Friday, October 31, 2008, 11:42 AM

Let your friends do the talking

We are firm believers in the idea that third party advocates can help an organization influence public opinion, particularly when that organization is under public scrutiny. America's auto makers appear to be believers, too.

On Wednesday, six governors released a joint letter calling on the U.S. Treasury Department and Federal Reserve to expedite aid to the U.S. auto industry. The governors hail from Michigan, Kentucky, Delaware, North Dakota, Ohio, and New York.

After September's $700 billion rescue package, securing government aid will not be an easy task. But by aligning itself with six governors representing 45 million Americans, the auto makers lent credence to the notion that the nation's economic well-being is tied to that of the industry. Whether one agrees or not, the industry's argument is stronger today because of the influential company it keeps.

Recruiting credible, outsides voices to your side is a valuable exercise for an array of industries: pharmaceuticals, hospitals, non-profits, developers, the list goes on. Ask yourself: In our next public relations challenge, whose voice can we depend on?

(Photo credit: Reuters, Rebecca Cook)

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