Brand Ambassadors, whether paid or unpaid, have a critical role that’s often overlooked and sometimes regarded as a line item first to cut, budget time.

The truth is, the best Brand Ambassadors mirror your voice and attitude in the marketplace. They take a company’s concept, stats and goals and create, then deliver, a message that feels authentic. Their job is to connect with your target audience and influence them in a positive way.

Busy managers and executives with aggressive goals sometimes forget that the Brand Ambassadors who carry your flag are people too.  Unconsciously, they can change their marketing tone if you forget to treat them as part of your team, barely pay attention or put inexperienced managers — who don’t understand group dynamics or the value of outsourced staff — as first command.

Brand Ambassadors who showcase your products and services are valued allies in your PR and marketing efforts.  Maximize their output and high energy when you work together.

Here are 3 Ways to Motivate Your Brand Ambassadors   

  1. Acknowledge that a Brand Ambassador has an important role, just as important as a sales or marketing team member.  They’ll wear your brand, give a face to your company and hopefully convey heart and soul as well.  Show them the respect that they deserve as they interact with your prospects, clients and colleagues.  There’s an incredible upside to being valued as part of a team.
  2. Appreciate Brand Ambassadors as front line reps and show them love, even if it’s in small ways; invite them to company meetings, trainings and give them VIP access and parking if available when they’re working a high profile event. If tickets are plentiful at a certain venue, consider offering them as a thank you. Often, complimentary tickets get discarded, and it’s heartbreaking for some to see the waste. As in life, the gesture of sharing goes a long way and generosity is seldom forgotten.
  3. Allow Brand Ambassadors the flexibility to deliver your message, in their voice.  Every Brand Ambassador, like every person, has their own unique style, tone and timing  —  and the ways that people listen can be as varied. Be open to different communication styles to reach a wide and multi-cultural marketplace and honor their freedom to express themselves within the guidelines of the brand. With the high-tech world that we live in, there’s never been a better time to reach out and touch someone.

Brand Ambassadors touch one person at a time in ways that social media can’t.

Make every touch point count, from the top down.

Like this article?

Check out others I’ve written about promotions —  3 Key Traits of an Elite Brand Ambassador; The Power of PRiorities, PRofit and PRomotion3 Promotion Secrets of the Rich and Famous

I’ll be the first to agree that event planning is a tough job.

Social media and online marketing can really push your event in front of your target audience, but there’s an enormous marketing opportunity that’s missing.

The number one mistake is that event organizers and speakers stop talking as soon as the event is over!

How’s that a mistake you ask?

It’s all in the follow up.

Thinking back about several recent events, I know it’s overwhelming to stay focused on what you did ‘last week’. Whether you’re a speaker like I am, or an attendee, following up and continuing the conversation is important to building relationships and opening doors of opportunity.

Let’s talk about the ‘why’ first.

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But you’ll learn more…

Steve Randazzo, on Spin Sucks, talks about different ways to keep the conversation going – after the event, if you’re the event organizer. You can read that here; ‘The Most Important Post-Event Engagement Tool’.

He says it’s easy to get so caught up in the pre-event social component that most of us forget about riding the social media train into the future.

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He suggests a best practice of continuing to use social media long after the event to increase engagement with customers and maximize ROI.

Here’s one more resource I’d like to share with you, ‘The Most Critical 50% of Event Marketing: 4 Tips to Maximize Event Impact’.

[ctt title=”Besides a detailed outline of all your marketing activities, pre-show promotion and your on-site presence should make up only about 50% of your event strategy. The other 50%, which is often overlooked and most critical, should be in the post-show follow up.” tweet=”Besides a detailed outline of all your marketing activities, pre-show promotion and your on-site presence should make up only about 50% of your event strategy. The other 50%, which is often overlooked and most critical, should be in the post-show follow up.” coverup=”eD7kh”]

If you’ve neglected this post event follow up, now’s your chance to plan for your next event.

Make sure you add all of these suggestions to your to-do list and I’m sure you’ll see a huge return on investment on time spend strategizing beforehand.

 

Want to know more about events?  Check out these other articles I’ve written; How to Work a Room without Being There8 Great Way to Promote an Event and Grow Your Business and 5 Ways Businesses Can Use Promotional Products to Boost Profits

You know what happens when news becomes NEWS. People talk about it. Then they share. “Watch this” they quickly post and soon, everyone has an opinion. It’s pretty powerful when news goes viral or when a news story gets picked up – almost as if it takes a life of its own. Web traffic spikes and someone, somewhere is getting their 15 minutes of fame.

Big and little brands would do just about anything for the opportunity to be in front of so many viewers/eyeballs/prospects. Who wouldn’t want traffic like that to their website? Not to inform of course, but to promote their products or services (aka sell).

So, what’s a business — small or large — to do?

Why, Newsjack!

I’m sure you’ve seen it and bet you have your own thoughts.  You either hate it or love it. Opinions are divided, and often it’s about the subject material.

Here’s a recent article on newsjacking that’s more positive than negative, which is a nice change from what I’ve been reading lately.

In How To Boost Your Content Creation Strategy With Newsjacking, author Amanda Webb of Agora Pulse describes one major benefit of newsjacking:

“Newsjacking is a gift to content marketers. Events and news can give us the trigger we need to create good interesting, on topic content.”

She goes on to list 10 examples of recent newsjacking that you’ll definitely want to check out.

Next up is ‘Newsjacking Gone Wrong’ by SpinSucks. It’s a ‘caution up ahead’ article by Gina Dietrich and provides links to newsjacking which in fact, has gone wrong. Gina quotes the ‘daddy of newsjacking’, Meerman Scott by going over his four rules.

Meerman Scott’s four simple rules (of newsjacking):

  1. Be dignified and statesmanlike.
  2. Be upbeat and positive, never mean or vindictive.
  3. Write articulate text in full sentences, without chatty slang, industry jargon, corporate gobbledgook or social media shorthand.
  4. Don’t get too cute or clever—especially where human suffering is involved.

Last but not least, here’s one more direct link to an article with three additional (not so well thought out) examples. 3 Newsjacking Fails That’ll Make You Facepalm

Use these to understand what went wrong and why audiences became so upset. Use this to set your own standard and ‘rules’ for newsjacking if you decide to use this technique for content creation.

Just remember to be ‘tasteful, on time, different and relevant’.

Ever since I was a kid, I always liked to talk. I wasn’t necessarily a Chatty Cathy, but I loved the opportunity to share my thoughts and sit at the grownups table to listen and give my two cents.  My parents encouraged table talk and it seemed natural, so eventually I went to school for Public Communication.

Fast forward quite a few years, and I still like to talk.

Only now, it’s lead to speaking– on stage, at workshops and to small groups who have interest in promoting themselves or their businesses.  I’ve had several opportunities to speak recently and each time I’m grateful, humbled, excited, nervous and experience a range of emotions – including getting choked up when I’m speaking my truth!

In preparing a speech or talk, the lion’s share of the work is done beforehand– researching your audience, connecting with insiders and choosing your stories and words carefully – to elicit an emotion, inspire a call to action or teach, without preaching.

Inspiration can come from many places and sometimes my inspiration comes from TED talks. You may know their tagline as ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’.

Below I’ll do my part today and ‘spread’ these ideas on design, marketing and branding.  Let me know what you think!

What physics taught me about marketing.

Design is in the details!

The greatest TED talk ever sold.

One last mention. Did you know there’s a TED talk app? I downloaded it to my phone so whenever I have 10 minutes or an hour to wait somewhere — I can choose a talk that inspires me at the moment and listen.

I call that Inspiration on Demand.

As my clients have expanded into greater speaking roles, so have I, and it’s an exciting process to learn and share tips and processes to make a more dynamic presentation.

It’s a given that you have a message to deliver that’s powerful and targeted to your audience. But I’d like to make a few key suggestions to help you go from good to great – so you can deliver a talk that has impact.

These marketing tips can be used for a keynote speech, like the one I’m delivering for #GoBrandYourself week at Fresno State, but also in talks that aren’t designated to kick off an event or end a conference.

Speaking to a group can influence an audience to take action, up-level your branding and create a PR trail that you can’t get engaging one on one.

3 Keys to a Better Keynote (or speech):

  • Do you have a list of questions to ask the organizer or the person that’s hiring you? Get clear on  who your audience really is, what their challenges are and how you’ll share solutions. Questions can be as simple as, “who’s the greatest success story in the room,” or (yikes) “will someone try to undermine me (ie, is there a trouble maker in the room that I need to be aware of)?” There are about 30 questions on my pre-event questionnaire and knowing the answers to most of these in advance of your stage debut will help you – beyond words.  Trust me. Take the time to do your homework.
  • Have you asked if you’ll have your own dedicated A/V technician or are you running solo? From experience, don’t go solo if you have a choice! Ask who your A/V technician will be and an hour before your presentation meet him/her. Bring your presentation on your laptop or other device, plus have it on a flash drive as a safety factor. Also, consider tipping your A/V person $10 before you begin. Tipping doesn’t always work to ensure better service, but in my world it does.  I like to have someone in my corner who has my back (and mic) before I go on stage.  You?
  • If you’re mic’d/miked , be aware that your microphone is always on, until you shut it off. I’ve heard horror stories of toilets flushing and conversations which should have been private while someone was miked.  To ask — will you be using a hand held microphone which is a little more difficult if it’s a long speech, or a lavalier? Ladies, FYI, if you’re using a lavalier, make sure you’re comfortable with your under layers (or jacket off) while you’re getting ‘hooked up’.  No wink intended.

There are multiple platforms for you to share your message.  Speaking is just one avenue, compounded by social media and other targeted marketing.

What’s most important is that you share your brilliance, in any way you can.

Find your target audience, speak from your heart and rock it!

Here’s to your success,

Sometimes we can’t see the forest through the trees. We overlook the obvious and make things hard on ourselves. We reinvent the wheel. Fly across the country to make new business contacts. Why don’t we harvest the fruit in our own backyard?

This week’s Rainmaker is about making local connections.

Even if your business isn’t tied to your current location – which is awesome in its own right – there may be uncovered treasure in your local market to tap into. I’m referring to local scholars and professors, consultants, executives and business owners within an hour from where you live.

Connecting with these professionals may gain you access to an entirely new level of connections. So, how do you go about meeting these local treasures?

First, I recommend you join Meetup.com and find local networking groups and events. By using the search function, you can look up professional events and groups in your geographical area. By joining a specific group, you can also check out the online profiles of current members and even connect with them online before attending a live event. That way, you have a friend in waiting when you’re ready to explore!

Next, check out EventBrite.com and search for your location. You’ll find business events, workshops, large conferences as well as fun activities like local 5K running events. It’s a great tool to keep tabs on what’s going on in your neighborhood or other areas or communities that you’re interested in. Unlike Meetup, EventBrite lets you connect with event coordinators only, not other participants.

Two other great sources for local networking events and opportunities are local colleges and universities.  You can extend that as well to include your local Chamber of Commerce, professional organizations with business workshops and one of my favorites, listings in your city’s Business Journal – a goldmine of information, leads and opportunities.

Lastly, networking at Costco is a ‘secret weapon’ for those of us in-the-know. Many local Costcos offer a free, monthly networking opportunity in their warehouse with breakfast included. It’s a great place to meet other likeminded local small business owners – even if it’s just for a coffee.

What do you do with these connections? My #1 recommendation is to follow up on LinkedIn once you’ve met in person to continue the conversations online, or make a date for coffee.

A small coffee shop works best for me, with a choice of bold brew. You?

Dear New Year, Bring it On!

I’m always excited about possibility and my senses are keenly aware of the expansion that’s forthcoming in 2015.  Not just for me and my business, but for my friends and family, and fellowpreneurs I don’t even know yet.

Every year I like to look at highlights of my life in a visual timetable. I’ve borrowed this concept from one of my speech coaches because I’m nervous of forgetting important topics on stage.  We’re not presenting (except to ourselves) so I love this exercise to identify life events and business accomplishments.

Here’s a portion of my timeline for 2014 – want to draw one for yourself?

(Click to View Larger)

(Click to View Larger)

January – Lived in a ski house, seaside furnished apartment and Puerto Rico.

February – Worked from the slopes. Triple time on weekends.

March – Moved in to my farmhouse – I love it! A bittersweet time in my life.

April – Traveled to Prague and Budapest. Got pampered. Really fell in love.

May – Grateful for 3 new clients and writing projects.

June – Wonderful recruiting project.

July – Finished my first children’s book. Family time. Working at the island and Rye Beach.

August – Super busy with client work.

September – Woo Hoo!  The team is cranking! Speaking gigs, articles and panels.

October – Expo talk, trips to NY, birthday love, VIP days.

November – Hiring to fill positions – VIP days.

December – Big expansion plans  Great referrals Family time  Holiday surprises.

Late December – Booking new work, webinars and FUN for 2015!

Remember, you can add whatever events or accomplishments you like to your own timetable.  They can be words or images. Simple or complicated. Pictures or photos. If you create a digital version, it can have links or music or…

In reality, this is a visual map you’ve created for yourself, much like a PR or Promotions Business Building Map we create with clients (with your goals in mind)!

It’s no surprise that I love to schedule my life around my business and am blessed with a talented team to help me get there. I’ve never been a 9 to 5 er, but I can work like the dickens!

When you buy your new calendar, fill in your vacations first, even if it’s just an idea. Then plan your work around it. Writing your dreams on paper is the first step toward making it happen. Then, keep writing.  

Wishing You Happiness, Health and Prosperity in 2015.

PS –Thoughts really can turn into reality. And, it’s all possible. Share your big hopes for 2015 below.

It was my birthday yesterday, and what a beautiful day it was!  I was whisked away on a mystery trip, the weather was unseasonably warm and there was a day of surprises planned — including dinner on Federal Hill. Delightful all the way around!

When I travel and am in relaxation mode, I can’t help but notice – and perhaps you do too – marketing messages that are simple, clever and well placed… and sometimes surprising. (Can you tell I like surprises?)

Kudos to the Marriot Courtyard in downtown Providence for setting an outstanding example. I’ve traveled all over the country (and many parts of the world) and haven’t seen an elevator pitch like this (yet).  Unexpected marketing and PR that made me smile. A full door ad for ‘Game On’ which featured the hotel’s football events at the bar – not to be seen till the door closed. Now that’s an elevator pitch!

There’s a learning lessons here. Wasted space is a matter of opinion and any marketer can take advantage of this opportunity. One printing company I was particularly fond of had advertising on the roofs of their delivery vehicles, so clients in tall buildings could be reminded of their brand. Heinz Ketchup uses space on their labels for cause related marketing and to raise awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project. Pockets of space in the right place can have promotional value, but we have to be willing to go beyond what we first see as possibilities.

There are hundreds of examples of clever and functional promotional space opportunities that go unnoticed every day. Up next, branded tissues with ads for cough drops? Something to sneeze at?

YOUR TURN

What have you seen as clever places for advertising?

Are you using non-traditional branding opportunities that work for your niche service or product?

Do you feel invaded by ‘spot promotional advertising’ or enjoy the clever approach?

Love that we can express ourselves through creativity.  In my world there’s no such thing as crazy. Sometimes a variation of that works!

Wishing you the best, and thanks for all the Birthday love,

Robin

What an amazing week we’ve had with the Robin Samora PR team and Partner Promotions! It was an honor to be featured as a social media panelist at IBM sponsored Women’s Toolbox conference, participate at Mara Glazer’s BizCon 2014 event, be a right hand to CBS for their Price is Right TV auditions and represent the Xfinity brand at Harvest festivals and retail venues in New England.

Next up – getting ready to speak at the #BostonSmallBizExpo on October 2.

Now for the Rainmaking – PR, marketing and social media articles (and video):

First up, check out this fun YouTube video by Dutch Royal Airlines KLM.   This is plain and simple ‘brilliant social media, engagement and brand loyalty’! It’s quite adorable, too (and features a cute puppy, so if you love dogs like me – you’ll definitely want to watch and learn!)

Next, we found a Duct Tape Marketing weekly round up we wanted to share with you. Last week’s round up included three useful social media tools. We like ‘em. You’ll love ‘em! Check it out and see if you agree.

Last, but not least ‘17 Advanced Methods for Promoting Your New Piece of Content’ via Kiss Metrics. This is for you if you are ready to promote your content beyond posting to Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter. I read it more than twice, whoa baby!

I hope you enjoy these articles and other bits of information we’re collecting at Robin’s Rainmaker’s – the Web’s best PR, marketing and social media wisdom.

Have a great week and feel free to share below!

September always seems to bring a new energy to work, and if you’re like me, the pace has really picked up!

The Partner Promotions event team has been promoting the Xfinity brand at 125 events over the last three weeks, we’re gearing up for the IBM sponsored Women’s Tool Box Conference on 9/15,  Mara Glazer’s BizCon14 event in Silver Springs, MD 9/18 – 21, and my workshop and booth at the Small Business Expo in Boston on October 2. Sometimes, it’s fast and furious – and we run with it.

That said, what are you doing with your business over the next month?

Are you thinking about how to get press coverage for your business, product or service – and ways to  pitch the media and other JV partners?

Here are 5 Important Tips on How To Pitch so you won’t give up or go crazy thinking it’s too hard: 

  1. When pitching, make sure you have the right person you want to approach.  Do your homework and research.  Look at the magazine, newspaper or blog where you’d like to be featured and notice their style. How would ‘you’ fit in?
  2. You’ve heard it a million times, and I’ll tell you again. Make your pitch short.  One PR mentor told me to make my pitch 50 words.  Yikes – that’s hard, but putting information through the funnel gives your messaging clarity.
  3. Editors, journalists and reporters WANT to be pitched and are looking for a solution to a problem. Your pitch should include a way you can help their viewers/readers.  They’re looking for the HOW. That’s where you share – your story, best tips, ways to overcome, fix, increase, and help their AUDIENCE with their problem – on air, in an interview, on camera and so on.
  4. Don’t forget to tell your media contact who you are, why you’re the best candidate for the job, and a link to your website, plus contact information.  No attachments please!
  5. But, make sure above all, that you always KISS – Keep It Simple and Sensational!

Ditch the old pitch, and energize with the new!

YOUR TURN

Have you noticed a pattern with certain reporters in the way that they like to be pitched?

What’s your favorite success story from a pitch?

Have you pitched via Twitter or Facebook with great results?  Do tell!