Is Your Agency Co-Opting Your Personal Brand?


[image via Entrepreneur Geek]

Is your agency co-opting your personal brand–your name, opinions, and attitude–to show its aptitude in social networking? Do you give pause each time you Twitter, knowing your boss and clients are following you?

LinkedIn is clear cut. It’s for developing business leads and finding jobs. But what about FaceBook and stream-of-conscious projection/conversation tool Twitter? The lines are fuzzy and often generational. College grads have these profiles already established to keep up with friends, while executives use them for personal branding, and to tinker with them stay on top of new modes of communication.

Prior to the explosion of these networks a simple disclaimer on a personal blog sufficed–and companies benefited from those blogs anyway. Without much thought, I can safely say, with two recent examples, that MWW Group benefited from The Media Drop, and PRWeek benefited from Ubiquitous Marketing.

Continued after the jump:

These examples beg the question: what are companies doing to retain people who become star bloggers? The company owns whatever you build with company resources but not your thoughts on the new Radiohead release.

The agency still benefits from having an authentic, informed, industry voice.

Conversely, what if said blogger goes off the rails one night and lays down a carpet bombing of vitriol? And, as a boss are you worried that an exec’s social savvy is chewing up valuable billable hours?

Christopher Buckley drives these questions to a hilarious conclusion in his book “Boomsday”.

Did your company give you “digital guidelines” when you walked in the door?

Not long ago only a select few in PR were ever mentioned in the media. That chore was left to spokespeople who could either anticipate a tough phone call, or think on their feet at a press conference.

Now many people in the business are also content creators–from star bloggers all the way down to interns. Once your name is on something, you’re laying tracks all over the Internet. What if the project proves to be poorly designed, embarrassing, or worse? Can you explain your first couple of pages of Google results in a job interview?

We’d like to hear from a variety of people grappling with these questions. Email us here.