Friday, February 27, 2015

Being a Brand Ambassador; points to consider when applying

As we near the start of March, most if not all Brand Ambassadorship have been awarded. There are a few outstanding that will come early Spring but your Twitter and Instagram feeds should be filling up with hashtagged messages as should Facebook and blog posts.

I was very lucky this year to be on the TrainerRoad and Headsweats rosters for the second year and to have been added by SkratchLabs as a Taste Agent. In addition I am super lucky to continue to be a shoe reviewer for Saucony.

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With this in mind I thought it would be helpful to put together a crib sheet with some helpful points to consider;

  • Use the product. This is kind of obvious but sometime the obvious things are missed! There is a big difference from being a product reviewer and a BA. As an Ambassador you are expected to (depending on the Brand’s criteria) evangelize their products both online and in real life. If you actually use it this is easy, much less so if you have no idea about it! Using it really means using it, documenting it and then telling everyone what you did!

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  • Understand the difference between a Reviewer vs. Ambassador. As a reviewer you need to be impartial and factual. I have written over 100 reviews of products either sent to me or purchased by me (it’s about 50/50). When something  and when it works for me I say that and when I don’t I say that too. Typically you are reviewing something new to you, a new product that you haven’t used before. As an Ambassador, see above.
  • Avoid conflicts. Again pretty obvious but worth stating. You can’t (usually) be an Ambassador for competing products. Clif vs. PowerBar is an obvious example. You can of course review both products as a Reviewer.
  • Be Social.  Social Media, love it or hate it it is here to stay. These are some specific tips;
    • Blogging. Back in the day when I started blogging Facebook, Twitter and Instagram didn’t exist! I carried a real camera and had a phone that was just that…a phone! Bloggers left comments on each others post and you had a blogroll of like minded people. Eight years on Blogging is pretty old school but they do serve a good purpose for long form writing. 
    • Twitter and Instagram. Unlock your accounts, nobody is not going to see anything if you account is locked. Twitter is basically a link farm these days and Instagram is heading the same way but it’s what people use so it’s time to be a bit less private!
    • Facebook. Personally this is locked for friends only, and I am sure they get sick of my recipes and shoe reviews but I am constantly adding new friends!
    • Overall you have to be comfortable using it and you need to have a presence. By presence I mean a following. You need to be what is considered an influencer this means having the ability to some sway or be able to persuade peoples choices based on your evangelism!
    • From a practical standpoint try to have the same name across all accounts, “QUADRATHON” is a throwback to a Nike+ challenge that started in 2006. You can read more here about it. I use the same name across all of my accounts, Google it, I have 3 of the top 5 search results. Having different names across all your accounts is confusing!
    • Hashtag. Find out what hastags you need to use and then use them. Once you start most Phone apps remember them so that makes things easier! If you can’t remember them create a note on your phone and then just copy and paste into your posts.
    • Find out the accounts of your Product, follow them and tag them. Most Brands make this a must but you should be doing that at every opportunity.

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  • Getting an Ambassadorship is just the beginning! That initial giddiness of receiving the Congratulations email is just the start of the journey. The next 10 or so months are yours to fill with tweets, tags and posts, putting miles on shoes, sweating into clothes, scoffing kitchen creations. You have every weekend to fill with long runs rides or swims and at the end you get tell everyone about it!

So there you go some thoughts, if you were selected this year as an Ambassador congratulations, if not you have 10 months to consider the above points.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Skratch Labs Recipe of the Week; Mushroom & Swiss Frittata

Another one from the Portables book. I whisked up a batch of these last Sunday and they are proving to be a good go to after an early swim or when you walk in the door and you’re famished!

Ingredients

  • 2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup coarse chopped parsley
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • ½ Swiss cheese grated
  • 1 teaspoon of celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • Dash of salt and pepper

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Method

  • Heat oven to 350f
  • In sauté pan heat teaspoon of olive oil
  • Over medium-high heat sauté onion, mushroom and parsley
  • Remove from heat and drain any excess oil
  • Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowel
  • Stir in onion and mushroom mix
  • Lightly grease muffin tin
  • Add mushroom slice and sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top (my step)
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until center firm (I baked them a little less, this makes them moister, but more fragile)

Wrap and refrigerate…assuming you don’t eat them all in the next 30 minutes!

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Monday, February 23, 2015

SB9T Week 1

The last couple of weeks have been fairly light. I carried a twingy knee pain into the Bandit 50k and that meant that the week prior was kept to a minimum. Not so much a taper but more of a full stop. The race took more out of me than I thought so I took and very easy week the week after the race and really only started to get back in the game the following weekend.

So with that in mind it was very light with one run on the Sunday for 7.5 miles and a 17 mile bike ride on the Saturday.

My plan is to get back in the saddle next week and start to ramp up for Santa Barbara Nine Trails which is 5 weeks away!