I admit it. I was seduced by this promotion. One of my favorite restaurants in Cambridge, Bergamot, partnered with Ford Motor Company for #EdgeNightOut.

Here’s the skinny on the promotion:

The offer was sent to Bergamot’s list and you (or all of your friends) had to act fast.  The ask was to take a spin around the block in the Ford Edge. The reward was a complimentary three course meal and beverage for you and a guest at Foodie Favorite, Bergamot.

You didn’t have to protect yourself with promotional armor. The Brand Ambassadors wore handsome jackets, shirt and ties and were GQish. This was a classic example of local event marketing gone right with the hopes of reaching an upscale crowd.

Ford targeted Bergamot, a chic urban restaurant near Inman Square and gave it a Hollywood feel. Stanchions for guests waiting in line. Spotlights to attract attention. A logo’d backdrop like at the Grammy’s®.  Plus, you were treated like royalty.

Ford bought Bergamot for the night and made their patrons very happy.

Drinks and dinner were – ummm,  yummamazing.

What great inspiration for a promotional partnership! It showed how responsive and loyal a list can be when presented with a coveted and limited availability opportunity, and for Ford, a steady stream of willing drivers to check out a pretty cool SUV, possibly unenchanted with the brand of the past.

So there you have it. Food, Ford and Fun.

What are you cookin’ up for your next promotion?

One of my colleagues has some food trucks that are awesome…

 

PR, Promotions and Publicity aren’t a one size fit all strategy to get you noticed.  And, that’s a good thing.  Variety is the spice of life! In creating a PR roadmap, you want to customize the outreach experience and connect the dots from where a client is now – to where they want to go to be seen, heard and remembered. So the road less traveled is not the journey of choice!

For a handful of our Fortune 500 corporate clients, Partner Promotions is the go-to source for Brand Ambassador work in Boston. Companies like Comcast and CBS hire our marketing teams to promote their brands and actively engage with prospects and customers — to showcase new services, demonstrate products and turn loyal followers into raving fans.

After 15 years of hiring Brand Ambassadors, I’ve concluded that for me, hiring is primarily intuition based. Is the Brand Ambassador believable or not? Do I trust him/her? Would I give them the keys to my car? Eye contact is important too, or lack thereof, and I can’t discount appearance.  If my gut tells me to move forward, I almost always do, followed by a reference check (gut usually wins).

So, how does an eager and responsible college student or professional of any age — who wants to make extra cash get into the Brand Ambassador business?

Here’s An Insider’s Look – How to Get a Brand Ambassador Job at Any Age  

  1. Google Brand Ambassador companies in your area and check Facebook Groups or Craig’s List for event/gig postings; Better yet, make a connection with other Brand Ambassadors and get WOM (word of mouth) referrals.  They’re worth their weight in gold.
  2. Apply online with a headshot and resume. If you don’t have a headshot, use an attractive and recent photo of yourself — with no arms or plants sticking out of your head. Please don’t be half naked unless you’re looking for a swimsuit model job. No experience? Highlight your sales, marketing and customer service skills.
  3. Score an interview by writing a clear, concise and friendly email. Use proper English and provide contact information. This is not the time to be lazy or sloppy in your writing or coy in your contact details. Impressions count to those reading your email and hundreds of others. Trust me. Delete is an easy key to reach.
  4. Meet in person ASAP.  Be early, well dressed and groomed. Bonus points for confirming your appointment by email and text. Remember to mention a personal referral if you have one and highlight that connection. You really could earn thousands of dollars from this one meeting.  Make it count!
  5. You are unique so accentuate the positive. Have an awesome smile? Flaunt it! But, you’re not on stage giving a one person show. Be mindful that if you’re hired, you’re representing not only the client who considers you a reflection of their brand — but the Brand Ambassador company too. It’s OK to stand out, but not like a sore thumb.
  6. Highlight your experience and own it. Why would a company want to pay you double minimum wage or more?  Not sure? Make a list. You’re outgoing, friendly, worked in sales and marketing, love people, sold credit card upgrades – plus you’re flexible. State the facts, show your resume, hold eye contact and be genuine. You can be sincere and still own your power.
  7. Don’t force a square peg in a round hole.  If there’s not a connection with the hiring manager or if you don’t like the brand, let it go. There are better opportunities out there. Follow your gut to see if the fit is right. If integrity is one of your core values, honor it. You’ll be a lousy Brand Ambassador if you’re not all in.
  8. When you’re hired, give thanks. Thank your hiring manager with an email. Read the study guides or marketing materials more than once. Follow directions. Check in frequently to show you’re interested, but not needy. Get more experience, rinse and repeat.
  9. Build a referral network so you can take a team with you. Want to make life easier for a hiring manager? Bring an established team with you to your next assignment. You’ll save your boss time and aggravation, plus be a shining star. There’s also negotiating power here as a manager, which is paid at a higher rate.
  10. Keep business business and personal personal. Don’t overlap the two. News travels fast and not always to the right places.

Side note: My kids, their friends, friends of friends, strangers and people from every walk of life have helped with the many clients and Brand Ambassador positions we’ve had over the last 20 years and counting. PR, Promotions and marketing isn’t just for entrepreneurs and small business owners – it’s for anyone with a message to share.

Share a message in your voice. That’s what makes it authentic.

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

It’s 83 degrees where I am now in Rincon, Puerto Rico, mecca to surfers from near and far. I’m probably one of the worst surfers I know, but I enjoy the camaraderie of friends, working beach side, watermelon mojitos and fresh tuna pinchos. Life is as good as you allow it!

Traveling the world is something that’s important to me, as is growing my business and staying connected to my team, sales force and clients. Traveling the world also gives me an opportunity to meet new and interesting people who may one day be clients.

Case in point:

There’s a multi-million dollar piece of property that’s breathtaking here with a small raised look out built particularly to showcase the view. Smart Marketing 501.  My friend and I stopped to admire it, took down the contact information and talked with the owner’s son. He invited us to drinks, sunsets and a chorizo and churrasco steak BBQ on the deck that only added to the experience of ‘living the dream at the property’. Smart Marketing 601.

At one of the gatherings I met a rep from a Sun Tan Lotion company who happened to also sponsor a major Surf competition recently.  We talked about his set up on the beach, sampling, brand ambassadors and Partner Promotions — how we’ve been showcasing products and services for the past 15 years.

Got his number.
Got his Text.
Got his email.
Got a Prospect.

Next time you’re on vacation (or not) follow your dream and see where it takes you.

You might be surprised.

Writing from the road in sunny Puerto Rico,

As you may know, Brand Ambassadors are coveted and rare professionals who effectively communicate the essence of their company’s unique story, and personify its core values in what they do, what they say, how they act, and even how they think.

What’s more, Brand Ambassadors are extremely valuable “assets” who measurably increase the bottom line, and deliver an ROI that often out-performs advertising, sponsorships and other initiatives. Plus, they help their company retain its top performers, and attract new talent.

Ultimately, Brand Ambassadors are an invaluable part of any company success story, because they’re the “real deal” who get up close and personal with vendors, partners, customers, colleagues – heck, even strangers sitting next to them on a flight or seated next to them at a conference.

However, what you may not know is how to transform yourself into an ELITE Brand Ambassador, which is when you achieve all of the above and, at the same time, boost your income and status big-time, and inspire others to achieve new levels of excellence. Fortunately, the path and process is easier than you imagine when you keep these 3 keys in mind:

1. Be on a “Mission” at All Times

It all starts with knowing how to weave your company’s mission into your communication with a wide variety of audiences, including vendors, partners, customers, colleagues — heck, even strangers sitting next to you on a flight or seated next to you at a conference. Though you may not have noticed before, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the huge number of “touchpoint” opportunities that are available to you every day.

2. Go Ahead and Brag!

As noted above, grasping the essence of your company’s mission and making it a part of your messaging is one piece of the puzzle. Another key piece is articulating how your company is moving towards that mission. What exciting projects, plans, developments and changes are in the works, or are on the horizon? By conveying these “good news stories”, you’ll add depth to your brand and give it some invaluable substance, as you highlight not just WHERE your company is going, but how you and your talented colleagues are going to get there.

3. Look Within

No, this isn’t about the spiritual side of being a Brand Ambassador. Rather, it’s about how you can use your Brand Ambassador knowledge and talents to motivate your colleagues – especially if, like most corporate work environments, things can get a bit hectic and stressful at times. You can be the refreshing and, in some cases, vital spark that uplifts, energizes and inspires individuals and teams to new heights.

The Bottom Line

As an ELITE Brand Ambassador, you aren’t your company’s “mouthpiece” – i.e. someone who robotically recites a slogan or reads a script. On the contrary, you’re the heart and soul of your company! So ensure that you really feel the authenticity, energy and passion of what you’re saying or writing. You’ll be amazed by how quickly you increase company revenues and profits, while you boost your income, status and professional satisfaction – and inspire others to follow your lead.

3 WAYS TO LOVE YOURAs you may know, Brand Ambassadors are coveted and rare professionals who effectively communicate the essence of their company’s unique story, and personify its core values in what they do, what they say, how they act, and even how they think.

What’s more, Brand Ambassadors are extremely valuable “assets” who measurably increase the bottom line, and deliver an ROI that often out-performs advertising, sponsorships and other initiatives. Plus, they help their company retain its top performers, and attract new talent.

Ultimately, Brand Ambassadors are an invaluable part of any company success story, because they’re the “real deal” who get up close and personal with vendors, partners, customers, colleagues – heck, even strangers sitting next to them on a flight or seated next to them at a conference.  They can be outsourced to join an existing team, or developed through in-house training to build even better relationships and connections with the outside world.

What you may not know is how to thank Brand Ambassadors – even love them – for all that they do.

Here’s a list of 3 Ways to Love Your Brand Ambassadors:

1)      Acknowledge that a Brand Ambassador has an important role, just as important as a sales or marketing team member.  A trained Brand Ambassador will not only wear your brand, but 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 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 their job.  With the high-tech world that we live in, there’s never been a better time to reach out and touch someone.

YOUR TURN

What are the three most noticeable traits of a great Brand Ambassador?

If you were to outsource Brand Ambassadors for your company, what would you look for?

From body language alone, could you tell an employee from a Brand Ambassador in a mixed setting, on location? What would be the tell-tale signs (if any)?

Boston-based PR Firm Robin Samora Inc’s Hispanic Brand Ambassadors will be engaging consumers and communities across Boston and New Hampshire this summer on behalf of its long-time client, Comcast

 

On behalf of its long-term client Comcast, Robin Samora Inc., a Boston-based communication, branding and PR firm, will be sending its trained team of Hispanic Brand Ambassadors out to engage consumers at several Boston and New Hampshire-area ethnic festivals this summer.

Robin Samora Inc.’s Hispanic Brand Ambassadors are multi-lingual and specially trained to appreciate the unique cultural expectations, preferences and nuances that characterize the dynamic and vibrant Hispanic community.

“In my industry, we use all kinds of fancy jargon to explain what we mean by communication in a strategic public relations context, but at its core and in its simplest terms, it’s essentially about creating a favorable connection,” commented Samora, who works with some of the nation’s top brands and blogs frequently about the do’s and don’ts of public relations. “And the only way to make that connection happen through genuine engagement. That’s why our Hispanic Brand Ambassadors are so valuable to the clients we serve, such as Comcast. Our team isn’t just made up of product and public relations experts. They have their finger on the cultural pulse of the Hispanic community, and can establish a level of trusted engagement that truly makes communication happen.”

Robin Samora Inc.’s Hispanic Brand Ambassadors are scheduled to attend the following events this summer on behalf of Comcast:

• Semana Hispana in Lawrence, MA: June 23, 2013
• Colombian Festival in East Boston, MA: July 14,2013
• Puerto Rican Festival in Boston, MA: July 28, 2013
• Dominican Festival in Boston, MA: August 2013
• Xfinity Latino Family Festival in Boston, MA: August 2013
• El Planeta Health & Fitness in Boston MA: September 2013

In addition, the team will be attending Caliente in Boston, MA. and Latinos Unidos, in Manchester, NH, on dates to be determined shortly.

Added Samora: “Ethnic marketing at festivals and other culturally important events is vital for companies that want to reach out and impress communities and consumers. Our Hispanic Brand Ambassadors are the bridge that makes the connection between our clients and their marketplace possible.”

For more information or media inquiries, contact Robin Samora at (617) 921-3448 or Robin(at)RobinSamoraInc(dot)com.

About Robin Samora Inc.

Telling a story is personal. Sharing it is an art. Technology makes it global. Robin Samora Inc., a Boston-based PR, branding and promotions firm blends all three to take its clients’ businesses and brands to the next level. With clients like Comcast, WBZ-TV and Blue Man Group, and a roster of authors, entrepreneurs and experts nationwide, the firm prides itself on being a “Promotional GPS” that takes its clients’ brands where they want to go to be seen, heard, engaged and remembered. With over two decades of experience, the firm is as comfortable on major media highways as it is on out-of-the-way niche back roads.

We never know where the day will lead us, or the leads that will take us down the path of meeting new people and creating opportunities that may impact our lives, and our business.

As a member of ProfNet, a PR Newswire service, I get press leads that I respond to by reporters nationwide.  I respond to these leads for my two businesses, www.PartnerPromotionsInc.com and www.LetsMakeYouShine.com.  Both promote visibility in the marketplace; the first for Fortune 500 companies that want a big bold presence with Brand Ambassadors and Brand Educators, and the latter for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to get noticed, with traditional and non-traditional PR and promotions strategies.

One (of many) WWW Surprise(s) came when I found a hot lead for an Etiquette Expert and was unable to retrieve my database. I asked my best business buddy, Google for some help, and reached out on the great WWW to share an opportunity.  What would Google show me?

The answer was clear. Jodi Smith, from www.Mannersmith.com showed up with high rankings, and we corresponded by email over the course of a few months. As life would have it, she also lived in the same seaside town I would eventually move to.  When we met for coffee, I was not only blown away by her accomplishments and expert status, but we also shared a sense of entrepreneurial comradery.

As a fellowpreneur and great marketer, Jodi gave me a list of people who I should meet. She made a virtual introduction to the Director of PR and Communications at Salem State University, and shortly thereafter we met for breakfast.   That in turn lead me to new connections of interns and social media assistants, as well as an upcoming visit to the Enterprise Center, an incubator for new businesses that are growing stronger every day.

Taking a risk, making a phone call, breaking patterns, and just having conversations – it’s all about connections that may lead to surprises – in person, on the web, at networking events, on the street, or at an upcoming holiday party you may be attending.

Oh, there are great surprises out there. I’ve always loved the power of possibility.

How ‘bout you?

Behind every great man there’s a great woman.

Behind every great woman there’s a great man.

And behind every entrepreneur, there’s a great team – of even greater men and women who support the dream, work on the front lines and phone, out in the field and in the office — to keep the company going, the brand strong, and all the moving pieces and people in place, to run a business.

Such is the case with my team.

I’d like to thank all of my event managers and staff, retail brand ambassadors, assistants who live in different states and time zones, accountants and bookkeepers, writers, editors, designers, mentors, colleagues, PR support, IT help, photographers, and friends and family on my team and in my circle — who are there when it counts to not only grow the business, but my vision of what ‘getting out there in the marketplace’ really means, on a bigger scale, to make a difference.

Behind every entrepreneur, there’s also a client base of people and companies who believe in you, and give you their trust and permission to support them in their best light.

For both I am thankful, as together, we celebrate 10 years in business this October.

That’s something that takes more than just any team.

It takes my team and a roster of clients that make business fun, lasting and worthwhile.

Thank you for your friendship, support and business. It means the world to me.

I’m in the middle of planning a promotional campaign for my events company, Partner Promotions, and am always open to new ideas that are presented to me. Sometimes I find them (or they find me) in the least expected places. One such moment came on Saturday, as I was perusing the colorful fruit aisles at BJ’s.

Relaxed, and in my own world, I couldn’t help but notice the lush display of pineapples, which happened to be my Dad’s favorite fruit. Quickly, I was taken back to my younger years, watching my Dad carve the fruit into shapes that delighted me. The sweetness of the fruit and his artful presentation always brought me joy.

As my subconscious mind remembered the past, my conscious mind clicked into gear and remembered the pineapple as the international symbol of hospitality. At $1.99 each, my mind raced. The pineapple could not only be a unique promotional piece, but a sweet deal as well!

These lovely pineapples (with a fun and targeted companion printed piece) will most likely be my kick off promotional piece sent to PR agencies, Ad agencies or major companies that need “hospitality” at events. Golf tournaments, sports events, grand openings, trade shows, business expos or community initiatives. Let’s face it, hospitality is working with people. Putting your best foot forward with Brand Ambassadors who are meeters and greeters, spread goodwill, and welcome friends and prospects alike, who may one day be fans or buying customers.

Thinking out of the box and being authentic with your own message works.

That is, if you work it.

Your message to the core of who you are.

How sweet is that?