Why the silent treatment? A little self behaviour analysis shared


My job is to guide brands, conduct research, understand consumer behaviour, analyse data and improve marketing campaign performance.

I’ve been posting to this blog since April 2007, but I haven’t posted in a while.  I thought about this today and realised there have been a few reasons holding me back.  But perhaps only one that really mattered:

– Time (lack of).  Yes, like everyone else says, I have also been busy in recent months.  But even if I have a very very busy week, I’ve previously managed to post at the weekend occasionally over the years.  So this can’t be the main cause.

– The confidential nature of the work I’ve been engrossed in has been interesting and all-consuming; but hasn’t been possible to discuss here for contractual reasons.  I do dive deeply into subjects and live and breath them, before moving on to the next study, campaign or presentation.   While I can’t share my work directly,  I’ve previously found it possible to post a few times each month on things that don’t directly reveal my current work.  So again, this point doesn’t seem to have been the primary cause for my lack of posting to this blog.

– So this final point is probably the one that triggered me to write this post.  I realised that I’d stopped writing about brands here, because what I have to say might discuss activity by a future client.   I sometimes get involved in pitching for business from new clients and, quite naturally, the ones I write about are often working within the business sectors that I’m most knowledgeable in.

I work a lot in Media, Tech & Telco, Financial Services and Automotive.  My concern of possibly commenting on the actions today of a potential client tomorrow was limiting what I wished to publicly give a point of view on, or share some inspiration about.  I’m often either reviewing competitor work for a client, or creating strategies to improve their brand and product sales performance against competitors.

As well as celebrating great technology, advertising, media and brand experiences; I advise when things go wrong.  So I guess I caught myself out, as I’ve been censoring my own point of view outside of work hours, in order that I don’t inadvertently make a potential new client feel negative toward me, should they Google my name and read my blog.   This seems strange upon reflection, as I also use Twitter (@Plannersphere) and I don’t feel as restricted there.  Twitter has, to an extent, become a quick and lazy way of sharing a point of view or something I find interesting; rather than stopping for a few minutes to write about it.

I still believe self-censorship, as well as the contracts I’ve signed, play a role in defining what can’t be shared publicly online.  As in business I build relationships through trust and the guidance I provide, not just through non-disclosure agreements.

But what I think and have to say is of of value for both commercial and education reasons.  While my clients are major international brands, my blog readers are more typically students and an eclectic international mix of account planning, insight specialists and marketing people.

So, while I’m not promising a rapid flood of new posts here, I will start to post again more frequently.   I continue to love to celebrate good news when it is merited; wishing to help great work be noticed and rewarded.   But I must also continue to offer analysis, constructive and insightful criticism, if I believe this is merited.

Self-censorship doesn’t have to mean silence and inactivity.




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