Photo of handshake and quote: Helping organizations better define who they are, what they do, how they do it, and why anyone should care!

Branding Bytes Archives

Issue 35:
Thoughts On Using Social Media

Issue 34:
Reigning in Public-Private Partnerships

Issue 33:
Seven Ways to Avoid Toxicity In the Workplace

Issue 32:
A Few Bad Apples Bruise the Brand

Issue 31:
Branding Beyond the Logo

Issue 30:
The Yin and Yang of Celebrity Leadership

Issue 29:
Want to Raise More Funds? SPEAK UP!

Issue 28:
Government Funding Cuts: Act!

Issue 27:
"We Are Sorry":
Your Brand is Your Behavior

Issue 26:
Tell Your Story

Issue 25:
Good Leaders

Issue 24:
Think "People,"
Not "Organization"

Issue 23:
What's in a Name?
Just about Everything!

Issue 22:
Is Your Mission
Getting Creepy?

Issue 21:
Welcome to the Age
of the New Normal

Issue 20:
"Receptionist" vs Director of First Brand Impressions

Issue 19:
It's Not About How Your Message is Delivered

Issue 18:
When it Comes to Your Brand, Details Matter

Issue 17:
A Good Brand Requires TLC: Just Ask My Wife!

Issue 16:
Toxic-Work-Environment Syndrome Can Tarnish Your Brand

Issue 15:
Adjusting to the
New Face of Need

Issue 14:
Tired of all the Doom and Gloom? This is Your Time!

Issue 13:
A New Year's Resolution: Don't Cut Off Your Nose

Issue 12:
What You Do Is
About All of Us

Issue 11:
Ethical Standards
and Your Organization

Issue 10:
Leadership: Whose Journey is it, Anyway?

Issue 9:
Giving Circles
and Branding

Issue 8:
The World's Richest Men
— and Philanthropy

Issue 7:
What is an External
Brand Audit?

Issue 6:
Keeping Everyone
on Brand Message

Issue 5:
What is an Internal
Brand Audit?

Issue 4:
Turn Board Members into Better Brand Ambassadors

Issue 3:
Leadership, Vision
— and Branding

Issue 2:
What's 1st—Organization or Brand? / Govt. Cuts?—Branding Helps

Issue 1:
Branding Myths

Issue 4, Fall 2006

Turn Board Members into Better Brand Ambassadors

Q. Many of our board members often cannot clearly and concisely articulate who we are or what we do. How can we turn them into better Brand Ambassadors for our organization?

A. I get this question a lot in my branding workshops, and my answer is always the same: The best place to start is in the board recruitment process.

People agree to serve on boards for all kinds of reasons, many because they truly believe in the mission and work of the organization. Others, however, go on boards because they feel honored to be asked and don't want to disappoint the person doing the asking; others because of the prestige of being a board member; still others because they like to see their names on the organization's letterhead.

Even those who join boards for all the right reasons still need to know what is expected of them once they agree to become board members.

Here are some things to consider when seeking people to serve on your board:

  1. Select well. How often have you heard the mantra "We need people of affluence and influence on our board?" Affluence and influence are fine. But if these characteristics are not backed by wisdom, integrity and commitment they don't amount to much. Therefore, select people to serve on your board who truly believe in who you are, what you do, how you do it, and care enough about your organization to go into the community and actively persuade others to support your good work.
  2. Articulate your expectations. Don't assume that board members, especially new board members, understand your expectations. Before bringing them on board, let them know that, among other things, you expect them to serve as good Brand Ambassadors for your organization, and what that means. Part of what that means is that they need to know what to say about your organization (see #3).
  3. Create a "messaging package." Everyone affiliated with your organization needs to "stay on message" when it comes to explaining to others what your organization is all about. Therefore, create a "messaging package" that, among other things, includes a positioning statement, sometimes referred to as an "elevator speech", as well as supporting statements that clearly articulate your organization's key brand messages. And make sure that everyone in your organization knows what those messages are, especially board members!
  4. Encourage board members to go into the community to deliver your brand messages. Once they understand and can articulate your brand messages, encourage board members to speak in front of local civic organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, Lions and Kiwanis clubs, church groups, etc. and to tell their colleagues and families about your organization and the important work it performs in your community. These are all effective — and cost-free — branding opportunities that many organizations overlook.
  5. Get your board members to work as a coordinated team. Board members need each other's support and need to know each other as colleagues who share a common mission. If they exchange ideas both at regularly scheduled board meetings, in committees and informally between meetings they are much more likely to promote the organization's brand and support its fund-raising activities.

As always, I look forward to receiving your feedback, questions, success stories and branding challenges. Also, if you are in need of a motivational speaker, trainer, branding consultant/coach, or management consultant who can help you answer the questions: Who are we? What do we do? How do we do it? And should anyone care? I invite you to for more information.

In the meantime, good luck with your branding! — Larry

About Branding Bytes

Branding Bytes is a FREE quarterly e-newsletter courtesy of Larry Checco of Checco Communications. Please feel free to forward Branding Bytes on to others. However, Branding Bytes is copyrighted and may not be reprinted or reproduced without attributing Larry Checco of Checco Communications as its source and providing the following website address: Thank you.


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