Employee Advocacy In PR: Turning Your Team Into Brand Ambassadors
Employee advocacy in PR

Employee Advocacy In PR: Turning Your Team Into Brand Ambassadors

Are you wondering what employee advocacy is in PR? Do you want to learn how to turn your team into your brand ambassadors? Read this article to help grow your business.

In today’s fast-paced business world, public relations (PR) is always changing. While traditional PR methods are still important, new and creative ways are being used to make a brand look better and be more well-known. One of these newer ways is employee advocacy, which is a powerful and effective method of promoting your organization.

Turning your team into brand ambassadors has become very important recently. This means training your employees to be excited supporters of your brand, letting them represent your organization and share its message with more people.

This article talks about employee advocacy in PR. It explains what it is, why it’s important, the good things it brings, and how to get your team to be enthusiastic brand supporters. Let’s learn more about how employee advocacy can make your PR efforts better and strengthen your brand’s reputation in today’s competitive world.

What is employee advocacy?

Well, employee advocacy means getting your own employees to be like cheerleaders for your brand. Instead of people from outside, it’s the folks who work in your company. When employees start cheering for their company, they share what the company stands for, what it wants to achieve, and its messages with the people they know, both personally and through work.

Why is employee advocacy beneficial?

Before we talk about how to get employees to be big fans of the brand, let’s understand why it’s a good idea. Here are some really good reasons:

1. Authenticity and trust

2. Amplified reach

3. Enhanced credibility

4. Employee engagement

1. Authenticity and trust

Audiences today are skeptical of traditional advertising and corporate messaging. They crave authenticity and trust. When your own employees, who are perceived as genuine and unbiased, advocate for your brand, it builds trust with your audience.

2. Amplified reach

Your employees collectively have extensive networks on social media and in their professional circles. By turning them into brand advocates, you can tap into these networks and significantly expand your brand’s reach without the need for substantial advertising budgets.

3. Enhanced credibility

People tend to trust recommendations from individuals they know and respect. When your employees vouch for your brand, it enhances your credibility in the eyes of potential customers and partners.

4. Employee engagement

Encouraging employee advocacy fosters a sense of engagement and pride among your team members. It aligns them with the company’s mission and values, leading to higher job satisfaction and retention rates.

Now that we’ve established the importance of employee advocacy, let’s explore how to create a culture of advocacy within your organization.

How do we create a culture of employee advocacy?

Creating a culture of employee advocacy involves fostering an environment where team members are not only willing but enthusiastic about promoting your brand. Here are the steps to achieve this:

1. Lead by example

2. Establish a reward program to incentivize employees

3. Provide guidelines for social media advocacy

4. Make your employees part of your company vision

5. Solicit employees’ ideas, feedback, and suggestions

6. Make it easy for employees to be advocates

1. Lead by example

Show the way with your actions. When the leaders in your organization demonstrate the values and behaviors you want from your employees, like clear communication, getting them involved, and making decisions transparently, your employees are more likely to follow suit.

2. Establish a reward program to incentivize employees

Give credit where it’s due. Recognizing and rewarding your employees for their efforts is a great motivator. You can do this through praise, company-branded goodies, gift cards, or even extra paid time off. These incentives encourage employees to participate in advocacy programs actively.

3. Provide guidelines for social media advocacy

Social media is a big part of employee advocacy. Provide clear rules on how employees should represent your company online. Create a simple policy that tells them what’s allowed and what’s not. Give your employees the tools they need to share content effectively and responsibly.

4. Make your employees part of your company vision

Make your employees a part of your company’s vision and mission. When they feel a connection to your bigger goals, they’ll support your company more passionately. Regularly tell them why your company makes certain decisions and takes certain actions. This helps everyone understand the purpose behind what you do.

5. Solicit employees’ ideas, feedback, and suggestions

Get your employees involved by asking for their ideas, feedback, and suggestions. Make it easy for them to share their thoughts on how to improve your advocacy programs. When you collaborate with your employees, you’ll have better advocacy and more engaged and innovative employees.

6. Make it easy for employees to be advocates

Simplify the process for your employees. Give them user-friendly tools and resources to share content. You can create a central platform or use an employee advocacy tool. Write content and captions in advance, so your employees can easily personalize and share them. Make the process as easy as possible for them.

By following these steps, you can create a strong employee advocacy program that your employees will be excited to be a part of. It’s all about leading by example, giving rewards, setting clear guidelines, sharing your vision, listening to your employees, and making the advocacy process as simple as possible.

Creating organic ambassadors in your team through employee advocacy

Consider implementing employee advocacy programs to transform your employees into passionate brand ambassadors. These programs provide a structured framework for advocacy efforts. Here are the key components of such programs:

1. Content-Sharing hub

2. Training and education

3. Measurement and tracking

1. Content-Sharing hub

Create a centralized hub where employees can access pre-approved content, such as blog posts, articles, videos, and infographics. This hub simplifies the content-sharing process and ensures that employees have access to the latest and most relevant materials.

2. Training and education

Offer training sessions and resources to educate employees about the benefits of advocacy and how to effectively engage in it. This training should cover social media best practices, content-sharing guidelines, and tips for building a personal brand online.

3. Measurement and tracking

Implement tools to measure and track the impact of employee advocacy efforts. Monitor metrics such as employee participation, content sharing frequency, engagement on shared content, website traffic generated, and leads generated through advocacy. Use these insights to refine your advocacy strategy continually.

How can you create passionate brand ambassadors among your employees?

Creating passionate brand ambassadors requires a multifaceted approach. Here are additional strategies to ensure your employees embrace their roles as advocates wholeheartedly:

1. Encourage thought leadership

2. Recognize and celebrate advocates

3. Promote diversity of voices

4. Provide feedback and improvement opportunities.

5. Stay updated and adaptive

1. Encourage thought leadership

Empower employees to showcase their expertise and thought leadership in their respective fields. Encourage them to publish articles, give presentations, or participate in industry events. When employees establish themselves as experts, their advocacy efforts become more compelling.

2. Recognize and celebrate advocates

Acknowledge and celebrate employees who excel in advocacy. Highlight their achievements in team meetings, newsletters, or internal communications. By publicly recognizing their contributions, you reinforce the value of advocacy within your organization.

3. Promote diversity of voices

Encourage employees from diverse backgrounds and departments to participate in advocacy. This diversity of voices brings a broader perspective to your brand’s representation and resonates with a wider range of audiences.

4. Provide feedback and improvement opportunities

Regularly provide feedback to employees on their advocacy efforts. Offer constructive criticism and guidance for improvement. Create an open feedback loop where employees can share their experiences and suggest improvements to the advocacy program.

5. Stay updated and adaptive

The digital landscape is constantly evolving. Stay updated on emerging trends, platforms, and best practices in employee advocacy and PR. Be prepared to adapt your strategies to remain relevant and effective in a changing environment.

Employee advocacy examples

To better understand the power of employee advocacy, let’s explore some real-world examples of organizations that have successfully turned their teams into passionate brand ambassadors:

1. IBM’s #NewWaytoWork campaign

2. Starbucks partner cup contest

3. Dell’s social media command center

1. IBM’s #NewWaytoWork campaign

IBM launched the #NewWaytoWork campaign, encouraging its employees to share their thoughts on the future of work and technology. The campaign leveraged employees’ expertise and positioned them as thought leaders in the industry, resulting in increased brand visibility and engagement.

2. Starbucks partner cup contest

Starbucks engaged its employees through the Partner Cup Contest, where partners (employees) were encouraged to submit creative content showcasing their Starbucks experience. The winning entries were featured on Starbucks’ social media channels, celebrating the passion of its employees and strengthening the brand’s connection with its audience.

3. Dell’s social media command center

Dell established a Social Media Command Center, where employees monitored social media conversations about the company and engaged in real-time. This initiative not only improved customer service but also showcased the dedication of Dell’s team members in addressing customer concerns promptly.

FAQs

Is employee advocacy good for all kinds of businesses, big or small, in any field?

Yes, employee advocacy can help any type of company, no matter its size or what it does. While the way you do it might change, the idea of letting your employees promote your brand is useful for everyone.

How do I deal with employees who don’t want to join in and speak up for our company?

You can help reluctant employees by talking to them and teaching them about the benefits of speaking up. Create a friendly environment where they feel safe to take part at their own speed.

What’s the right mix of personal and work-related stuff when employees speak up for our company?

Aim for a balance that fits with your company’s culture. Encourage employees to share work stuff from your industry and personal stuff that shows who they are, as long as it’s professional.

Do I need to think about legal rules and follow the law when starting an employee advocacy program?

Yes, it’s important to follow the law. Make sure employees know about the rules and laws that apply, especially if you’re in a heavily regulated field like healthcare or finance. Talk to legal experts if you’re not sure.

How can I know if employees talking about our company is helping our reputation?

You can check how people feel about your brand by analyzing what they say, reading feedback from customers, and doing surveys. Watch how speaking up affects how customers see and trust your brand.

Can teams that work from different places still take part in employee advocacy programs?

Yes, even if teams are far apart, they can join in. Use online tools to help them talk, share things, and be part of it, no matter where they are.

What problems might come up when starting an employee advocacy program?

Some challenges could be employees not wanting to join, making sure people stay interested, following the rules, and seeing if the program is worth the cost. Finding and fixing these problems is important for success.

How do I keep people excited about our employee advocacy program for a long time?

Keep telling everyone why speaking up is important, celebrate when things go well, and change the program based on what employees say. Make sure it stays interesting and useful to keep up the excitement.

Can employee advocacy fit in with other ways we do marketing and public relations?

Yes, employee advocacy should go along with your other marketing and PR plans. Make sure they all match, so the messages are the same and your advocacy can help your bigger campaigns.

How important is it to teach employees about a successful advocacy program?

Training is very important. It helps employees know what to do and why it’s important to speak up. They need to understand the program’s goals, rules, and best ways to do things.

What should I do if employees say bad things about our company on social media?

Encourage open talk and guide them on how to handle negative comments professionally. Have a plan for more serious issues, and make sure employees know how to tell you about their concerns.

Is it a good idea to set up a formal team or group for employee advocacy?

A formal group can be helpful, especially in bigger companies. It can oversee the program, give support, and make sure it’s done the same way everywhere.

Are there certain businesses or industries where employee advocacy works really well?

Employee advocacy can work in many fields, but it can be extra strong in areas where personal relationships and trust are important, like business services, healthcare, and finance.

Can employee advocacy programs make employees more likely to stay with the company?

Yes, if you create a culture where employees like to speak up for your company, it can make them happier and more likely to stay. When they feel valued and share your company’s mission, they’re more likely to stick around.

How can I change my employee advocacy program to fit new social media and trends?

Keep an eye on new social media and trends. Update your training and resources regularly so employees can use new platforms and follow the latest trends effectively.

Conclusion

Encouraging your employees to be strong supporters of your brand is a smart move in public relations. By creating a culture where your team loves and talks positively about your brand, and by giving them clear guidelines and rewards, you can make them true representatives of your company. This boosts your brand’s credibility and how many people get to know about it, and it makes your employees happier too.

As you start on this journey to make brand champions within your company, keep in mind that it’s a long-term plan. It needs constant communication, tracking, and adjusting. But when done well, it builds more trust and respect for your brand, giving you an edge in the competitive PR world.

Nabeel Ahmad

Nabeel Ahmad

Nabeel Ahmad is the Founder / CEO of Mogul Press. On this blog, he shares valuable insights regarding PR and marketing.