How to Win a Brand Ambassador

By Annie Cosalan

It’s the time of year when glamour and glitz fill the air and celebrities step up in their sharpest, most fabulous outfits to be seen by over 40 million worldwide. Paparrazi are everywhere. Heads turn. It’s the Oscars! It’s a lot more than just finding out who gets to go home with the little gold statuette. As The Guardian put it: “Gone is the phalanx of publicists, the glazed interview demeanor, the self-protective instincts born of a thousand paparazzo intrusions; and in its place the quick stumble of inarticulacy, the pink flush of pure need, as the star gulps down all the love and
acceptance they stand revealed to have craved all along.”

Who isn’t a fan?

The one shining thing that makes events like the Oscars such a success is “star factor.” And if we can use this to get an organization some media mileage, it is an extraordinary message multiplier.   

Melinda Gates, in a speaking engagement onTEDxChange, observed that when it comes to branding, many nonprofit organizations "must stop acting like missionaries and become more effective marketers instead". She explains that this is important because one – our work is so significant that we must not miss up any chance 
of success; two – we’ve always been scarce in terms of resources that it’s really time to scale up awareness; and three – social media is everywhere and ready as a tool to help us reach and build our donor communities.

Getting high profile people -like celebrities, politicians or other VIPs - as our brand ambassadors to represent us can work wonders, much like that ‘star factor’ effect of the Oscars. Look around and you’ll also find people who speak about migration, about our cause. They are all our potential brand ambassadors – real people who share and believe in what we do. When we ask them to constantly speak about our cause, our message is amplified.

Annie Cosalan is the Communications Specialist for IOM