Navigating the maze of client conflicts and social media…

posted by Brendan Hodgson

So… try this scenario on for size… you’re a global PR agency and one office or region (let’s call it X) has been hired by a country or region representative of multinational Client A to manage PR for that region (but not others). Another office or region of the same PR agency (Y) has been hired by the country or region representative of Client B, a direct competitor to Client A, to conduct a PR campaign in region Y. In both regions, the PR counsellors advise their clients to reach out to evangelists and influencers who blog about the products that both Client A and B manufacture and sell.

Were this a traditional media outreach campaign, the issue I raise would be moot. The PR offices would conduct outreach to the business, trade and consumer media in their respective regions and life would carry on as it traditionally has.

But when you consider blogs, everything changes (or does it?). If I, in region Y, know that people who may be interested in Client B’s products rely on the insights of bloggers who hail from region X (assuming they speak the same language), then it would make sense for me to target them. But if the same bloggers are also being targeted by colleagues representing Client A… then I would think we have a problem (at least one of perception, if not worse).

If I were a prominent blogger and I received a pitch from the same PR agency for two competing clients, I’d think something was amiss… What would you think?

Is this even an issue? Is the solution, should one even be required, that PR agencies ensure pitches come from clients rather than from the PR agency itself? or Should we try to focus our efforts only on bloggers in the regions we are mandated to cover?

Add a comment