What’s a Good Spokesperson Worth?

By Jeff Cheatham, Senior Account Supervisor at TrizCom PR

At TrizCom PR, we get a lot of mileage out of our client spokespersons. Generally, when we onboard a new client and have them fill out our questionnaire, we’re up front in asking who is allowed to speak on behalf of the company. It may not surprise you to know that this role is usually filled by the owner, CEO or president of the organization. However, industry experts can be found at all levels of the C-suite family.

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One of my clients is a nonprofit organization heavily vested in the health care enrollment process. For those still unaware, open enrollment on the health care exchanges began Nov. 1 and ceases Dec. 15. In the run-up to Nov. 1, my client was sought by major news organizations ranging from The Washington Post to Kaiser Health News.

I discovered something along the way.

The calls, emails and requests for an interview with this individual began to accelerate as time went on. It seemed as if health care reporters nationwide were reading the articles in which he was quoted. Needing sources for their own reporting, they sought him out time and time again. The more he was quoted, the more calls for interviews occurred. It got to the point that I felt like an air traffic controller, trying to line up media interview requests the way that planes are slotted for runway landings.

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So what is a good company spokesperson worth? If you classify yourself as an industry expert in the organization you represent, how much ink are you currently getting? What might it mean to your company—and its incremental sales—to have your name mentioned time and time again in media outlets with circulation numbers in the hundreds of thousands?

Organizations should take a good hard look at who represents them. Speaking on behalf of a company as an industry expert can provide you with an implied endorsement that even money can’t necessarily buy.

I should know. I’m still catching up on the last three weeks of coverage my client garnered for his company in the last month.

Still think public relations doesn’t work?