“An Ambassador is not simply an agent; he is also a spectacle.”
— Walter Bagehot
In 1815 the Congress of Vienna officially recognized Ambassadors as having extensive powers to control the flow of information, maintain diplomatic relations, and project the influence of their chief executives. The word Ambassador comes from the Latin root word ambassarre, which means to send. King Ferdinand of Spain was the first to employ these accredited envoys. When one of his emissaries arrived on foreign soil, he was treated like royalty because he spoke directly on behalf of the king. His words and his influence were direct extensions of the one in power.
Just as we need Ambassadors for our national diplomacy, our initiatives need them to “speak on behalf of the king.” Today’s Ambassadors come in all dimensions. Many of them are consumers who like to share the experiences they have had with your product, project, or purpose. Many are co-workers and employees who have a cerebral and emotional attachment to the company or initiative. These Ambassadors have a vested interest in your success. They all share one thing in common: they are ordained to evangelize the world for your endeavors. Especially when it comes to acquiring new talent to join your company or cause. Here’s a look at the 5 primary attributes of an Ambassador.
5 Attributes of an Ambassador
Ambassadors carry the flag of their sender: They wear the clothing, eat the food, and tell the stories of their senders. Did you ever think you would see a day when the emblem of a computer company would be more common than the bumper sticker for your favorite sports team? Times have changed. Modern day company Ambassadors will promote their firm in recruiting as if they had founded the company themselves.
Ambassadors know implicitly the story of their sender: They know the elevator speech and the Value Proposition backwards and forwards, and can recite it at a moment’s notice. This is incredibly important when the Ambassador is trying to persuade his/her host on the king’s new idea.
Ambassadors adopt the Brand Ethos of the sender: This is really extraordinary when you think about it. Individual consumers adopt a company Brand as their own and identify themselves with it. Passionate Ambassadors become personally identified with a Brand Ethos. “I’m a Nike guy,” one might say.
Ambassadors are internal and external: Ambassadors are maximized when they become true emissaries who are nearest to the Brand and can affect the Value Proposition. The internal Ambassadors become fanatics as their faith in the Value Proposition overflows. The more proudly they feel about the deliverable, the more movement you will see on your talent acquisition fronts.
Ambassadors use many forms of communication: A handshake and a face-to-face conversation will always be the best way to communicate. However, technology has given Ambassadors a myriad of social media tools to make known a Brand, Value Proposition, or a Story to its target audience.
In a world where social networking is no longer the exception but the rule, the quality and quantity of the content you provide for your Ambassadors becomes fuel for the engine to create momentum. Content is a context for conversation, conversations lead to relationships, and relationships lead to gaining momentum in recruiting.
Expand Your Reach
Ambassadors are the centrifuge for creating Relationship Momentum, harnessing the power of people who move your initiatives. You can have the greatest Brand delivering the greatest level of Value, but without someone to tell the story; you will never find the success you are after.
Brian Church is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of a Consulting Firm called Ambassadors International. Brian’s book, Relationship Momentum is about the secret to making ideas and initiatives move.
Brian lives with his wife Kimberly and son in Nashville, TN. His mission is to help Entre- and Intrapreneurs activate their ideas by creating movement in a consistent direction.
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