Member Spotlight: Rebecca Braglio talks ambassador programs


(Rebecca Braglio) #21

Hi everyone,
I’m really struggling to get a new ambassador program off of the ground, so I figure this would be the thread to talk about it in.

Here’s the situation:

Last year I launched what I’d call a “member appreciation” program. We have a group of 200 paid contributors who advocate for our communities. They don’t really participate much online in our communities, more on facebook. I’d say they are our “cream of the crop.” They are leaders in the space, many have their own blogs, etc. This group writes content for our communities and helps with moderation.

One thing that makes our company unique is that we do not require a set number of articles/moderation hours per month. Basically, they can participate as much or as little as they like. They have signed contracts and NDAs.

Our company needs to increase engagement on our branded communities. Our Facebook pages have high engagement, and we’ve been relying on facebook too heavily. So, part of my goal is to shift our efforts to finding members who are participating in our online communities and turn them into ambassadors.

Here’s what I’m struggling with:

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed because we currently have 15 online communities. Our platform is not conducive to creating engagement, but we’re working on it. We have no gamification at this point. So, for now, I’m looking for members who I feel, in my gut, are invested and would be a good fit.

This batch of members would not be paid. They would be a “Tier 2” type of ambassador. I’m currently working on the perks/benefits that they’d get based on their motivations.

I’m wondering:

Should I have them sign NDAs and formal agreements? Or should I just proceed informally, let it grow organically? If they don’t sign NDAs, then the perks are limited to swag and online recognition.

Am I over-thinking this?

(Colleen Young) #22

Hi @rebeccabraglio, I have parallel experiences to share with you. Unfortunately, the back to work email onslaught and strategic planning demands are monopolizing my time and forbid me from writing a long reply. In brief, I think that you might be putting the cart before the horse. I would suggest being less formal to start. Don’t underestimate the power of recognition and thank you to start. The people you want are not motivated primarily by additional perks. I might suggest that you first get their commitment of participation and then reward them with a more formal agreement and NDA as a graduation into a higher level of trust if applicable.

Let’s talk more.

(Rebecca Braglio) #23

Yes. Putting the cart before the horse!!! That’s it!
It’s amazing how when you’re in the weeds you just can’t see things straight. I think I’m getting held back by my overall vision (and the pressure to get a roadmap/timeline/plan).
I find it’s hard, though, to predict how long it will take to determine whether I have a solid group who are committed to participating…experience tells me that it will be at least 6 months to a year before I even get into worrying about agreements, higher levels of trust.
Do you agree?

(Colleen Young) #24

Hey @rebeccabraglio, How is your ambassador program for your patient community coming along? I’ve recently expanded my group from 12 to 20. So far the expansion has been good. I’m now in the throes of planning our 2nd annual Mentor Meetup which brings all the volunteer mentors to Mayo Clinic in Rochester to meet with the paid moderating team for appreciation, networking, training, etc.

Would love to hear how you’re doing.

(Rebecca Braglio) #25

Hey! Thank s for reaching out!

Things have been moving along - I’ve experienced some tech roadblocks, so I’ve readjusted my strategy. Instead of focusing on the online participants I’m putting more efforts into building our current advocates into that top tier of users. Coming up with unique quirks is challenging sometimes - but we just had our second annual conference for them, which turned out really well. I’d love to kick off some Meetup groups so that they could find one another locally, but we’re just not there yet.

12 to 20 is fantastic! do you find you have good diversity between conditions? is there a lot of overlap?

(Colleen Young) #26

Often there are unforeseen benefits when one has to rethink their strategy. What has been the unexpected upside of working around the roadblocks? Can I help or brainstorm “unique quirks” with you? I love brainstorming.

Funny you should mention diversity. We have a wide range of diversity between conditions, in fact amazingly so. And everyone has experience with multiple conditions either themselves or caring for family members. Have you found it a challenge to get a wide range of conditions in your ambassador group?

In our ambassador group, we have parity between male and female, as well as allies to LGBTQ. I’ve increased the diversity of age somewhat but would like to do more there. We also have mentors from across the US from east to west and north to south, with a couple of international mentors (NZ and Canada). Where we are really lacking is diversity in race, ethnicity, religion and to some degree socioeconomic status although I’m gaining ground there too. I plan to meet with Mayo’s diversity team to see how we can do better, not only for increasing diversity of the mentors, but of the membership overall.

I would love to hear if you or anyone has ideas about improving diversity in an online community. I should probably start a new topic on that.

(Rebecca Braglio) #27

We should hop on the phone and chat!

(Colleen Young) #28

Sending you a PM.