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Trust is viewed as an essential business success metric. But numerous studies suggest that our trust in governments, organizations and businesses has been declining. Guests Ben Boyd and Kent Grayson tackle the core issues.

Run Time: 34 minutes

We’ve got trust issues. Trust is one of the characteristics many brands use to differentiate themselves from competitors. But consumer trust is in decline. 2018 may go on record as one of the low points for trust in government, media and business. What’s the solution? Does trust matter anymore?

Ben Boyd, Edelman’s Chief Client Strategy Officer, joins us to share insights from the latest edition of the Edelman Trust Barometer. The report is in its 18th year and depicts a challenging scorecard for the state of trust across the globe. Then, we chat with Kent Grayson about his work disaggregating the components of trust.

During the show, we provided listeners with a homework assignment: to watch this TED talk by Harvard’s Frances Frei.


Ben Boyd

Ben Boyd is Chief Client Strategy Officer at Edelman, where he oversees the firm’s client experience program. In this capacity, he serves as a counselor to C-suite executives and partners with Edelman’s global client teams on a number of Fortune 500 companies – including HP, Johnson & Johnson, Shell and The Home Depot.

Ben has over 25 years of communications and marketing experience, across corporate reputation, brand positioning, executive visibility, issues management, and a myriad of other specialties. In his current role, he guides strategic communications, architects integrated programming, builds trust and propels business value by supporting clients in addressing their most pressing needs and challenges.

Over the past fourteen years, Ben has held multiple leadership positions within Edelman. Most recently, he was responsible for the firm’s global signature intellectual property (IP) studies, The Trust Barometer and The Earned Brand Study. Edelman’s Trust Barometer, an 18-year, 28-market, in-depth exploration of Trust in institutions, is the most referenced piece of IP in the world on the topic, and Ben is one of the firm’s leading experts on the subject. While at Edelman, he previously led the firm’s Global Corporate Practice, oversaw Global Practices and Sectors, managed the global marketing function for the firm, guided Edelman’s work with GE and, most recently, Ben drove the firm’s internal transformation agenda.

Earlier in his career, Ben served as international director of communications for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Americans for Health Care campaign, advocating for universal access to health care in the U.S. He was also the North American head of communications for SITA, where he executed integrated communications campaigns to drive market share. Prior to this work, he supported the world’s largest retail bookseller’s corporate transition as head of communications for, an early entrant into the age of ecommerce.

Ben serves on a number of boards, including the Cornell Advisory Board and the ProPublica Business Advisory Council Advisory. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from Wake Forest University and lives in the heart of Manhattan with his husband and dog, Casey.

Kent Grayson

Kent is on the marketing faculty at the Kellogg School of Management, where he teaches MBAs and executives, and where he holds the Bernice and Leonard Lavin Professorship. Kent researches the role of fabrication and fact in consumption. His research looks at such topics as the benefits and drawbacks of trusting a business partner, how consumers decide whether something is authentic or fake, and what happens when a “true” friend tries to sell you something.

In addition to his teaching, he is the faculty director of The Trust Project which aims to strengthen the research, practice and understanding of trust.

Featured Cause

International Rescue Committee

In this episode, we feature the work being done by the International Rescue Committee. The mission of the IRC is to help people whose lives are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. They are helping to restore trust around the world. Please join us and support this cause.

Show Credits


The Findings Report theme song was composed by Daniel Munkus

Other music heard in this episode:

  • Balance by Jonathan Barlow
  • Blue Yonder by Snow Palms
  • Phases by Karmic
  • Waking Up With Busted Ribs by Richmond Fontaine

Above music tracks licensed from our friends at Marmoset Music.


  • Transcription: Lydia Ward
  • Production Support: Grady Lopez
  • Contributor: Valerie Cabrera Krause


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