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Trust & Credibility

The greatest assets you can have as a communicator are credibility and the public’s trust. When there are an infinite number of information sources—and many with questionable or competing information—people will turn to those sources that are considered the most trustworthy and credible.

Many people perceive public health professionals as highly credible and trustworthy. In fact, when asked who they would trust most as a reliable source of information in the event of a bioterrorism event, respondents named local health departments, local physicians, and hospitals as the most trustworthy.

But some audiences have less trust in public health entities, the medical profession, and the government because they have experienced discrimination, exploitation, or poor treatment, either personally or historically.