Is it right to call communication managers as brand ambassadors?

Having worked with some large corporate houses and being their face for media as well as, for the respective industry, while spearheading their communications functions, has taught me the value entrusted upon this profile. I realised I had turned out to be the brand ambassador as I was the one who was constantly feeding company-specific information to the concerned bodies, representing the company at various platforms, networking with people online and offline. There was an ongoing interaction with various stakeholders.

It is required of the communicators to conduct themselves in a responsible manner as they can make or break a brand. They must be accessible to share information as and when required, should feed positive information to the external stakeholders, must ensure their brand is being talked about at relevant forums. To ensure correct information, communicators should connect regularly with their internal colleagues for timely updates of their specific areas. If there is a glowing article about the organisation, it should be shared with internal employees taking HR department’s help. Similarly, it should be shared with media as well as industry partners.

Communication is ultimately about a connection between people, and how well brands are willing to work with that philosophy is directly correlated to the effectiveness of their communication strategy. However, the effectiveness of a communicator depends upon the brand they are representing. This is to say that some brands are very generous with sharing their information whereas there are many which prefer to hold on to information – good or bad. I have had the experience of working with both the ‘types’ and, believe me when I say it is a huge challenge dealing with the latter type. This attitude limits our communication potential.

Then there are companies that delegate their communicators the task of sharing any information just for the sake of generating buzz. This runs the risk of tarnishing the company’s perception as well as that of the message bearer. A brand ambassador always faces the challenge of juggling between grabbing constant attention, and efforts to stay relevant yet regular with communication.

With the social media becoming a norm of today, people are turning more and more to social media to address brands, whether for complaints or praises. So a communicator must learn to share social platforms. This helps in further growing the skillset of a communicator.

Social media serves an opportunity to arm the communicators with the skills and power to use social networking in a positive way. Behind every tweet or post, are communicators crafting a brand’s identity across multiple platforms.

A lot of organisations are waking up to the realisation that being active on social media through the medium of communicators is extremely important. But the traditional way of going out, meeting people, interacting in person and sharing company information to boost their brand still plays a pivotal role for every communicator. This holds very true at least for the veteran communicators as compared to the new-age ones. It’s all about creating a healthy community around the stories you produce about your brand.

The job of the communications professional is becoming more integrated with every other company department. It’s becoming increasingly strategic. Increasingly managerial. And increasingly transparent. As employers and employees, all must learn how to foster and encourage on-brand conversations. After all, a brand is only as powerful as the people in it, and it becomes the brand ambassador’s, (which in our case is the communicator) task to create an authentic niche around the brand, involve more and more departments for a ready access to information which in turn, creates synergies around the brand. This ensures a regular and correct flow of information which is very important for the communicator to justify their role as brand ambassador.

The views expressed here are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of Reputation Today.

Ritu Bararia
Ritu is a Corporate Communications leader, Mentor, Author, Public Relations Evangelist, Thought leader, Advisor. She has nearly two decades of working experience having spearheaded Communications, PR and Corporate Affairs with corporate brands such as Kingfisher Airlines, The Park Hotels, Bird Group.

She quit her corporate career in the beginning of 2018 to try her hand at various related things within communications space. She turned into a published author in 2020 with her maiden book ‘Little Joys of Communication’.

Currently Ritu is Senior Director at SCoRe and, Executive Director Communicators Guild – India (CGI).

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