Trust is Det. Lennie Briscoe

There’s that word again. This week Google’s Sergey Brin came clean about his company’s collection of personal data through the scanning of wireless networks. And he had this to say: “Trust is very important to us. We’re going to do everything we can to preserve that trust.” I think Brin said “trust” twice because Google really doesn’t want to be caught up in a European Union investigation—but then, I’m jaded. If Brin is serious about trust, he should start watching reruns of Law & Order (the last new show airs Monday). Now there’s a brand we can trust. The shows were predictable (and sometimes preposterous), yet consumers never felt ripped off. And creator Dick Wolf and the show’s producers fostered great employee relations. Writers of a tribute article in today’s Wall Street Journal could only find one person willing to speak negatively about the show—and he was complaining about shooting scenes in the cold. So Sergey, tune your 3-D flat screen to TBS and learn what brand trust is all about. Me? I can’t wait for the L&O Channel.

By the way, look for the results of our Public Affairs in a Connected Age survey in the next issue (05/24/10) of PR News. The findings will be further discussed at the PR News Public Affairs Conference, set for Tuesday, May 25 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

–Scott Van Camp