NGOs are the most trusted institution in the world.
Given this set of facts, what's a corporation to do? How can a perceived bully go from being hated to loved...or at least liked?