It used to be that the only curators around were at museums, art galleries and zoos. Progressive companies have been employing curators but in completely different capacities.
Curator for a Company
Next to loyal customers and any influencers a company may have, employees can be the next best brand ambassadors. Customers can get a sense of an organization’s culture when shopping or dining out by the way an employee responds to their questions,
Employees who use “they” generally feel a separation between themselves and management. On the other hand, when they say “we,” there’s generally a sense of inclusivity and empowerment.
How to Use a Curator for your Business
If a company has been successfully using digital marketing to help drive sales and foster relationships with its target demographics, the importance of effective content that connects with the customer is clear. The same is true for any curators they recruit. Because they don’t wield the same authority as management, they can educate, motivate and inspire peers about the company, products and/or services.
The first step is to gather a team and determine what the most important content is that the company wishes to share and promote with employees. That’s the easy part because the content should align with the company’s goals.
For starters, begin with three or four topics. Ideally, it’s nice to get a good mix. That can expand as the program gains momentum.
Identify potential curators and employees who are respected by their peers and who are also knowledgeable in the content areas identified. It’s important to be clear about expectations. Besides being willing to take on this added responsibility, curators will be reaching out to fellow workers on a regular basis and will often be sought out with questions, comments, etc.
With a successful marketing team, train curators so that they recognize “cool” and “great” looks for your product(s) or services. Show them what good copy looks like. Be clear what is expected of them. How frequently does the company expect them to reach out to fellow employees? What kind of voice is the company looking for?
Voice is key because the tone of the curator should parallel them and the way they speak. It should reflect their personality and be recognizable to their co-workers.
Prior to launch, build excitement and enthusiasm by alerting employees of this upcoming program. Don’t reveal everything, just enough to build suspense.
On launch day, make it a big event. Promote curators throughout the company with their pictures and a bit of background information about their work expertise.
Be sure to monitor and measure employee reactions. Are the curators encouraging workers to share their content? Are employees doing so? This is the primary reason for having curators. At Microsoft, their study showed a sharing rate of 82% within the organization. Consider setting that as a goal.
If it isn’t being done, expand what is asked of customers and your target demographics by inquiring how they discovered the company. If you’re already asking, be sure to include employees as a choice.
Most importantly, acknowledge and honor the company’s curators. Adjust what is being done when and where it is needed, and don’t stop measuring.
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Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR
Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals.
Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 200 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions.
Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR.
Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller.
A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities