Brand and Agency Partnerships in Social Media: How to Disclose from an Agency Perspective
In the critically acclaimed part one of our series (OK, maybe that’s a little over the top), Lisa Grimm and I discussed disclosure in social media from the brand perspective. We offered up some ideas for you on how to maintain a strong relationship, while also getting to share the good stuff that everyone worked hard to create. As Justin Goldsborough pointed out in the comments to the first post, disclosure need not be hard.
However, from the agency point of view it tends to be made more complicated than it needs to be. Quite often we disclose parts of the campaign/project that we shouldn’t, or we don’t disclose at all with varying shades of gray in between. We’re passionate about the work we’ve created, and that passion often leads to overly ambitious “sharing.” These two posts aren’t meant to reign in the sharing of good work. Quite the contrary. We’re just trying to ensure that you don’t end up having to field angry phone calls from “the boss.”
So if you are going to share information online about client campaigns what are some things you should know from the agency side?
- Don’t share any inside baseball – This should be a no-brainer. If you do share the final output of a client program, do not share any details about how you got there. First of all, the only people who would care about the very intimate details of a program are your competitors and you don’t want that getting in their hands. Secondly, sharing that kind of detail will only end up making the client look bad.
- Discuss “sharing” with the client before posting – Again, this should be very common practice but it is something we deal with consistently, especially in larger agencies. Before you post anything, anywhere, just run the contents of your post by your client. If they give you the go-ahead, then you should feel good about posting it.
- If you are posting, please use (client) or #client. If the client has approved your sharing of the program, you should include some form of disclosure mark. You owe it to everyone who could come across that content to disclosure your connection to the brand. This isn’t done often enough. If you don’t feel comfortable including the disclosure mark, don’t disclose at all.
- Don’t ride on your client’s coattails. To reiterate ‘lessons’ from part one, if you haven’t worked with a client in a long time and have nothing to do with the work they’ve produced, you don’t need to designate your conversation with #client. I think this is where things get sticky, but where we all have the ability to be human here,
- Consider including the client in your post. If you are writing a blog post about the program on your personal or agency blog, consider including your client as a co-author. You’d be surprised how much they like talking about their work too! This is another opportunity to grow the brand/client relationship, uncover other client needs and potentially gain more business.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it’s a nice start. What say you about this perspective?