media update’s Nakedi Phala reveals three characteristics that PR pros should look out for when looking to hire a brand representative that can promote a service or brand successfully.

There’s a number of things that PR pros should consider when hiring a brand ambassador, and the process needs to entail a background check, an analysis of their work ethic as well as their personality.

Amongst many things, the individual has to be someone that the brand’s audience can relate to and engage with — without any hinderesences. Additionally, they must be able to help to grow a positive brand perception.

With that said, here are four characteristics that PR pros should look out for when selecting a brand ambassador:

1. A brand ambassador should be understanding of brand objectives

These individuals should always be striving to lead the brand’s objectives, and educate the audiences about the product or services that they represent.

The individual should be able to discuss the brand at events such as press briefings and media interviews. This is important because they will be representing the brand at large and if the public picks up on the lack of lack of knowledge shown by the representative about the brand, it could spell disaster for both the brand and the ambassador.

To avoid this worst-case scenario, you could run them through a workshop or an in-depth profile of the brand in great detail. You can include how the brand started, the changes it has had over the years and its future plans. This will also give the individual insight on the type of agency that they’re associating themselves with.

2. A brand ambassador should be friendly and approachable

A brand ambassador’s character and the way they present themselves to others are their biggest assets. Why? Because they need to presentent themselves in a way that the public finds easy to engage with.

This holds true for public events, where the ambassador should use open body posture, which makes it easy for people to approach them and feel comfortable interacting with them.

Things the brand rep should avoid is putting hands in their pockets or having their arms crossed during conversations. This puts a barrier between the brand ambassador and whomever they are speaking to, and could affect the relationship with audiences and other affiliates.

Friendliness and a genuine smile resonate well with audiences, creating positive energies, which foster positive PR for the brand. It’s also ideal for a representative to always pay attention to their attitude and mood when engaging audiences; if they’re not feeling great, it’s better for them not to engage with the brand’s public until they’re in a better space.

People rely on authenticity when it comes to brand ambassadors, so it’s important for these individuals to always remain true to themselves, and if they’re not feeling it, they’re not feeling it. Emotion and reactions should never be forced, so for the good of the brand, don’t rely on someone who is difficult to read or willing to fake it.

3. A brand ambassador should exhibit excellent public behaviour

How your brand ambassador presents themselves in public has an impact on your brand as well, so to protect your client’s image, creating guidelines of association and behavior is critical to give to whoever is representing them.

To avoid finding the brand in disputes, it’s vital to also draft a contract that details the do’s and don’ts within the partnership. This helps keep all entities involved in line with the brand’s image. It’s just better for everyone involved to know what to do and what is expected.

For example, if you want your brand ambassador to live and breathe the brand as part of their lifestyle, make it clear in the contract that this is a requirement. This is to avoid embarrassing moments where the representative may share a post of a competitor’s brand when you’ve paid for them to promote the client alone; it’s not their fault if this ‘no-no’ was never communicated on your part.

As such, a PR pro should make it clear as to which brands the representative should associate with during their time of contract.

4. Brand ambassadors should be able to sync their personality with the brand

In the selection process, PR pros need to choose someone whose personality matches that of the brand.

It’s easy for the ambassador to associate and promote the brand if their interests are in sync with the company.

For example, if you’re a PR pro who’s representing a clothing brand, it’s better to find someone who’s already shown a keen interest in fashion, or in that particular brand itself, as they’ll have a sound knowledge of clothing and textiles, as well as an understand the fashion industry on a much broader level.

Additionally, selecting someone who has great knowledge of the brand is extremely beneficial for the client because the work they produce will come from a place of experience. And, they can also offer advice based on their past campaigns, which could help you run future campaigns more successfully.

Did you know that brand ambassadors play a huge role in building and growing relationships between brands and its public? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Using PR principles to create an influential strategy can help to improve the depth of your brand’s message. Keen to learn more? Then check out these Four ways to influence audiences using PR tactics