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Speak Up!

The ins and outs of hiring a spokesperson

Q: We want to be more visible in our marketing efforts and are considering hiring a spokesperson. Where do we start?

A: There are pros and cons to hiring a spokesperson for your business. Is there any reason why you, as the owner, couldn't be the company spokesperson? Of course, if you're looking to hire a widely known representative who already has a connection with your target market, it may be wise to pursue an outside expert.

Think twice before hiring an unknown personality to represent your company-the move could be expensive. Remember the doughnut man from Dunkin' Donuts or the elderly woman who asked, "Where's the beef?" in the Wendy's ads? It took a big brand name with a big advertising budget to turn those people into household names.

On the other hand, if you'd like your product or service to be endorsed by a third party-an authority on a subject who has a credible reputation-you'll likely find these folks by keeping abreast of what's happening in the media. Do a Google search to see which individuals appear most often in certain categories. The Yearbook of Experts, Authorities and Spokespersons (www.yearbook.com) and the Spokespersons Plus Network (www.spokespersons.com) can also help you find someone who can make prospects and clients remember your product or service.


Nancy Michaels is president of ImpressionImpact.com, a marketing consulting company. She can be reached at nmichaels@impressionimpact.com.

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This article was originally published in the February 2004 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Speak Up!.

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