May 9, 2020,
In a time of crisis, the most important quality that a person, group, company or government can have is their reputation.
Your credibility means everything.
As of this writing, look at the crisis that we find ourselves in as a global community with the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that are typically mild, such as some cases of the common cold (among other possible causes, predominantly rhinoviruses), though rarer forms can be lethal, such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19.
Symptoms vary in other species: in chickens, they cause an upper respiratory tract disease, while in cows and pigs they cause diarrhea. There are yet to be vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections.
We never thought we would see the day when NBA and NCAA major basketball games would be played without any crowd in attendance to take steps to prevent the spread of a deadly disease.
So much of how the public responds to a crisis is the credibility of the government that they live under.
Credibility in 2020 is under crisis.
Traditionally, modern, credibility has two key components: trustworthiness and expertise, which both have objective and subjective components.
Trustworthiness is based more on subjective factors, but can include objective measurements such as established reliability.
Credibility dates back to Aristotle’s theory of Rhetoric.
Aristotle defines rhetoric as the ability to see what is possibly persuasive in every situation.
He divided the means of persuasion into three categories, namely Ethos (the source’s credibility), Pathos (the emotional or motivational appeals), and Logos (the logic used to support a claim), which he believed collectively have the capacity to influence the receiver of a message.
According to Aristotle, the term “Ethos” deals with the character of the speaker.
The intent of the speaker is to appear credible.
“The public impression is that the government, industry or the highest bidder can buy a scientist to add credibility to any message. That crucial quality of impartiality is being lost.”… Johnny Ball
Credibility online has become an important topic since the mid-1990s. This is because the web has increasingly become an information resource.
The credibility of online sources regarding major topics is questionable at best.
According to Gallup polls, Americans’ confidence in the mass media has been consistently declining each year since 2007.
In 2013, a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that credibility ratings for major news organizations are at or near their all-time lows.
The widespread use of the internet has helped motivate journalists to become more credible.
The reason for this is because the competition of providing news increased when consumers had the chance and ability to choose the media that they consume through online sources. The internet has provided a chance for anyone to report news.
Here at FCI (Female Competition International) we are constantly aware of the need for our information to be credible.
Three aspects of credibility are clarity (how easily the article can be understood), accuracy (how well documented the information is), and trustworthiness (how believable the information is).
If you are a regular reader of our articles, one of the important factors in suggesting claims is that we always try and cite the source it originated from and if we ourselves view the source as credible.
We often quote from major news networks, government agencies or university research departments.
From time to time we work with visiting writers and one of the challenges we find in cementing agreements with them is the lack of credibility in their claims.
Regarding health benefits especially, many make strong claims but they don’t cite sources. This becomes more important if they are not a specialist in the field themselves.
So much of our life experience is personal.
“In government institutions and in teaching, you need to inspire confidence. To achieve credibility, you have to very clearly explain what you are doing and why. The same principles apply to businesses.”… Janet Yellen
Here is what we have found increases credibility in presenting information.
- Do Your Homework.
We can’t say enough about the importance of performing credible research and citing believable sources who are experts in the fields that they educate about. We try and research more than one source and see if they are all saying similar to the same thing. The ones who are inconsistent, we discard them.
- Be Consistent.
We strive to be consistent ourselves. One of the hallmarks of our work is that our articles are approximately 1,000 words or more in length. Part of the thinking about this is that is provides us room to expand upon and substantiate the points we are trying to make.
Consistency in publishing on a regular basis is critical. FCI now has well over 2,000 one thousand word articles in the Google system. This gives us credibility in the search engines.
Consistency in quality is extremely important as well. We constantly get offers from other websites to publish an article on one of our websites so they can reach our audience. If their work is good, we will consider it. Most often than not, it isn’t and we decline.
At FCI, for credibility we have to keep our standards as high as possible.
If we research a source and found out they haven’t updated in months or years, they have now lost credibility. They obviously have lost passion for what they were presenting to the public.
- Don’t Be Emotional.
Making outlandish claims can instantly destroy your credibility. Being passionate is nice but that passion should be measured and based upon researched facts.
Which brings us to you.
Do people in your circle find you to be credible?
Here is what builds credibility on a personal level.
Are you consistent in word and deed?
For example do you take a lot of sick leave at work or only when you truly need it, even if you will lose some days at the end of the year? Is the quality of your work consistent or hit and miss?
When it comes to money, are you a saver and have a reservoir for a rainy day or are you constantly needing to borrow money?
In terms of your word, when you give it, is it your bond? Especially if you have children.
Are you positive are in your conversations or do you often criticize or lessen the view of others? Even if the person listening to you doesn’t call you out on that, they quietly are losing respect for your credibility.
Credibility is as important to build as it is to maintain.
In a crisis situation, you need to be believable.
In your personal life, shouldn’t you be too?
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