Your grandmother was right when she used to say, “Don’t toot your own horn, let others do 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.
- 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
- Carefully “vet” the third party.
- Start with a bio
- Do additional digging on LinkedIn and social media
- 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
- Don’t trot out the third party in the first instant. Some crises resolve quickly.
- Maintain a balance between using the third party and your own executives and website.