For employer brand teams wanting to centralize and activate those employee voices, a brand advocacy program may be your answer. “Brand advocacy, at its very foundation, is about how people are talking about the company,” Briana Daugherty reminds us. Daugherty is the Employment Brand Specialist at Cox Enterprises, where she’s built a brand advocacy program with exceptional engagement.

Cox built out its program by fine-tuning its nomination, training, content creation, engagement, and measurement processes. Daugherty and her team’s approach serves as a valuable roadmap for other organizations (perhaps yours?) eager to build brand advocacy programs of their own.

Daugherty first tapped Cox’s recruiters to join the brand advocacy program. These employees were already used to serving as the “face” of Cox to the public and had relationships across the organization’s many divisions.

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After bringing the recruiters onboard, Daugherty turned to Cox’s employee resource groups and division leaders. She asked for the names of employees who were already visible and enthusiastic contributors to Cox’s volunteer initiatives (like Cox Conserves, a sustainability project). Daugherty’s team invited these nominees to an open house-style informational meeting about the brand advocacy program and gave out a more formal application.

The employer brand team presented its pitch to these prospective brand advocates: an opportunity to share their experiences with Cox while elevating their own voice and personal brand, getting access to exclusive trainings and career growth opportunities, and earning prizes. The pitch was effective, and Cox soon had a brand advocacy program with strong cross-divisional representation and momentum.

Cox’s brand advocates set a powerful example for other organizations getting started with advocacy programs of their own. But sustainable advocacy is not just the job of a hand-picked few, Daugherty reminds us. “Even if you’re not a part of our program, we believe that every employee at Cox is an ambassador because you’re telling the story wherever you go.”

“People want to be heard,” she says. Employees will find an outlet for their voices; if your team has been listening closely enough, a rewarding brand advocacy program can meet that need.

To follow more of Briana Daugherty’s work in employer brand, connect with her on LinkedIn. For a clearer picture of how your company compares with others in your industry, reach out to us—our Employer Brand Index uses 16 key attributes to measure your employer brand.

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Chris initially chose to work within the Life Sciences and Medical Technology sector as he is passionate about healthcare and positively contributing to people’s lives. Chris has previous experience of both agency and internal recruitment, which has provided him with a real rounded understanding of what works well for clients and candidates. Initially working for a Times Top 100 recruitment agency as the second person into the Life Science Team, Chris positively contributed to the team’s growth through his commitment to providing a best in class service. Following a successful period of time in agency recruitment, Chris was headhunted by one of his largest clients. Perhaps due to the success of successfully providing them with 16 new and talented people for their business between March 2018 – October 2018. This business was ONI (Oxford Nanoimaging), who are one of the fastest growing biotechnology companies in the UK, with a headcount growing from 15 to 85 in just one year (2018). In the two years that Chris has been working with ONI, he has directly hired more than 40 people into the business, an incredible achievement.