Occasionally, when we present a client with a robust communications plan, chock-a-block full of public engagement strategies, we get the “deer in the headlights look” and an exasperated “we can’t deliver on this plan, we don’t have the manpower!”. The irony of this is that every company we propose an aggressive approach to actually does have the resources to engage the public, in the form of a built-in-army of ambassadors, AKA your employee base. A group of committed, engaged, educated and loyal people, many of whom are proud of what they do and proud of you as their employer.
A great example from 2010 was Edelman client TransLink engaging their employees to work out on the transit system during the 2010 Olympics to provide directions and encouragement to locals and visitors to the city. The approach was well received by the public and employees felt trusted and valued by their employer. A word of warning here however, we are not advocating to send your staff out willy-nilly into the world unarmed, like lemmings over a cliff. And we are certainly not suggesting every employee is going to be your best spokesperson to the public.