Who's the best spokesman, the businessman or his people?

When we talk about an organization's best spokesperson, we tend to get confused. We think the best spokesman is the person holding that position. It's not like that.. All professionals in an organization, from its top leader to the intern, are spokespersons for it.

The digital humanist Joan Clotet usually recounts an anecdote in the personal brand formations we share. He had to take up the position of his boss in a round table made up of various professionals from various companies. I had hardly 25 Years. A journalist addressed him with the question what does Arthur Andersen think of…?

The anecdote reflects the importance and responsibility of working for an organization, regardless of how long you're in or in office. We're all brand ambassadors.

I agree, but who's the best spokesman, the employer or his or her people?

My answer is: if it's done right, All. As Edelman, we believe less in managers. But it's not because they offer less confidence, but some tend to be more opaque, more reluctant to tell what really happens in their organizations. They usually go defensively, and often play or manipulate data that is in the public domain. That's where that unjustly earned fame comes from., because what few do can't be attributed to all.

It makes sense to think that lower and intermediate profiles offer more confidence because you don't have to cheat, nor exaggerate. Technical and academic profiles offer a lot of reliability, it's logical to think that an engineer knows more about a car than the president of the company.

However, that potential for spokesmaning of intermediate commands or technical profiles is the great forgotten. A Missed Opportunity?

Why don't you want to give voice to your key people?

A few years ago I wrote an article in Soymimarca entitled doesn't your company give voice to key people?. At that moment (2011) few companies were aware of the importance of projecting their people. The main motives were two powerful enemies: ignorance and fear.

Ignorance

Unaware that, On the other hand, it was understandable. In 2011 very few companies had an internal social network. Many had access to social media “Castrated”. I must say that this fact has not been excessively improved: As Eurofirms, still today a 60% limits access to social media to their employees. That is ignorance of the potential of its people to act as human and credible reinforcement of the spokesperson of their brands.

access employees RRSS
X-ray of Employee Branding in Spain. 2017. Eurofirms

In addition, there was little literature of employee advocacy, employer branding, and the penetration of company social networks was still scarce.

Fear

Fear of breaking the status quo, to be different, to promote its people with the danger of being caught by the competition. But it's said out there that there's something worse than training your people and that they leave., and it's not to form it and keep it. I was advancing in 2011 What a strong and positive image of an individual, by charisma, benefits the image and the company and trust in its brands.

The keys: mindset training

The solution to all this comes in two phases: mentalization and implementation of training programmes. And always in this order, and starting with the managers and then moving it to the rest of the organization.

I usually do sessions mindset with managers, it doesn't take more than two hours. Through a tour of the fall in efficiency of traditional media, the benefits and ROI of the programs are projected Employee Advocacy in the company and raise the characteristics and route of them.

The next step is training, whose programs range from 8-hour workshops to 16-hour workshops. Of course, there are also shorter formats, but they're less experiential.

 

As a conclusion, any professional in an organization is the best spokesperson, managers offer more insight into the context, market and business, employees know better about product and service. Only one 16% companies have started such a program in Spain. They are the ones who have decided not to be left behind. But the 84% (According to Eurofirms) that does it prioritizes as the goal of employee advocacy attracting external talent, what I think is an error of order: first act with your people, then with the market. As Arruda says “your people are your brand”.

 

Photo by Apollo Reyes on Unsplash

 

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