Construction Media Index: Trust in Communications

In the final part of our look at the 2022 edition of the Construction Media Index (CMI) research, we look at the issue of trust, what sources of information are seen as most trustworthy and how this impacts communication within the industry.

Pete Stemp - Senior Copywriter

Peter Stemp09.06.2022

The CMI research, conducted every two years, delivers key insights on traditional and digital communication behaviours and preferences. For the 2022 edition, five different audiences were surveyed: Architects, Electricians, Housebuilders, Main Contractors and M&E Consulting Engineers.

Trust is an issue that has become increasingly important in recent years. Political and cultural discourse both in the UK and worldwide has made people more aware of the possibility of false and biased information. In fact, the CMI reports note that research shows 62.9% of adults are concerned about the validity of what they read online.

The findings of the 2022 CMI research provides key insights with regard to the sources of information that are trusted in construction industry.


The survey asked respondents to rate the trustworthiness of a range of different sources of information. Industry publications are among the most trusted sources of information across all professions, with an average score of 7.8 out of 10 across all audiences.

Most trusted publications:

M&E Consulting Engineers

  • CIBSE Journal
  • The Engineer


  • RIBA Journal
  • Architects’ Journal


  • Professional Housebuilder & Property Developer
  • Housebuilder


  • Connections
  • Professional Electrician & Installer

Main contractors

  • Construction News
  • Construction Manager

Information from suppliers

Supplier & manufacturer blogs were also rated highly, scoring an average of 7 of a possible 10 on the trust scale. Interestingly, this places information from this source higher than blogs from independent third parties, which scored an average of 6.3. This perhaps indicates that brands in the construction industry are generally respected and trusted and so the information they provide is considered reliable.

While only the electrician audience was asked for its views on information received at trade shows, it was rated as trustworthy scoring an average of 6.9. This is consistent with the findings of the previous CMI research that found a high level of trust for trade shows among plumbers.

Social Media

With an average score across all professions of 7.3, LinkedIn scored highly in terms of trust, not only compared with other social media platforms but also compared with other sources of information. Instagram (5.7), Twitter (5.5) and Facebook (5.3) all scored far lower, and TikTok scored an average of just 4.3 across all audiences. The higher level of trust in LinkedIn is possibly due to the more professional focus of the platform. It may also be that information shared between connections is considered more trustworthy because they typically know each other, in contrast to Twitter or TikTok where the information is more likely to be coming from a stranger.

The generally lower trust in social media suggests that it may be a valuable channel for building brand awareness due to its reach, but it is essential for potential customers to be able to find further information through trusted channels such as publications or educational focused blog pieces.

Personal communications

The survey also included WhatsApp as a source of information, which was considered highly trustworthy by respondents with an average score of 7.9. This is perhaps due to the fact that information is generally being received from someone they know well. While less applicable for direct brand communications, this finding shows the importance of companies fostering positive word of mouth about their product, service or offering. With opinions shared through channels such as WhatsApp carrying a high level of trust, a recommendation from a current customer can be highly valuable in promoting a brand.

Trust is an important issue in communications, especially as people have become more wary of receiving false or misleading information. The findings of the research highlight how valuable industry publications still are, whether digital or printed, and underscores the importance a strategic marketing mix that factors in not just reach but also trust.

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