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Wendy Marx
Wendy Marx is an award-winning public relations and marketing communications executive who helps B2B companies and executives become well-known brands.
Trumbull, Connecticut
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B2B PR: Boy Scouts & the Girls: A Missed Opportunity

In this “always on” age where everyone and their grandmother seems to be spouting online, I was reminded that a wide gulf actually exits between ”seems” and reality.
Written Mar 03, 2010, read 879 times since then.
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In this “always on” age where everyone and their grandmother seems to be spouting online, I was reminded that a wide gulf actually exits between ”seems” and reality.

I got a wake-up call about this on of all places a ski chair lift. No, I didn’t get whacked in the head by the lift (though by the way some of the folks supposedly manning the chairs at this Connecticut ski mountain let them swing by it’s a wonder…but that’s another story). I shared a chair this past weekend with a friendly woman who was actually on volunteer duty. She was shepharding two teenage girls, part of a coed Boy Scouts of America program called Venturing that’s open to teenagers.

All of which was news to me. How many of you knew the Boy Scouts was now consorting with the opposite sex?

My chairmate told me the coed Venturing program was a “best kept secret” and not to feel bad that I had never heard of it. “Most people don’t know about it,” she said. Being a PR person, of course, I was startled that an organization as big as the Boy Scouts wasn’t promoting the heck out of it. Apparently, that’s not only the case in Connecticut.  I looked up the program online and came across the same sentiments voiced by a Colorado Boy Scout executive.

Now my point in mentioning this, is not to fault the Boy Scouts for their marketing of the program. I have no idea what they are – or are not doing. My concern is that at least my chairmate and this Colorado scouting executive were given no incentive to promote the program in their respective necks of the woods.  Now, it may be that the Boy Scouts is so centralized that no one can raise even a tiny finger of action without first getting the headquarters’ nod. If so, psshaw. And, if not, why doesn’t the Boy Scouts realize that all its volunteers are potential spokespeople for this program? Why aren’t they encouraging them to promote the program? Certainly, in today’s webbified world, it would be easy for the Boy Scouts to create some key messages about the program and allow each of its volunteers to talk it up online.  

In my book, the Boy Scouts are missing an opportunity. Or as Diane Schwartz, VP and Publisher of PR News, puts it, “There are now thousands if not millions of spokespeople for your brand.”

Which brings me to any business large and small - including yours, or that of the firm you work for.

We’re all in Schwartz’ words ambassadors for our brand. That means, you, me, all of us no matter what your job is. If you’re employed, you’re on some level a brand ambassador.

And, if you’re working at a very small company, even a company of one, this is even more important. Any time you meet someone, remember this: You are a spokesperson for your brand. Now this doesn’t mean doing an instant commercial for yourself and your company. It doesn’t mean being obnoxious, impolite and doing everything your mom told you not to do. But if you have the chance and your audience is receptive, don’t be afraid to softly toot your firms’ horn. And don’t forget to encourage the “tootee” to also “toot.” You may be surprised how much  you’ll learn…it could very well land you business or a business partner. As the Boy Scouts’ motto goes: “Be prepared.”

I’d to hear from you. What do you think?

Learn more about the author, Wendy Marx.

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