The world is full of conversations – our Twitter feeds, Facebook walls, and email inboxes provide a constant stream of news and information about the people, places, organizations, and issues around us. What is said about us makes up a large part of who the world thinks we are, making these conversations vital to our images and reputations. The same is true for nonprofit organizations, making it important to nonprofits to be in active in shaping the conversations about their organizations.
Non-profits have a great resource for influencing the worldwide chatter – their staff. Staff are positioned to be knowledgeable and influential brand ambassadors for their organizations. By engaging their staff as brand ambassadors, nonprofits can empower some of their most passionate supporters to share the story of their work and mission with the world. Here are the key things that nonprofits need to know about empowering their staff to influence the conversation:
- Brand ambassadors promote the benefits and values of an organization.
Ambassadors help organization in three key ways: increase awareness about an organization by extending its reach, shape public opinion through word-of-mouth recommendations, and encourage consumer action based on their recommendations.
- Staff are powerful brand ambassadors.
Staff are experts on the organization. With an inside view of the nonprofit, staff can tell the most authentic version of the organization’s story and provide everyday experiences as illustrations. Staff are also viewed as credible spokespeople and are personally motivated to see the organization succeed due to their ties to the organization.
- Organizations can engage staff as brand ambassadors in five steps.
- Step 1: Define the goal of your program. Determine what you are trying to accomplish, who you are trying to reach, and how you want to reach them.
- Step 2: Recruit the staff that can help you reach your goal. Find the staff that have the experiences and skills to support your campaign.
- Step 3: Provide staff with the tools and resources they need to succeed. Set clear expectations about what you want staff to do, provide them with the materials they need, and train them on key topics and skills.
- Step 4: Evaluate your progress. Make sure that you are reaching your goals and re-evaluate your strategy is something is not working for your organization.
- Step 5: Celebrate the success of your staff by saying thank you and recognizing their hard work.
Empowering staff to be brand ambassadors is a winning strategy for increasing awareness, shaping public opinion, and encouraging consumer action. To learn more about engaging staff as brand ambassadors and see a winning brand ambassador program, please view the webinar: http://youtu.be/Gz9HKX3aHUg.
Erika Page Spivey is a Public Relations and Corporate Communications graduate student at Georgetown University, interested in how brands communicate their stories to the world. You can learn more about the speaker at www.linkedin.com/in/itserikapage.