In a survey conducted by the New York-based public relations firm Porter-Novelli, 65 percent of respondents said when an organization declines to comment in a crisis it is implying guilt.
Only 19 percent of those surveyed felt companies are totally truthful in crisis situations and 75 percent said companies refuse to take responsibility for crises.
Respondents considered “corporate spokespersons” the least believable sources of information in crises. Most believable? Television, which was cited by 34 percent of the respondents, followed by newspapers at 29 percent, magazines at 22 percent and radio at 12 percent. Nine out of 10 respondents said the news media “blow crisis events out of proportion.”
The survey, reported in the Public Relations Journal, showed the public trusts neither journalists nor corporate executives in a crisis. About 23 percent said they trust journalists. Only nine percent trust executives.