Brand Ambassadors — Do They Work for Free or for Pay?

The term “brand ambassador” has been thrown around quite loosely lately. In fact, it seems PR firms and Word of Mouth agencies are employing the term in an attempt to attach a new tier of importance to mom bloggers they work with, hope to work with, or is used to identify teams of moms who have been chosen to represent a brand for a particular amount of time. Where it gets tricky is whether brands believe their ambassadors should be paid or unpaid

I know from observation and from my own personal experience that the level of compensation varies for brand ambassadors in the mom blogging community. Some moms are paid in product and/or travel to conferences and others actually sign contracts and are sent a check. 

It’s funny because I was reading Sommer Poquette’s post about a trip she recently took to a company HQ where they called it Ambassadors’ Day. From what I could tell it was just a junket (press trip), but the brand decided to jump a step and call the moms “ambassadors” before they even knew about one another. That’s a bit presumptuous and another example of how the use of “brand ambassadors” is getting muddled quickly! 

If you follow my blog, you know how I feel about mom bloggers working for free. In my estimation any work done by a blogger for a brand that goes beyond the basic product review should be compensated, which brings me back to brand ambassadors.

Yesterday, while catching up on Celebrity Apprentice I heard Leslie Dance, Vice President and Director, Worldwide Brand Marketing at Kodak, say (59:00) the following about Summer Sanders who she thought did a great job showcasing the Kodak products during the task in episode 2: “Summer Sanders, I would hire as a brand ambassador in a minute. That woman really got it down.” 

Three key words here: Hire, brand and ambassador. 

I don’t profess to know everything about this new world of social media, marketing, brands, and influencers, but when I get validation like this I have to share it. Even Kodak believes in hiring brand ambassadors. I think that’s the way it should be. 

Let me know what you think!

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