A Matter of Trust, A Communication Expert's View

By Diane Streleckis -

Roy Reid portrait“When we improve our relationships, we improve our results and we improve our performance. The core of those relationships is trust,” veteran communication professional Roy Reid, APR, CPRC said during a recent interview with IABC Philadelphia.

Reid is passionate about helping people build trust—so much so that he’s developed a call to action called The Trust Transformation, for businesses, leaders, and really anyone who wants more of this core of connection.

Through the Trust Transformation, he looks to “create a filter that people will have to look through when engaging in any interpersonal or business or another aspect of communication that triggers questions [about whether it’s] a trust-building effort.”

Awareness of communication’s power started early

As a University of Central Florida student in the late 1980s, Reid saw how thorough, effective communications, students could be mobilized to advocate for the funding and construction of a student union—a place for students to come together—for the then-fairly-new school. That experience inspired him to pursue a communication internship at AT&T. “That was the platform that inspired this wonderful career I’ve been blessed with for 30 years,” he said.

Reset the Default

As Reid noted, “People, in general, report a lack of trust.” Measures such as the Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual survey, “says clearly that people’s default emotion now is distrust. And that’s just a bad place to be for anybody. You don’t want to start from that point. If you have high trust with your audiences, with your customers, and family, you’re far better off.”

An Opportunity for Everyone

“Trust in organizations always begins with the individual. After all, organizations are really a collection of people,” Reid said. “People need to be intentional and committed to trust as an outcome of their communications and actions.”

A Unique Trust Challenge for Today—We Are the Media

Reid has seen the communication landscape change from the days when there were only a few controlled media outlets to now where anyone has the power to publish.

“There’s no constraint today,” he said. “It requires a greater discipline for the communicator to do so in a way that lives up to the ethical commitments that we make as professionals. We must look past the traps and temptations to take shortcuts to get information out there.”

He appreciated the “much wider opportunity to deliver the message directly to the audience. But…it does come with a greater sense of responsibility.”

New platforms have changed the landscape of communications, with video taking a much more significant place in the mix. However, the fundamentals of communications remain rooted in the process. “Being able to understand how video makes an impact on people does make a difference. However, great video always begins with a well-written script and message platform.”

And whether the communication vehicle is a TikTok video, a social media post, a podcast, or a good old-fashioned press release, “you’re still dealing with human beings. That can get lost in translation and it can get forgotten in planning,” said Reid.

“Trust is non-negotiable. If you’re not striving for trust—to build it, fortify it, repair it, then often what you put out there is just going to be noise.”


Get tips from Roy Reid on how to bring about The Trust Transformation. Sign up for IABC Philadelphia’s event on October 13 at noon ET featuring Roy Reid. Get tickets.


Diane Streleckis is a writer and content strategist dedicated to using the power of words for good. Understanding what makes people tick and then sharing practical ideas to help support their needs and concerns is Diane’s mission. She’s applied this mission mindset across industries for more than 30 years.