The effective messenger understands the old Will Rogers adage:
While competency is the decisive variable in low stress situations, caring and empathy are the most critical qualities for trust in high concern situations. Risk Communication research shows that, especially in high stress situations, people will judge the messenger before they will attend to the message.
Messengers are judged primarily on trust. When people trust the messenger, their concerns become less threatening and more acceptable; when the messenger is distrusted those concerns become more threatening and less acceptable.
Science, research, and experience shows that the trustworthiness of messengers is based largely on a set of variables that we apply to our spokesperson selection and training process. Our comprehensive approach evaluates every detail – from the message itself to the responses and mannerisms of the messenger – so you’ll be ready for any forum or media outlet.