CommCore Blog and News

Grandma & Third Parties. It’s All About Trust.

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Your grandmother was right when she used to say, “Don’t toot your own horn, let others do15.3.2 it.”

That’s even more true in today’s 24/7 world of crisis management.  Third party advocates and spokespersons are experiencing increased influence as a way to build brand reputation and defend it when a crisis hits. The Edelman Trust Barometer and other surveys show that third parties – academics, industry subject matter experts, journal editors – carry more weight with stakeholders than a corporate or organization spokesperson.

Here are a few rules for working with spokespersons.

  1. Establish the relationship early.
    • This saves time in the event you need them
    • You and the third party need time to determine if the relationship makes sense
  2. Carefully “vet” the third party.
    • Start with a bio
    • Do additional digging on LinkedIn and social media
  3. Be aware of any potential conflicts of interest.
    • Ask for updates every 6 months
    • A third party with conflicts could cause more damage than any upside
  4. Don’t trot out the third party in the first instant. Some crises resolve quickly.
  5. Maintain a balance between using the third party and your own executives and website.
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