Here are some of the key training points to cover when starting an ambassador scheme.
Once you've recruited a team of ambassadors, bring them together for a training session. You should spend a good chunk of time - 45 minutes to an hour - giving an overview of the following:
What it means to be an ambassador
The scope of their role and how this fits in with the marketing/recruitment team's broader activities
Your expectations regarding how you'd like them to communicate with prospects
How they are very much considered an extension of the team and that you value them as such
Get the ambassadors into groups and ask them to discuss answers to these kinds of questions:
What course do you study? Why did you choose it? Why do you enjoy it?
Why did you choose to study at <university name>?
Where did you live in first year? What’s it like living in Halls of Residence/Private Accommodation/commuting?
What do you do outside your studies? Tell me more about student life, societies, the town/city/campus.
This gives them the confidence to have conversations with prospects online and at events. Working with other ambassadors is also helpful as it allows them to bring together different experiences and information from across your institutions' community. Helping each other with information on topics that may be unfamiliar not only builds a positive community among the ambassadors, but also provides them with a greater breadth of knowledge.
It's also important to stress that they're not expected to know all the answers! For example, if they don't know the answer to a question about scholarships, it's best that they ask for help rather than give out information that may be incorrect. The best way to do this in Chat is to invite a staff member to the conversation so that they can help. They can also invite fellow ambassadors to the conversation.
Check out our 'What is Chat?' article to find out more.
Encourage your ambassadors to be proactive in asking prospects questions, and keeping conversations going.
What sorts of questions should they be asking your prospects?
Run a group exercise to share ideas.
Everyone is different and has varied backgrounds and life experiences. Your ambassadors will be in contact with both young and mature prospects from a host of backgrounds, so they need to be able to communicate with a wide range of people. They must be honest but also consider how their personal views or experience may be different to others'. How can they tailor the content of their conversation to reflect this?
In line with the safeguarding policy at your institution, you should make ambassadors aware of signs to look out for and how to report any concerns they may have after interacting with someone.
In addition to the standard training of student ambassadors, Digital Ambassadors may require technical training depending on their skills. You can teach them some tips on how to capture photos and videos, and how to edit their content using the institution's kit. If they are going to be working on content planning and scheduling, showing them how to use your chosen social media management software is useful too.
Brainstorm ideas as a group to give an indication of the content you'd like them to produce, in addition to building their confidence to put their own ideas forward. Encourage the Digital Ambassadors to be creative with their content!
Make your ambassadors aware of the institution's policies and do's and don'ts when it comes to representing the institution online. Inform your Digital Ambassadors of brand guidelines to ensure your tone of voice is consistent across your platforms.
Check out our 'What is Content?' article to find out more about how you can work closely with your ambassadors to create great content.
Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to chat further!