Being a Good Brand Representative



If you’ve spent any amount of time in fishing circles or forums, the term “pro-staff” has likely come up. Historically speaking, this title was reserved for the handful of lucky folks able to list “professional angler” as their job title. In recent years, the term has evolved to encompass a broader range of individuals whose primary role is to act as promotional representatives for a given brand.

As such roles have progressed, so has their reach. Pro-staffers, ambassadors, team members, etc., are an important piece of the marketing puzzle. They’re invaluable, as a given brand’s reach can only extend so far via social media, in-store representation and so forth. The ultimate responsibility for such designation? Be a good representative for a brand.

Although it may seem like such roles require a substantial social media following, an established tournament record or some extraordinary skills, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, most promotional teams in the industry are formed with individuals of different backgrounds, experience levels and accolades. Being on a pro-staff may seem out of reach for some, but in my experience, some of the best “staffers” I’ve met and worked with are just regular people who have a real passion for fishing.

In such a passion-filled industry, the market for “staffers” may seem flooded—and in a sense, it is. That being said, some key factors help folks stand out from the crowd.

Staunch and steadfast

One of the most important attributes in a good ambassador is brand loyalty. From a promotional perspective, it’s much easier to promote and talk about products you genuinely believe in and use. Don’t get into a deal just because there’s a discount. Hold out for something that you use and trust. Companies seem to appreciate that as well, by knowing you’re not just in for the discount. As anglers, it’s easy to develop allegiances towards certain brands and products. We all have our favorites; why not take advantage of them?

On a related note: If you believe in something, stick with it. As you grow in your role, new opportunities may arise. Don’t jump ship at the first glimmer of something different. The grass isn’t always greener. Use an analytical approach to evaluate how good, or bad, it may be to switch brands altogether. Loyalty goes a long way—not only for the companies you work with, but for the folks who subscribe to your advice.


Brand awareness is another helpful characteristic in a top-tier staffer. Get to know the brand—not just their products. What is the company’s mission? What are their goals and objectives? Understanding such specific details can help you recognize how your role can help both you and the company grow.

Beyond that, it’s important to have a good understanding of a company’s offerings. Know their catalog—not just the handful of products you personally use. Familiarize yourself with the entire lineup and develop an understanding of how, where, when and why such products should be used. As a representative of a brand, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked about products you may not use all too often; you don’t want to be left with a blank look on your face.

Additionally, be prepared to provide constructive feedback on the products you’re using. Companies strive to have the best products, so any information that can help is often welcomed.

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While the fishing world is certainly a little more “casual” than your average corporate gig, it’s still important to uphold a good image. This really has little to do with how you look, but more about how you conduct yourself on and off the water. Keep things clean. Companies have no interest in being associated with any illicit activities and certainly don’t want your mugshot popping up on the internet.

Another aspect: Be respectful. While you may have opinions about news events, politics, other brands and more, keep them to yourself. There’s no reason to air your grievances all over the internet. If we’re being honest with ourselves, no one really cares anyway, and no company wants you out there bashing the competition.

Friendly reminder: the fishing industry is a very tight-knit group. A lot of the key players are the same across many different organizations. People talk. So what one company knows about a person, another company will likely know as well. Don’t burn any bridges.


Dependable and diligent

In today’s market, pro-staffers and ambassadors are truly a dime a dozen. Reliability and work ethic are factors that really help an angler stand out amongst the crowd. Folks who consistently meet, or even exceed, expectations are often rewarded. Work harder than the next guy.

Be an active, productive member of the team. Figure out what you’re good at and exploit it. If your talents lie in writing, then put the pen to paper. If you’re more of a talker, then sharpen those presentation/education skills. If the creative side is more in line with where you excel, let your photography, videography and/or design talents shine. Paint the company in a good light and support them where it makes sense.

Additionally, being readily available goes a long way with organizations. If you have the capacity to help with shows or events, make that known.



One of the final keys to being a good representative is to make sure that you actually fish. If you’re taking the time to read this, then you likely have some interest in fishing. But if you’re not on the water regularly, a pro-staff or ambassador role may not be right for you. I’m not saying that you need to fish 300 days or more a year, but a consistent track record of time on the water is necessary.

If you don’t have them to time to devote to it, that’s okay. Life is busy. Work, family and other obligations often take precedence to fishing (as they should). Just because you don’t have the time for such a role right now doesn’t mean you won’t in the future.

Being a pro-staffer isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. It’s not all just discounts and free gear. If you want to succeed in such a position, a little bit of effort is required. If you take a haphazard approach, then you can expect haphazard results. Remember, these roles are partnerships and should be treated as such. If you’re willing to hold up your end of the bargain, then you can expect a company to do so as well.

Fishermen are among the most passionate enthusiasts that exist. In such a fanatical group, many hope to work in the industry in some form or capacity. Pro-staff, ambassador and team roles are great opportunities to get your foot in the door. The right mix of work ethic, loyalty, character and knowledge can lead to great things.