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Cover image for Trust – The Power of Being a Better Neighbour
Jason St-Cyr for Sitecore

Posted on • Originally published at on

Trust – The Power of Being a Better Neighbour

In this age of data management regulations and privacy fears, trust is becoming the new commodity. Trust differentiates you from the competition, but how can YOU, as an individual, help build this trust? How can you be a better neighbour to your customers through customer engagement and ethical marketing?

I believe this comes down to individual relationships and community building. Anybody in an organization, regardless of role, can contribute. The more the merrier! Taking on the role of an advocate is no easy task, but if you want to build trust and relationships, here are 3 things that can help:

  1. Be Honest
  2. Be Kind
  3. Be Helpful

It takes a village

While organizations, as a whole, focus on data privacy and brand trust (this is good!), individuals can also contribute to the overall customer engagement and building of trust building through community building and ethical marketing practices. Our focus should be on being human — on being Honest, Kind, and Helpful. We need to build connections to create customer trust in the brand.

Each one of us has the power to be who we are, help others, and generally be a good citizen in our industry. Everybody needs help sometimes and many of us have different ways we can lend a helping hand. Maybe it’s a blog, or Twitter, or a community Slack, or answering questions on Stack Exchange/Stack Overflow, or maybe you like to share your things live on stage in front of lots of people. Find how you like to help out!

It’s not always easy

This is not without challenges. It takes time to build a community, and many are doing this on the side. In the technology sphere, Developer Relations (DevRel) is becoming more established thanks to years of Open Source community efforts, but other audiences (like marketers) don’t necessarily have the same advocacy structure in place.

Additionally, what if an advocate leaves a company to go to a competitor? All the brand trust the advocate built up was with the individual advocate. The advocate is the one with the relationships. What happens next? This can be a scary thought for management who are looking at taking on advocacy in a more deliberate way.

What do you think?

I’m all in on advocacy. I’ve been doing DevRel in some form or another for nearly a decade, and only in the last few years have I taken it on full time. I think we need to spread the benefits of advocacy to other disciplines, and I think we need to build these connections in a kinder way.

I think if you ask yourself these questions, it can help you to know what might be the next step for you:

  1. Why is trust important to me or the company I work for?
  2. What does it mean to me, to be Honest, Kind, and Helpful?
  3. How can I contribute?
  4. What challenges will face me if I try to be an advocate?
  5. Are there any changes that need to happen in the organization to help me?

My door is always open for questions, so never fear to reach out to @StCyrThoughts.

Top comments (2)

anastasiyaflynn profile image
Anastasiya Flynn

"All the brand trust the advocate built up was with the individual advocate... This can be a scary thought for management who are looking at taking on advocacy in a more deliberate way."

This is a really interesting concept. Now that I think about it, when employees have a positive work experience, support the values of the company, and leave on good terms, I think they remain forever advocates to some extent.

And good advocates take time to publicly show appreciation for the company and team that made their travel/presentation possible, so some of that trust should be getting rubbed off back on the company.

jasonstcyr profile image
Jason St-Cyr

That's a lot of "if" situations though, which is where it becomes more of a challenge for an organization to make the business case. I think organically there is more acceptance of this need for the role, and if an organization is doing all the things you listed, that is definitely going to be a great place to advocate for!