The idea for this post came from Josh Hallett's "Sorry We Work In Different Industries" blog post and was cross posted over on Shamable.com.
Yesterday an agency posted their RFP criteria for companies looking to hire a social media firm. It's self serving as all get up, but not a bad start. I'm sure the agency will undoubtedly not let anyone forget that they were the first to post it on their blog, which as we know means a LOT. </sarcasm>
There is one question missing from the RFP, however.
How often does your senior leadership speak at conferences?
I'm not asking this because I think speaking is or isn't crucial to provide expertise. I have been known to hit the road and/or give presentations too. There's nothing wrong with spreading knowledge and engaging in discussion with your peers and industry-types. The difference, as Josh rightfully points out, is that when you're on the road constantly there's no way you can be servicing your client. In a business that's based on expertise and relationships (and execution, really), one can't possibly sustain both when they're pouring their heart and soul into just one.
So if you see me at a conference or I happen to rush out of the room after speaking, just remember that it's not out of disrespect -- I have client work to do.