Throughout the last 20-years Social Networking and Social Media have grown into practically uncontrollable forces that can be used for good and bad. It is almost considered inconceivable that any business can operate without Social Media accounts, this can put pressure on individuals to continually create content and comment on other’s content, I believe this pressure in itself can be a source of stress.
Paul Byram Associates’ staff each have their own Social Media accounts and any views expressed are personal opinions of those individuals and not necessarily the views of the agency.
I believe that Agents, Casting Directors and Associates, Producers and Directors have a responsibility to ensure that they make it clear that their posts, by and large, are opinion and NOT FACT. Actors may believe that by following one of the aforementioned people and ‘liking’ or positively commenting on a post they may be getting one step closer to their own personal goal or ‘golden ticket’, in reality, this is unlikely to be true.
Advice offered by industry professionals and agents is often personal opinion and as such can differ greatly from person to person, in my opinion, any advice or opinion offered on Social Media should be carefully considered before acting up on it. personally speaking, I like requests for representation to be short, to the point and contain links to professional CV’s and photographs, I would prefer them to open with “Dear Paul, Matt & Jenny” as opposed to “Dear Agent”, this demonstrates that some care has been taken and the email isn’t a ’round robin’ to hundreds. If we express an interest in an actor, it is a carefully selected approach, something that we rarely do unless a particular individual catches our attention, it is worth noting that we would never ‘poach’ or approach an already represented talent.
Any type of post can be perceived negatively, if an agent posts how well one or more clients are doing it can leave those who are going through a ‘thin patch’ feeling ‘less than’, if they don’t post at all then some may consider them not be successful enough because they aren’t tweeting their success!
I ask you, when was the last time you saw a tweet from Toni Howard at ICM about Samuel L. Jackson? Are we to believe that this very accomplished actor and agency aren’t doing so well at the moment, or, could it be that Toni is simply too busy and doesn’t subscribe to the Social Media culture?
It’s worth pointing out that Social Media can often be the only way to get any type of response from large corporations who have provided bad service. These companies thrive on good publicity and therefore a negative tweet about them could get the desired result when they have neglected to deal with customer complaints through their usual channels, however, even I, who have used Social Media in this way treat it as a last resort and never make it personal about an individual.
Social Media “influencers” feature on our home page, this term in itself is one that doesn’t sit well with us or the individuals featured, however, it is has been adopted into everyday vocabulary and so there it is. Each one of these “influencers” have grown in popularity due to their own personal determination, talent and integrity and will usually only get involved in campaigns that they personally believe in and not just for financial reward, in reality we turn down more approaches than we accept because we believe them to be misleading.
I hope I have made my position clear on Social Media and Social Networking, feel free to follow me (or not), I don’t post often, I’m too busy, however, when I do there is no intention to offend and I try to be positive.
Have a good day.
Founder and CEO Paul Byram Associates