Think Before You Socialize

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

24 August 2017

There are a few phrases that give me the willies when it comes to client relations, and one of them is “Looks great, now I’ll socialize it!” This one gets me because it usually comes after multiple rounds of revisions. A piece is so close to approval and – BAM! – six other people are roped in to give their uninformed opinions.

Will Sandra from the accounting department know we already decided to use a humorous tone in this one? Will Roger in web development know we need to keep a specific amount of white space around the logo in print? Will Michael in business development know this is a brand-awareness piece and not some sales-driven ad?

When a client suggests that an almost approved piece should be socialized for anything other than fact-checking, I begin to pull out my shield and get ready to politely deflect some arbitrary suggestions.

When we start every client engagement, we try to uncover who will have the final say in the deliverables. That person needs to be involved from the beginning to understand the objective nature of each piece and the brand voice that is being established. Otherwise, personal feelings and emotions will push changes, and the feelings and emotions of the target audience will be tossed off to the side.

The proper input and review is always necessary. Typos can get by the best of us, so additional sets of eyes are always welcome. It only becomes an issue when it affects the brand positioning or overall style of the piece.

So before you socialize your next blog post or sell sheet, make sure you provide the proper instruction. Don’t simply say, “Take a look and tell me what you think!” Try a more detailed approach: “Please take a look and let us know if you see any typos or misinformation.”

The project you save may be your own.