Why is the public sector better at building trust than the private sector?

Deloitte has just released its third Data Nation report and it reveals that respondents have greater trust in the NHS and the public sector when it comes to protecting its personal data than in other private sector industries. While public healthcare providers came in with the highest levels of trust (61%), social media companies (31%), internet providers (34%) and banks and credit card companies (39%) came in the lowest.

What’s ironic about these findings is that the technology that is used to keep that data safe – whether from the networks the data is transferred over, to the servers and data centres where its stored are all in the private sector. In fact, chances are that the same technology that is hosting patient records is hosting that person’s credit card information at their bank as well.

The report, which measures the public’s attitudes to data use and privacy in England, Wales and Scotland, also references that despite the trust, the public sector has in fact reported more data breaches to the Information Commisioner’s Offices than its private sector counterparts. Now this could just be bad reporting by the private sector (although the EU is in the process of changing reporting regulations), but you have to ask whether this trust is misplaced?

As a B2B tech PR agency we have lots of clients supplying technology to both the public and the private sector. So we want to know how is it that the NHS is better at building trust with users than a bank, gaming or even telephone company?

What we do know is a trusted brand does better commercially so it’s worth the private sector learning lessons from the public sector on being transparent about its service delivery.

We also think that maybe companies could offer service charters in the same vein as patient charters? Charters that give us the ability to seek financial recompense when service fall short of targets. I for one would be overjoyed to see interest on my credit card drop when the company concerned fails to answer my call within two minutes; or a block of free calls for every minute you’re on hold with the telephone company. That might get them to resource peak calling times better.

There must be lots of examples of where the NHS is delivering services better, and equally lots of examples of how we could keep companies accountable. Let us know your favourites.

Claire Lamb is a consultant at Skout. She’s worked in technology PR for 20 years and has survived more bubbles than Michael Jackson.

Browse more blog posts

Posted on
byClaire James
Chris Linsell left university with a degree in Economics and Finance but knew that this was not where his true interests lay. In 2004 he joined an independent creative advertising agency called Mustoes and has not looked back since. Q: Tell me a little bit about your background before joining Pirtek as Marketing Director Chris. A: As a graduate I...
Posted on
byLaaraib Khan
Why was PR your chosen career? I have always loved writing and all things creative. I remember in year 4 gathering a few people together and starting the school newspaper! Having dabbled in social media, digital marketing and music journalism, I fell into PR and have loved every second of it! If you hadn’t chosen a career in PR, what would...
Posted on
bySkout team
Why was PR your chosen career? It wasn’t! I have always been slightly obsessed with the media though. Since reading the news in the mocked-up news studio at Bradford’s National Media Museum as a child, the addiction has stuck. I worked in TV and broadcast media in Beijing for four years (which was an eye-opener) before coming back to the...
Posted on
byJames Weaver
On Sunday 31st July, England’s Lionesses ended 56 years of hurt by overcoming the goliath task of beating Germany 2-1 in the European Championship final to finally bring football home. It was fantastic to watch the team storm the post-match press conference to celebrate their well-deserved victory.  This got me thinking, how does one of the greatest sporting achievements for...
Posted on
byRebecca Brown
Whether you’re in B2B or B2C, promoting your brand and engaging with your audience through social media is marketing 101. It’s fast, free, and effective! Not only can you post updates about your company and employees to showcase the successes and personality of your brand but it’s an excellent way of sharing valuable content with key audiences. It’s no surprise that...
Posted on
byJames Weaver
London is often considered the epicentre for many of the UK’s varying sectors from entertainment to finance. But, when it comes to the tech sector, the North West stronghold of Manchester is arguably a hotbed for talent, startups and established tech firms. In 2019, £181 million of investment was pumped into the city’s tech sector, establishing Manchester as one of...
Posted on
byRebecca Brown
We chat with Lizzie Berwick, director and co-owner at media buying agency, MacCormack Media, about her varied role, all things media buying, and what makes a brilliant business relationship.
Posted on
byClaire James
By Claire James, head of client services and built environment specialist, Skout The construction industry is about to go through its most transformative phase for decades with the introduction of the Building Safety Act. These changes are driven by the still unfolding story of Grenfell, the public outcry, and the substandard building materials and practices used on this structure that...
Posted on
byRebecca Brown
More than half of B2B marketing budgets are devoted to building and maintaining relationships with new customers, but only a quarter of B2B marketers say their relationships are akin to a happy marriage.
Posted on
byRob
When you’ve worked in a B2B PR agency for over 25 years, it’s easy to forget that the ‘turbulence’ we experience daily isn’t the norm for many. This is because every agency day is different, you never fully know what to expect, and deadlines can be ludicrously short.  Growing agencies like us deal with a lot of uncertainty. The biggest...