Employee Advocacy - Blog Hero.png

Five practical tips for successful employee advocacy

Attract the talent you want by telling authentic stories about your culture in your people’s own words.

Joanna Drury.png
Joanna Drury Senior Consultant

So, you want to attract the best new talent, and you’ve heard that using employee advocates (or brand ambassadors) is the way to go to improve your brand reputation and tap into new networks. You might even know which of your people you want to get involved and what you want them to talk about.

But how do you make sure that your employee advocacy actually works

Here are our five top tips: 

  1. Provide psychological safety 
  2. Don’t tokenise your people  
  3. Show what’s in it for them 
  4. Let them guide the story 
  5. Give them the final sign-off

Download our full guide – “Your guide to telling employee stories ethically” 

1. Provide psychological safety 

Having psychological safety at work means feeling that you won’t be negatively viewed for raising concerns or new ideas. Without this, your employee advocates might not feel able to speak up if their story conflicts with how they want to be represented.

So, check in regularly with your advocates. Even if you’ve been told someone wants to take part in your campaign, they might have been pressured to participate by a manager or senior colleague. Regular check-ins give them the chance to withdraw their story if they’re not comfortable.

Involve someone they trust in the interview process, like a friend or line manager. A peer can give them the confidence to say, “this doesn’t feel right.”

Before you start interviewing your chosen employees, you also need to make sure you have their full and informed consent. Explain why you think they’d be a good fit for your campaign and where and how their story will be used.

2. Don’t tokenise your people

Employee advocates provide an easy, relatable way of showing potential candidates what it’s like to be part of your organisation – specifically, how inclusive your culture is.


of job seekers look at diversity and inclusivity when deciding whether to accept a job offer
Source: Glassdoor 

Showing the diversity of your workforce is incredibly important, and while creating your campaign, you’ll probably be telling the stories of people who have one or more marginalized identities.

These people are likely to have faced a considerable amount of unconscious bias during their careers, and this can lead to colleagues feeling reluctant to share their story, fearing negative representation.

Keep in mind that they may also have been approached to take part in several campaigns and could be feeling fatigued or exploited by the time you approach them.

3. Show what’s in it for them

If you’re struggling to get people to take part in your campaign, try framing your request in terms of what’s in it for them, rather than what you need. Bring them on the journey of what you’re doing and explain why it’s a great opportunity for their career.

Perhaps they would benefit from increased exposure in their sector or would like an opportunity to further a cause they care about, like getting more women into STEM careers.

4. Let them guide the story 

Although you might have a specific idea of the story you need, you should leave room in your creative process for capturing your employee’s unique insights and opinions.

The story you create together will be far more authentic, engaging, and believable if it’s one they want to tell – and they’ll be more likely to share it with their social networks.

"Don’t go into an interview with the expectation of a particular soundbite – be open to the story your employee wishes to share."
33 RED

5. Give them the final sign-off

Always give your employee advocates the final say on their narrative. Before publishing their story, check in with them to make sure that any creative treatment hasn’t skewed the original meaning. 

If you’ve followed the rest of our top tips, this step should be a breeze. By making sure your advocates are fully invested in the process and that they’ve been able to guide their own story, you’ll give yourself every chance of success.

Take your next step with us

For even more detail on how to tell employee stories ethically, download our full guide below or get in touch with us at diversity@thirtythree.co.uk to find out how we can help with your next employee advocacy campaign.  

From copy and art direction to social, digital and film, our experts are here to help you attract and retain the right talent – in the right way. 


All articles