A year or two ago, a hot topic among people in the PR and marketing industry was the language agencies and consultants can and should use to disclaim relationships with clients on social media platforms.
Several different phrases were bandied about. (I tend to think a simple “[client]” inclusion is just fine.) Ultimately, it’s a simple equation: If you work for an agency or you’re a consultant, you disclaim the relationship every time
when using social accounts. No questions. No excuses. Every time. Period.
But some agencies/consultants still aren’t heeding those guidelines. Check out this example of a media win that one high-profile agency was promoting via its Twitter account recently (I blurred out the agency name/avatar to protect the “innocent”):
The bigger question is whether agencies and consultants should promote their clients on social media platforms. The other day I asked this question on Twitter and received a number of interesting responses.
I agree. If sharing it’s a “point of pride,” I see no problem with agencies sharing client results/work (in moderation).
Yes, Lauren, always disclose. And yes, it should be relevant (in other words, I don’t care about your client who manufacturers porcelain Santa Claus dolls in the Philippines).
I’ve seen Rachel share client wins and projects, and it always seems like a point of pride with her (and largely in a “here’s what happened today” kind of way). And a key note at the end of her tweet: It should never be included in metrics.
This is exactly what I’m talking about. Why would you share client campaigns with your audience? It’s likely not the target audience.
Does this happen? I think so. Should it happen? Probably not. Our work, as consultants, should stand on its own. It shouldn’t be predicated on our personal networks, our Twitter followers, or the number of Facebook fans we have.
The answer to this question, I think, is a bit cloudy. Typically, I don’t promote my clients on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and my blog. It feels weird. I’ll do it once in a while if the offer, program, or milestone is significant. But for the most part, I try to stay out of it. I feel like clients pay me for my advice and ideas—not my Twitter following.
Based on the responses I got on Twitter, I might be in the minority. What do you think. Should agencies and consultants promote their clients via their agency and personal social networks? I’m curious to here what you have to say …
Arik Hanson is principal of ACH Communications. A version of this story first appeared on his blog Communication Conversations.