CommCore Blog and News

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

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.