I got this unsolicited message earlier this week from “Daniel”who appeared to be working for my friends at Baker Tilly.
After reading your engaging blog, I email with regard to an infographic we have created, detailing the 2012 pensions fraud risk survey. We believe this infographic will hold relevance and interest to your readers.
I wanted to find out whether you would be prepared to publish the infographic somewhere on your blog (http://henrytapper.com/ ) ?
You can view the infographic, located here – http://www.bakertilly.co.uk/publications/pensions-fraud-risk-infographic.aspx
I have also attached the graphic for you.
If you are happy, please can you also insert the following beneath the graphic:
Since I am a fan of Baker Tilly (we use them for our payroll, they audit us and we like to recommend them), I was happy to give them a leg up on this and duly posted the item on my blog – you can see it here under the title “Scary stuff from Baker Tilly on Pension Fraud”. I didn’t include the suggested text on the blog as it is contained in the infographic.
I went to bed happy and looked forward to a happy Baker Tilly the following morning.
But the nice Daniel of yesterday turned out to be the peeved Daniel of today. This was his reaction
Good Morning Henry.
Thank you for publishing our infographic. I would like to pick up on a couple of points please if I may.
“Scary stuff from Baker Tilly on Pension Fraud”. Please can we amend this title to be “Pension Fraud Risk Survey 2012 – Baker Tilly”
The word scary could easily imply that Baker Tilly our client is scary, not simply that the survey they compiled could be deemed to have scary findings. This infographic publication is meant as a positive resource, not the opposite.
Also, please could this be added beneath the infographic:
“ Baker Tilly works with pension scheme trustees, scheme management and corporate scheme sponsors. For more information please visit www.bakertilly.co.uk/sectors/pensions.aspx ”
and / or please link the infographic to this url too.
Thank you very much for your help Henry. I would like to also briefly mention that we have several large clients within the financial / pensions / legal sector. We are actively seeking to form relationships with relevant bloggers to distribute engaging content. As such there is a potential opportunity for yourself to receive regular content from us. We could work together for you to receive some financial benefit – either on a per article basis, or monthly fee.
Please give this some thought Henry and let me know any feedback.
Re: Baker Tilly info, I would really appreciate this being amended, as could land us in bother with client.
Daniel J. D’Auria
This was a difficult e-mail for me to understand so I decided to contact Dan.
Let’s just say we didn’t have much in common. No link – no dice. Though the link appears on the infographic, it was not a “hyperlink” that would directly generate clicks on Baker Tiller’s website.
I forwarded Daniel’s second e-mail to the Baker Tilly press office and later that morning spoke to Jessica, their press officer who , in an extremely professional way, explained that they employed Daniel’s firm to get traffic to their website.
She told me that Baker Tilly had no problem with the title of my blog and were pleased that I was advertising their research. Apparently Daniel had overstepped the mark which was attracting “reputational risk” to Baker Tilly. She would have a word with him.
I am very much in two minds about this. The status of Daniel’s firm is ambiguos, ws he working for Baker Tilly or was his firm? Did he or his firm or Baker Tilly own the content? Was the content the infographic or the information in the infographic?
Since the infogaphic itself, contains the advertising that Daniel wanted me to display on the blog, I feel I did my bit for Baker Tilly. But Daniel’s fear that Baker Tilly would be unhappy to be associated with the word “scary” suggests that BAker Tilly has an aspiration not just to advertise but to control the nature of the content that surrounds the advertsing.
Had Baker Tilly earned a stake in the editorial of my blog because I had used their infographic?
In my telephone conversation with Daniel, I found myself getting angry. It was partly out of frutstration with myself. It was also a frustration that despite my best endeavours, I had created a problem for Baker Tilly who I thought I had helped. I seemed to now owe Baker Tilly an apology. I seemed to have damaged Daniel’s relationship with his client.
I now feel considerably less happy to do business with Baker Tilly , because of the behaviour of Daniel, who is not even their employee.
I use wordpress because of its apparent indpependence- I appreciate that the reccomended links it suggests contain “promotions” and am happy to apply them in return for my getting their blog for free. I check to see the links that are clicked. I also advertise a few links to charities and academic research on this blog. My content is used by others and links to this blog appears on other’s sites. This process of sharing is essential to the web community.
From time to time I get it wrong and get a call from an individual or a company who I have misrepresented. But never before have I been leant on to edit my content to suit the commercial needs of a commercial organisation.
Companies such as Baker Tilly need to be careful of how they are promoted by third parties. They have put distance between themselves and their agent but I’ve no doubt that the likes of Daniel will be back.
Bloggers beware- naivety is no excuse in the eye of your public.