8:30-9:45 a.m. Welcome & Keynote: 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer

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Welcome to Convergence – Moving Forward

Mike Walsh, IABC Minnesota President
Principal and Owner, Michael Walsh Communications

Elisia Cohen, Ph.D.
Director, Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota

Opening Keynote: 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer
Presenter: Kevin Cook, President Edelman Chicago

Session Description: 

The 21st annual Edelman Trust Barometer reveals an epidemic of misinformation and widespread mistrust of societal institutions and leaders around the world. CEO credibility is at all-time lows in several countries. People are looking for leadership and solutions as they reject talking heads who they do not deem credible. They seek reliable information as the trust in all news sources are at record lows. Business remains the only institution seen as both ethical and competent.

The implications of the findings in the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer provide a mandate for institutions (business, NGOs, government, and media) to rebuild trust and chart a new path forward within today’s environment of information bankruptcy. This presentation delves into the research with a discussion on the implications and mandates.

About Kevin Cook, President Edelman Chicago 

Kevin, who serves as the Chicago President, is a 24-year veteran of Edelman. Previously COO and managing director of the office’s Corporate Affairs’ practice, Kevin serves as senior counsel for some of the firm’s largest global clients including industrial, consumer, financial services and health care companies. He also counsels clients on global reputation and stakeholder campaigns, issues management, strategic transactions and corporate brand transformation. Kevin also ensures that the office-wide business strategy is executed fully, fosters organizational growth and improvement, identifies and puts into operation strategic joint ventures and oversees the office’s finance and HR efforts. Kevin also is a member of Edelman’s Global Strategy Committee.

Kevin is the global client manager for a discrete group of the firm’s Fortune 500 clients, including United Airlines.  He’s also led acquisitions and special situations for ING Group, RR Donnelley and AM Castle, among other clients. He also is a member of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Business Council.

Before joining Edelman, he served as a vice president at Aaron D. Cushman and Associates, Inc., a Chicago-based, mid-sized public relations and marketing firm. His corporate experience includes managing national campaigns for Lou Dobbs and CNN; Jacques Yves-Cousteau and The Cousteau Society; Lincoln National Corp. and several privately held companies throughout the Midwest.

Kevin is a graduate of Purdue University-Calumet with a bachelor’s degree in communications.