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Newsletter #6.08: The “Employee Evangelists” Issue

Your employees should be your most powerful advocates.  Are you asking them to be? Are you making it easy?

   1> Involve everyone
   2> Make it easy
   3> Go where they already are
   4> Make them stars
   5> Employees should be customers
   6> Beer

1> Involve everyone

Your most powerful evangelists aren’t in your marketing or PR department.  They are the receptionists, the IT guys, the warehouse crews, and the interns.  Look for the person wearing the company shirt on weekends.  Enthusiasm counts more than titles.

2> Make it easy

Arm your employees with everything they need to talk about you.  Text for the signature files of their emails.  Samples.  Text, logos, and photos to paste into their blogs.  Every employee should have 100 coupons in hand at all times.  You pay to put coupons in a newspaper, so why aren’t you giving them to people who have a stake in the success of the company?

3> Go where they already are

Any method an employee uses to help promote the company is good.  It doesn’t matter if they want to use MySpace, Facebook, a personal blog, a shirt, or a bumper sticker.  Don’t make them do it your way. Support whatever method the employee wants to use instead of recreating or competing with it.  You will be shocked at how many of your employees are already on these platforms every day.  They are probably holding back and not mentioning work-related topics, because they are not sure how you will respond.  Tell them that it’s OK and unleash a torrent of advocates.

4> Make them stars

Internal rewards are nice, but public recognition is powerful.  When employees are out there talking about you thank them big time.  Put it on your web site.  Blog about them.  Put up their pictures.  Create a formal evangelism program so they feel part of a team.  Give them hats, shirts, and other toys.  The Chicago Bagel Authority restaurant publicly thanks its employees by selling t-shirts, with proceed going right into the employee tip jar.

5> Employees should be customers

Nothing is more embarrassing than employees who don’t use their company’s products (or walk around with ratty out-of-date versions).  It’s a double problem:  Your most powerful advocates can’t show off to their friends … and their friends instantly wonder what’s wrong with your products if even the employees won’t use it.  That’s why Apple gave iPhones to everyone who works there (more here).

6> Beer

And lots of it.

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  1. Standout Jobs September 13, 2007 at 9:20 am #

    Your Employees Should Be Your Biggest Fans

    Your brand is controlled by your employees. Theyre the ones that are chatting about you through a variety of de-centralized streams: blogs, micro-blogging, instant message, Facebook, social networks, etc. Your job as an employer is to gather all…

  2. The Transfer September 14, 2007 at 4:40 pm #

    Favorite Posts for September12-14

    #6.07: The Employee Evangelists Issue- A great and highly practical post by Andy Serovitz at Damn, I Which Id Thought of That. (I reference him so much, youd think I could spell his name without looking at this poin…

  3. Buzzoodle November 15, 2007 at 1:25 am #

    Nice post Andy.
    #1 is tricky. I agree, don’t stick to the marketing and PR people, but I also think you have to exclude (or at least not encourage) people with negative attitudes. There are other issues to work on with those people, instead of trying to make them an evangelist.

  4. Igniting the Revolution... November 19, 2007 at 4:11 pm #

    Microsoft, Harley-Davidson, and Brand Passion

    A few years ago, I went to Daytona Bike Week. The first time I saw it, I did a double-take. A guy had

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