More than just selfie overload – The imc AG brand ambassador programme
Brand ambassador or corporate influencer programmes are currently enjoying tremendous popularity. Some programmes arise organically, others are the product of strategic planning – but they all have one thing in common: they are based on passion for the corporate brand. This couldn’t be more true for the imc brand ambassador programme. In came to life as a delicate seedling in the summer of 2019, and has now grown to a strong team of around 30 ambassadors that regularly exchanges ideas, learns together and drives topics.
Today, we are catching a glimpse behind the scenes, presenting the programme and some of the contributors.
Why was the imc Brand Ambassador Programme established?
Every company is colourful, building on the range of it’s employees’ tasks and personalities. We wanted to showcase this diversity and these different dimensions through our ambassadors.
Moreover, the digital transformation has brought many changes, especially in terms of communication. It is becoming faster all the time, and the number and diversity of channels is constantly increasing – in particular, in social media. While we appreciate the benefits digitalisation and digital communication channels bring, personal contact remains paramount. After all, communication still happens between individuals. This is particularly important when conveying values and emotions or establishing a relationship of trust. Of course, this doesn’t render traditional corporate communication redundant. But we believe our brand ambassadors complement it perfectly. Their communication is marked by authenticity, especially when they talk about their daily tasks. They are the face of the imc brand.
Our mission is clear: bridging our employees and clients, candidates and partners. Our ambassador crew makes daily happenings at imc public. We prioritise dialogue and open, honest and constructive discussion.
How did the programme start?
It all started in the summer of 2019 with a simple idea initiated by the imc communications team. Following numerous brainstorming sessions and an initial concept, the communications department gave the programme a jump-start to bring it to life. Since it is anchored in Corporate Communication, close alignment with current affairs is guaranteed. Moreover, the imc Corporate Communication team is available to provide guidance and support for any communications issues without restricting opportunities for contributing ideas and inspiration. This is very important to us. After all, the programme thrives on diversity and the sheer range of ideas and suggestions.
Who can become an imc brand ambassador?
When it comes down to it, every employee is an imc ambassador. The individual included in the actual ambassador programme (want to) stand for the imc brand in a special way. The group is self-organised across hierarchies and business segments. Two Community Managers assume a senior role and ensure regular coordination dates are scheduled and information is provided in a transparent manner. Yet, everyone on the team shares the same passion: to make their matters and their work visible. Paired with curiosity for digital media and enthusiasm for thinking outside the box, daring to try new things and learning. Participation in the programme is voluntary (and is open to anyone interested).
What is the programme content?
Usually, when you hear “ambassador programme”, you think self-staging and selfie overload. Naturally, our ambassadors also post selfies. But primarily, they take a clear stance on the topics close to their heart, and collaborate, network and learn new things. As a company that stands for professional development like no other organisation does, we must also ensure that our employees have the freedom and opportunity to expand their horizon and keep learning. Making connections with other people and communities, exchanging ideas and benefitting from other people’s knowledge and experience is a win-win situation for the ambassador, as well as for imc.
Roughly every three weeks, the Community Managers provide information on current communication and marketing issues. Our ambassadors discuss the topics for their own Espresso Webinars and special projects, such as whether it would be feasible to launch an imc Merchandise Shop. We also welcome any feedback on planned events like our diversity event series or our bar camp. Another aspect of the ambassador remit is to represent the colleagues’ needs at each location. It is our genuine attempt at ensuring that we meet all expectations and needs.
Short and sweet. Exciting speakers. Hot topics. Our 15-minute Espresso Webinars offer an insight into a specific topic through (online) live sessions and/or direct support for questions raised by the audience.
What are the future plans?
The Espresso Webinar series is enjoying great popularity with 80-100 participants per session. So, we will continue and expand them. Before corona, we also held an after-hours “Social Media Kitchen Talk” every quarter. Once meetings in a suitable format are possible again, we would like to put this event back on the table. Our ambassadors are increasingly engaged as speakers and participate in Community meetings, bar camps and (virtual) conferences. We want to support these efforts with a range of training sessions and Deep Dive Webinars on selected topics, such as personal branding or speaking at online events. We are currently planning a little roadshow through the imc locations, and would be thrilled if the imc Merchandise Shop did materialise. Towards the end of the year, 2021 projects will be planned in a joint strategy workshop.
Meet some of our Brand Ambassadors
I’ve been a member of the imc crew since February 2019. My multi-faceted tasks always keep me on the go. In addition to my work on corporate brand, marketing and communication strategies and employer branding, I also delve into the operational side.
I have a passion for networks and communities. That is why I represent the brand ambassador programme in the editorial team. I am also actively involved in the SCHULEWIRTSCHAFT (School-Business) network. Privately, my big passions are travelling, Disney and interior design.
Main topics: imc Ambassador Programme, Brand and Marketing Services, Future of Work