There is a common misconception that the promotional staffing world is only viable employment for out of work actors and students.
Yes, we do offer flexible, part-time which is great for people who don’t want the restriction of a 9-5; and yes, we do have Brand Ambassadors on our books who just want some extra cash to fund their social lives. However what people don’t realise is that promo can be, and is a career for many of our Ambassadors in which some rely on as their sole income. For these Ambassadors their job is just as important and equally as credible as those who work in an office environment.
One of the most important factors when selecting staff for a campaign is ensuring that they fit the profile of the brand they will be promoting. It simply isn’t appropriate for all of our clients to be represented by twenty-something students. We don’t hire every Tom, Dick and Harry that walks through the door! We carefully select and screen only the best Ambassadors to represent our brands.
As an Auditions Executive, I see CVs every day from people who want to join our agency, many of whom have a wealth of experience working for some amazing companies across a variety of industries. The shortlisted candidates are then handpicked at our recruitment days from their relevant experience in the field of sales, retail, promotions or demonstrating. With only 20% of attendees making it through, we ensure only the best make it onto our books. Not only is experience vital but also passion, enthusiasm and confidence are qualities that make a fantastic brand ambassador or product demonstrator!
Our staff have the chance to work for both of our brand experience and in-store retail clients. Often these roles require very different skills sets which like-wise require a particular profile of staff. We also offer permanent contracts for many of our in-store clients too including Sage by Heston Blumenthal, Elizabeth Arden and Purina. They can then work on average 4 days a week demonstrating in acclaimed high street retail stores such as John Lewis and House of Fraser. Not only do they receive competitive daily rates, but they also receive commission on sales, bonuses and incentives! The focus on these campaigns is usually driving sales – requiring a very specific skills set that traditional ‘promo’ staff don’t always have.
Andrew Porter at work for Nespresso
Long-standing ambassador Andrew Porter is testament to the fact that promotional staffing really can be a lucrative career choice:
“I started working on the Experience Nespresso campaign in 2010, and haven't looked back since.
My first shift was in House Of Fraser Oxford Street and if my memory serves me correctly, I sold 3 machines. After that I started doing more and more shifts and my iD Account Manager would often ring me to cover shifts if Ambassadors were on holiday or called in sick at the last minute further supplementing my salary.
In 2012 the Olympics came to London and I was placed in John Lewis Westfield Stratford where I sold Nespresso to the world.
Eventually my permanent store became John Lewis Oxford Street the Flagship store for selling Nespresso in London and 1 day a week in the very prestigious Harrods in Knightsbridge.
It's been three and half years now and I have consistently worked 6 days a week – and enjoyed every bit!”
Once on to our books it is important that we train and brief our staff to the highest standard possible. We invest in training days and carry out specialist academy’s to ensure they are fully prepped and prepared. Last year saw us launch our first Event Manager Training Academy, which all our more senior field staff must pass before managing a campaign.
Images from our Event Manager Training Academy in November 2013
If you are interested in a career in this vibrant and flexible industry we’d love to hear from you. Why not leave us a comment or email email@example.com