Consider your staff an essential component of your marketing efforts
by Russell Trahan

Throughout the business landscape, countless hours are spent on the hiring process—rifling through resumes, conducting phone and in-person interviews and vetting potential hires—for good reason. Company payroll budgets only contain so much flexibility for new employees, and selecting the correct individual to fill an open position involves much more than just ensuring their competence in the role—your new employee is joining the best weapon in your companywide publicity arsenal: your staff. Your selection of staff should go beyond just the tangible skills they bring to the office and their abilities to complete projects and achieve goals during the workday. It should also include their talents for recruiting and driving business when the day is done, as well. Your salaried or commission-based employees—present and future—should recognize the value of out-of-office networking skills and practices, as even simple interactions after hours or on the weekends could potentially engage new customers or clients. It is for that reason that you, as a manager or business owner, should consider the people you employ an essential component to any of your publicity efforts, as they are often your establishment’s first impression and top recruiting asset once the lights go out for the evening. There are multiple best practices for instilling a sense of off-the-clock commitment in your present and future employees, and using them to foster a sense of organizational pride will work wonders in your efforts to bolster your company image. Online, in person and over the phone, your staff should recognize their value away from the office.

The Social Ovation

Incalculable business relationships are now created and nurtured in the social media stratosphere, and acuity in this area can be an accurate barometer for real-world success. Along with your business’ online presence and activity, your employees can boost your impact in the social media arena by broadcasting companywide or individual accomplishments from their personal profiles. This can be as simple as a sharing a blog post that a staff member is particularly proud of or that garnered an extensive degree of attention, or actively promoting any sponsored events or appearances. A client or customer base can be 
developed through your employees’ relationships, especially if they are pleased with their individual contributions and the level of work coming out of your offices enough to show it off. Regularly recognize and applaud their performances in-office, and they may be compelled to share it out of the office—chiefly on their social media platforms. A fulfilled employee is an employee that enthusiastically wants to share your achievements. Word-of-mouth is often the most powerful form of promotion or advertising, and your staff can be the premier vehicle for this type of reputation advancement.

The Business Card Is Timeless

There is no action in the business world more common than the time-honored tradition of exchanging business cards. Even with a shift toward Internet-centric communication and networking, every executive will always have a business card on hand. Employers should encourage their staff to keep a few cards on the ready. Any chance interaction outside of the workplace can quickly shift into a professional conversation, and a casual swap of business cards Saturday night may result in a new product order or contract Monday morning.

Maintain a Convention Game Face

Regardless of primary field or industry, chances are you will send out staff representatives to attend a conference at some point. Effectively working a booth is an imperative skill that your employees need to possess to ensure that you receive a tangible return on your sponsorship investment. Part of making an appearance at a corporate convention fruitful is the overall demeanor inside the booth. Your employees should understand the value of simple, conversational engagement with those who stop by—not everyone will want to secure your services, but they should all be treated as such. A smile and a simple greeting to passersby can be the easiest route to increased booth traffic and solid sales leads at the events’ conclusion.

Email Etiquette Has No Day Off

With the culture of connectedness that was ushered in by the widespread adoption of laptops, tablets and smartphones, your salaried employees are now within reach at all hours of every day. When receiving work-related emails or texts while away from the office, your staff should remain acutely aware that in-house etiquette still applies, and not allow themselves to slip into casual text-speak or tone they may utilize on their days off. Improper email decorum is an immediate strike against company credibility, so make sure you instill in your workforce the importance of proper electronic communication. Your product or service is only as good as the people you have on board. When your employees and associates realize and appreciate their value to your operation and the role they play in actively promoting your business, the more cognizant they become of their actions when they leave the workplace. When you impress upon your staff their importance to the company and their influence on overall accomplishments, you create a workplace culture of collective input and shared success. When your employees realize their fundamental position in your business, they ardently become an extension of your publicity undertakings and make a point to contribute even when they are away from the workplace.