You’re not a spokesperson…but you are

Many companies have “policies,” where they say that only certain people can be quoted as spokespeople for the company. This gets difficult when many people who are paid to interact with the media are not among those who can be named. Does this make sense to you? No, it doesn’t to me either.

The impetus of this is a story in the Seattle Times, that has also been picked up by Odwyer.

What’s interesting is when I have worked at or with companies that have this “policy,” when I spoke with executives about it, they were completely blown away.  In my experience, most of the time it’s a CYA maneuver, where mid/senior level people are afraid that someone with less experience will say something inappropriate and they can distance themselves from it.

Seriously, we encourage transparency, we encourage people to be “evangelists,” for companies, products and ideas, but the people that companies pay to make all that happen are afraid to have their names out there?  I wrote about this on this blog in 2006 about an event that happened in 2003.

Use your name. Be real. Hi, I’m Josh and quite often a spokesperson for companies. What’s your name?


4 thoughts on “You’re not a spokesperson…but you are

  1. I’d like to speak on behalf of the company, but I can’t. Not because I’m not allowed to, but because I really can’t speak. I have my head shoved so far up my ass that it’s interfering with my vocal cords.

  2. I can always count on your comments to be subtle and nuanced. Usually right on target, and delivered with the tact of Kenny Powers.

  3. I understand the entire Social Media and transparency card but I am an USHER for a different company (Olympia Entertainment) and am not allowed to be a spokesperson (Detroit Red Wings) because I don’t work for the Detroit Red Wings. This is where a fine line is drawn.

    I don’t even get the kind of pay which merits this but at the same time I would am and followed by the hockey community and seem to know what is going on. So I guess that is where the problem lies.

  4. Jamie,

    In your case you wouldn’t be a spokesperson for the Red Wings, but the instance that frustrates me AND reporters would be if you were hired to give information to reporters but could not be quoted by name as a spokesperson.

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