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Advertising: It's All About Relationships
By: Brian Keller
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Agencies spend time cultivating relationships with all who could pay off. Account folks keep in touch with the client side and creative staff stay “friendly” with friends at other agencies, just in case. Those going up the ladder stay in touch with those that are a little higher up the ladder and friendly.
 
Relationships are a shortcut to more business and a method to stay employed. Now, there is a shortcut to get to the shortcut. Push a button and you’re on your way to lasting friendships.
 
Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up with friends,”
 
I have friends and “others” like Len (Mo) whose parent's called him Joey, Other Mo, Black Len, Jewish Len, Regular Len, Lynne, Shelley, Sheri, Sherry, Nice Nancy, Nadine, Faboulous Francois, Jap, Positive Paul (who has a sunny disposition), Negative Paul (who is white but miserable), Paulie the shark, Tall Paul, Jayne, Jean, Jane, Keith, Joey Trump, Hungry Joe, Joey two times, Ray, Ray Ray, Just Ray, Original Ray, and Skippy, plus the five Zacks, tw Andrews, Aaron and Max, who are married (one is boy one is a girl; I forget which one is which), Deb, Debbie, Marcus, Debus, Proimos, Wolf, Rubeque, Stan, Stanley, Mark, Murray, Mary, Mitch, David and Belinda (my parakeets who killed each other), Sean, Tom, Tommy, Dr. Love, Diamond Jim, The Fade, Walter, Ellen, Eileen, Ilene, Fab Arlene, Fat Freddie, Elaine, SBB, and other good friends with  names I can't remember.
 
I need work. I need relationships that lead me to the right people. My real friends are worthless in that regard. I joined Facebook because I could make friends without having to give them a kidney and could expose myself to the right people.
 
With the help of Facebook and “People you may know” feature I “friended” ad people and agencies and got calls for work. Facebook also encouraged me to build a “work” page and take advantage of the analytics of my page. Beautiful.
 
One stormy night while “friending,” I got a warning:  If you send a request to a stranger, it will be considered spam and your friend request will be blocked temporarily. Please only send this request if you know [Name].
 
I went, “Wow! This seems counter to the application.” Then, as I was looking at my Facebook friends figuring out to ask for money, I saw a guy with 4,119 friends, a girl with 5,001 friends, another guy with 3,452, and more.
There are millions of people with thousands of friends and vice versa. Of course, they all know each other personally and socialize offline all the time, and Facebook just enhances the friendships. Facebook was/is protecting millions of people who have thousands of actual friends and “others,” not people like me, who have just a few friends and “others” in real life.  
"Facebook is a place for connecting with friends, family and other people you know personally."
Personal is key. Facebook is pure, and making friends of strangers is bad. But it’s okay for Pepsi, Old Spice, Coke, Burger King, Huggies – France, NASA, Hertz, and others to have millions of “friends.” I like that. I “liked” Facebook, even though I don’t know them, and apologized. They were gracious and let me like them.
 
World's Largest Professional Network | LinkedIn
www.linkedin.com/
 
After the Facebook massacre, I figured I’d join the world’s largest professional network because it would give me a place to meet other ad professionals.  I “linked” like a fiend with LinkedIn and the  “People You May Know” feature. I “linked” ad people, ad groups, headhunters, agency organizations, etc. and people went to my profile. I got a message: “17 people have viewed your profile in the last 15 days.” Very cool. I was on my way to new connections and millions of dollars in work or maybe a job as Chief Creative Operative. LinkedIn worked.
 
150 million+ members | Manage your professional identity. Build and engage with your professional network. Access knowledge, insights and opportunities.
 
So, tra la la, I “kept linking,” and: “Please note: This message is a notice that you are nearing the threshold of "I don't know" responses you can receive before you will be required to enter an email address when sending invitations. Please remember to only invite people you know.” I thought, “The people I have email addresses for are worthless. That’s why I’m here.” I found that, unlike me, everyone on LinkedIn wants to stay in touch with people they know or with close friends and would not try to further a career by linking with strangers. “The opportunities mentioned on LinkedIn are for the expansion of friendships. “
 
Then I saw that LinkedIn offers a solution to offenders. It’s like tithing. For $9.95 to $49.95 per month, you can see everyone who has viewed your profile and you can contact ANYONE with the LinkedIn “in mail.” In the paid world of LinkedIn, there are no strangers; just connections you haven’t made yet. Everyone knows your name.
 
Advertising has a huge element of “who you know” and a relationship is a commodity to be used to meet and promote yourself to employers, advertise your clients, expand opportunities, etc. The more relationships, the better off you’ll be. The more relationships a company can foster, the better the company, and the more relationships an agency can make for a client, the better both will be, and so on. Social media is a great conduit for relationships. It’s time everyone from social outlets to CEOs to agencies, businesses, and all the people trying to get work admit: “We’re only in it for the money,” and “there are no strangers, just friends you haven’t met yet.”


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About the Author
Brian Keller is the Creative Director at teeny agency in Baltimore. He graduated from the University of Maryland (English), went to grad school at NYU (Cinema Studies), & attends University of Baltimore School of Law.

Brian's been working primarily in the digital space for years but enjoys all communications avenues.

He has built the creative departments at two agencies.

He likes skateboarding with his son. He also falls off his skateboard and amuses his son. When not amusing his son or riding bikes or playing basketball or working he writes for Beyond Madison Avenue & that's why Beyond Madison Avenue appears twice in this sentence.

Find him online here and at www.teenyagency.com.
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