Making the Most of Your Ambassadors
16 June 2010 at 1:16 pm
Jean Kittson with the 11th Hour Ambassadors for the Australia Day Media Launch
Recruiting ambassadors is never an easy task. However, once you have them, how do you maximise their support and build a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship? Insight Communications delivers its Top 10 Tips To Maximise Your Ambassadors.
A ppreciation – Becoming an ambassador is a significant commitment and should be respected as a two-way partnership with appropriate acknowledgment at regular intervals. Be careful not to abuse or overuse their support.
M anagement – Ambassadors are busy people who give their time and their public image to support your cause, connecting you to your target audience. Be understanding of their many commitments and manage their duties and interaction with you, the community and the media efficiently and effectively.
B riefing – As with any spokesperson, an ambassador requires thorough briefing notes to ensure they can confidently and accurately represent your organisation and successfully drive your message in the community.
A nalysis – Demonstrate the effectiveness of your ambassadors’ support and your mutually beneficial relationship by providing them with analysed reports of their activities including media releases, clippings and photographs. They’ll appreciate it!
S elective – Be discerning in your choice. An ambassador should not have been recently over-exposed in the media. They should be appropriate to your cause bringing enthusiasm, credibility and positive publicity opportunities to your organisation.
S trategic – Ambassadors are volunteers with limited time to give. Make the best use of their time and effort to maximise benefits by being strategic. Don’t bombard them with unnecessary information or multiple invitations, but select activities that can offer maximum awareness opportunities for both parties.
A pproval – Common courtesy goes a long way in any relationship but for an ambassador, it’s essential. Never publish a quote or distribute a photograph unless it has the approval of the ambassador or their representative (agent or publicist).
D iligence – Be conscientious in your communication. Keep ambassadors informed to maintain their personal connection with your organisation, without over-doing it.
O pportunity – An ambassador can provide you with multiple media and awareness opportunities. Be prepared. Ensure you have professional, high quality, pre-approved photographs for use in your collateral and for distribution to media as opportunities arise.
R espect & Recognition – The most common mistake organisations make is in failing to thank ambassadors appropriately. Remember, they aren’t obliged to help you so be sure to publicly and privately acknowledge their contribution and above all, say thank you in a thoughtful and timely manner. A personal note from the CEO or chairperson will go a long way toward maintaining a rewarding relationship!
Insight says the most effective way to leverage ambassadorships is through a strategically targeted media campaign designed to initiate widespread community awareness of your cause.
Insight’s recent national 11th Hour Campaign for Ovarian Cancer Australia (OCA) featured ambassador Jean Kittson as the face and voice of the campaign in community service announcements (radio and television), and in multiple national media interviews including the Today Show and The Circle.
Kittson was an outstanding ambassador and crucial to the over-all success of the campaign in inspiring donations, teal ribbon sales and importantly, in raising awareness of the need for women to ‘Learn the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Don’t leave it till the 11th Hour!’
However, Insight says not all effective ambassadors need to be celebrities. When Insight launched Ms Kittson as the face of the campaign with a national health announcement on Australia Day at a media call held in Sydney, they teamed her with eleven Australian women of various ages, cultures and professions to create the 11th Hour Ambassadors.
Together, Jean Kittson and the 11th Hour Ambassadors provided multiple media opportunities enabling them to reach millions of people across a broad spectrum of cultures and communities with OCA’s key messages, multiple times.
These ambassadors contributed greatly to the campaign’s overall success, helping to increase media coverage by more than 2654% (637 media and 233 online pieces), website traffic by from 8,476 in 2009 to 31,084 in 2010, phone enquiries by 1567%, teal ribbon sales by 26%, donations by 114% and most importantly, Insight says they significantly increased awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer among Australian women of all ages and all ethnicities.
To learn more about managing ambassadors and media campaigns, visit Insight’s website for case studies on this and other successful campaigns. Insight also runs unique training seminars to help CEOs learn more about maximising all elements of communication including creating and managing ambassadorships and media campaigns. Classes are small and places are limited. To register your interest, contact Insight: firstname.lastname@example.org
Clare Collins MPRIA MFIA
Phone: 02 9319 3844