Transparent-like

The last few days I’ve been wondering about putting my name to this blog. It’d probably be pretty easy to work out who I am given some of the things I mention, but I am still vaguely nervous. What if a client reads this? What if my boss reads this?  If social media is all about transparency and honesty and “conversation” then is it important that I say who I am?

When I did my first post mm gave me a lot of encouragement. But he freaked me out when he asked who my clients were (accounts I looked after as well as accounts that were held within the biz).  I naively said I haven’t put my name to it and he said “it’s the internet babe”.

So all this talk about bogus sites and fake comments has made me think…maybe I actually need to be a bit more upfront with who is blogging here?  Anyone have any tips for a (not-so-young) young player? 

transparent by phil h

transparent by phil h

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Transparent-like

  1. It’s an interesting one… despite working on/with the internet for so long, I only started putting my real name to things about 2- 3 years ago, and I still have my “personal” persona not related to my professional one.

    I’ve found only good things in putting my real name to things like my blog, but I guess I have a bit more freedom in not working for a company. I find people have a bit more trust/credibility when they know it’s my real name.

    So saying, some of my favourite blogs are posted under pseudonyms so not sure if it makes a huge difference. I guess it’s just nice when I can say “I’m speaking at a conference” and not worry that someone might find my identity, etc.

  2. I’d steal your identity if I could only figure out who you are…

    *insert shifty eye movement here*

  3. kelpenhagen

    CapitalD – you have stolen my identity – via my choice of mix-master! But check your bank statements, I’ve been running on your identity for the last few months…

    Cheryl – if that is your real name ;-)…thanks for the advice. Appreciate it…

  4. I agree with Cheryl. We all like to “know” who we are dealing with. Openness is a precondition for trust 😉

  5. kelpenhagen

    Thanks Gavin and point taken

  6. Jump in. The water’s fine.

    My own approach is to be totally open about who I am, but I fence off certain topics. On the blog I protect my family and use a collective “we,” and also never rarely mention clients — not out of fear of offending them but because it seems too self-serving. On Twitter, you get the real me.

    Clients tend to either ignore all this or love it, and frankly if they hate it, well they may not be a good client to work with. I do find myself avoiding controversial topics when I’m in a major pitch since I’m a bit scared someone will hit the blog and see a sex-in-advertising thesis while wondering whether to hire us … but some of my more radical pieces won raves from a new client recently, so perhaps unbuttoned is welcomed.

    The openness on the blog led to a call from editors at BusinessWeek and several interviews with the major press, so there is always that angle too.

    There’s no right answer. But if you set yourself free, you may open your mind to new doors. Good luck.

  7. Ben – that’s a great idea about using “we” etc. I should definitely try to do more of that rather than using too much detail.

    I can relate to the “sex in advertising” thesis as I sometimes blog about things that I think are probably at the edge of mainstream acceptable – but I met a potential client the other day who said he’d googled web agencies and knew we were the right one when he read a post I did about Diesel and a SFW porn campaign. Who knows, probably scares off potential clients as well as encouraging others…

  8. kelpenhagen

    thanks Ben and Cheryl

    I think after reading all your suggestions I have come up with a “loose” idea of how I will go foward

    1) the blog is a personal one – not realy linked to my work although I’ll still talk about things that are related to the work I do
    2) I will pop a little “disclaimer” in the about me page, that the blog is all me, and nothing to do with my employer
    3) I will add my name to the “about me” page – there, all out in the open!
    4) I’ll still cover “personal” stuff on the blog – or at least frame some of the subjects in personal moments but some things will be off limits – mm has requested no nude pictures and I will respect that

    But thanks very much for the suggestions and sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it – I respect your advice as I admire all your work and your thinking

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