In public relations, we know that reputation is heavily influenced by employees, and that their positive endorsement can be a highly credible form of word of mouth.
But that credibility needs to be genuine – with family and friends trusting what they are being told. So what about the latest idea from Ford executives in the US where management have apparently asked employees to “say good things about the company to absolutely everyone”.
The sentiment regarding the impact of employees as key communicators is correct, but should you instruct people to promote the organisation? You should make sure employees are well informed, but surely management should ensure a company is a great one to work for, and then word of mouth from employees will be spontaneously enthusiastic.
That seems to me to be much more valuable than seeing employees as “walking advertisements”. Where’s the credibility in that?