Category: Communication Awards
- InterNations Global Awards: Ambassador Winners
- Category: Innovation Awards
- Category: Community of One
- Category: Best Venues 2017
- Category: Newcomers’ Ambassador of the Year
- Category: Breakout Ambassador
- Category: Looking Ahead Honors
- Category: Best Host
- Category: Members’ Choice Award
- Category: Teamwork Circle of Excellence
Given to an Ambassador/team who regularly and effectively communicates with the local members, has an online presence, and promotes reliable and transparent communication together with InterNations HQ.
2017 Winners: Sanjeeb Samanta, Dobrina Ustun, Sophie Clement, and Armando Moreno in Dallas
2017 Honorable Mention: Marco Bruno and Marlie van Doorn in Gold Coast
Why They Won
InterNations Ambassadors are natural communicators — this quality is a huge asset when negotiating great deals with venues and keeping the community vibrant and engaged. For this category, the Global Awards Jury considered teams who went above and beyond in the communication realm.
We looked for Ambassadors and teams who maintain an active presence among the community and assist members with queries, concerns, and general questions on the platform. Nominees also were particularly adept at maintaining an online presence, both on and off our platform. Ambassadors and teams promote InterNations on their own social media channels with links for prospective members to easily sign up and start attending events, and even have secured interviews with various local media outlets.
Finally, those nominated have a great relationship with their managers at HQ. As InterNations HQ aims to continually improve the volunteer and member experience, we rely heavily on Ambassadors’ input and their local expertise in the community. Nominees in this category were particularly helpful and open to implementing projects and completing surveys designed to improve the community, and provide HQ with a insights into their local community.
One of 2017’s jury members makes the case for the Dallas team’s win:
“The Dallas team makes sure to be available to and supportive of members at all times, for example by making sure they reply to all of their messages, both in the public areas of the InterNations website and in private messages. They pretty much always have pictures posted after their events, where you can see them all smiling and welcoming the guests. Members of this team gave several interviews to the media and are always happy to give feedback and reach out to help neighboring communities and fellow Ambassadors.”
In your opinion, what specific communication skills have helped you in your role as Ambassadors for the Dallas Community?
Dallas Team: For starters, we look at our membership/community as our extended family. We, the Ambassadors, work as a team, not individuals. We do things together and maintain a very strong bond and line of communication between each other. This has been the Ambassador culture in Dallas over the years. All four Ambassadors attend all events. Of course, there are times when someone cannot make it but that is not often.
We innately spend a lot of time on establishing familiarity with our members. We accomplish this in a few ways.
- We stand at the entrance of our events and greet each person attending the event. We shake their hand and welcome them. When someone is new, we ask them if they want us to introduce them to folks or if they want to go about meeting folks by themselves. This way they have a choice. We normally have at least two Ambassadors at the entrance greeting attendees. This way folks get to know us and we get to know them.
- When members have a need, they reach out to one of us. By having seen or talked to us at events, there is already a sense of familiarity and comfort that has been established.
- We the individual Ambassadors, have our own circle of friends and network with InterNations, and together this network is quite large. If there is a need to do or communicate something, we’re able to communicate it via our networks.
- We are each active in different groups and also have a strong relationship with the Consuls of all the groups in Dallas. This way, when there is a need to reach out to the larger InterNations community, we’re able to effectively do so between our networks and that of the different groups.
- Lastly, but very importantly, we are responsive to our members’ questions/concerns. While we may not always give them the response they are looking for, we do follow-up and this helps establish a certain level of respect and comfort for the members. We became friends with some of the members and participate in events outside of InterNations with them (birthday parties, summer parties…) which created a special bond.
You really excel at promoting your community. Do you have any tips for other communities looking to improve in this area?
Dallas Team: Own it! Start from the position that this group is yours. Don’t think “they” (= InterNations HQ) but think “we” (= local community that I am responsible for). This perspective/mindset is very significant in driving a lot of your actions and behaviors. Feel empowered! Don’t feel like you have to keep asking for permission! Pay attention to what your members reasonably want and it will help you growing the community. Keep in mind, what the different groups, etc. are doing. Where someone is doing well, take time to compliment them! Where someone needs help, take time to encourage them! Once this becomes your environment, then promoting InterNations doesn’t feel like a task but just a natural thing.
Congratulations to our Dallas Team, Sanjeeb, Dobrina, Sophie, and Armando, 2017’s winners for the Communication Awards, as well as our honorable mentions, Marco Bruno and Marlie van Doorn in the Gold Coast, for taking the lead on communication in all aspects of your role!
About the Winners:
Sanjeeb Samanta, originally from Malaysia, lived in Asia and Europe before settling in the USA. He is active in the Dallas/Fort-Worth community as a member and Chair Elect of the Human Rights Initiative (HRI) board, President of Dallas Squash and alum of UT Dallas. Aside from his role as InterNations Ambassador, he is also a Co-Consul of the Dallas Changemakers and Dallas Watching Soccer Groups.
Dobrina Ustun is from Bulgaria and the managing attorney of a company that provides immigration services to companies and individuals. She has been an InterNations Ambassador since 2014.
Sophie Clement is from Dijon, France and has lived in Barcelona and New Jersey before arriving in her current destination eleven years ago. She is involved in the Rotary Club as a member and has been active on the Dallas Ambassador team since 2016, focusing on the monthly Newcomers’ Events.
Armando Moreno was born in Lima, Peru, and at age 15 moved with his family to the USA. Now in Dallas since 2014, he enjoys the town and the InterNations experience, celebrating his one-year Ambassador-anniversary this month.