Leveraging employee ambassadors
Wait! What? I did a doubletake when I saw Gary Vaynerchuk’s LinkedIn post, Why you might need to fire your most talented employee. Then, I watched his video. Not only did the title make sense, but it also confirmed my theory that marketing must begin internally.
With the right protocols in place, the concept is not as risky as it appears. Identify those within your organization who are most likely to actively cheerlead, and then equip them to do so.
Put into place the proper protocols. Make sure you have a communication plan that begins internally and extends externally. It should include a social media policy, a crisis communication plan, and of course a clear mission and positioning statement.
Next, be sure everyone within the organization is well-versed on these elements, so they can articulately represent the organization. If employees know they are valued and trusted, they’ll be a boon to your organization’s culture and unwitting brand ambassadors.
If you do not already have a culture of trust, it will take some time getting there. Begin by evaluating those in leadership positions. If your leaders are confident and constantly looking to help the team and each individual on it grow and achieve personal, professional, and companywide goals, then trust will come easily. If leaders are insecure, they might be prone to putting their own ambitions before the organization’s, which will create a toxic environment.
This is why Gary Vaynerchuk’s video, Why you might need to fire your most talented employee, gave me pause. He explains the value of emotional intelligence and how continuity and lack of politics will make your company grow faster. If Gary’s three-minute video is not enough to convince you to choose wisely for your organization, read Jim Collins’ Good to Great.
In the latest episode of my podcast, Marketing RV with Ranalli & Volpe, we dig into this topic. Digital Architect Gene Volpe waves the caution flag, noting potential liability with my plan to liberally anoint organizational ambassadors. The key is avoiding social media and other networking pitfalls that could land you in court.
In the end, Gene and I agree that all things considered—industry, type of organization, product, mission—with solid policies and sound training in place, employees should be encouraged to function as brand ambassadors.
How do you leverage your employees for marketing purposes?