While the world debates the meaning and the merits of Julian Assange, Wikileaks and our expected right to privacy, we at Creative Concepts can’t help but wonder… how interested would Assange be in sifting through your emails?

One of the basic tenets of social media is the call for transparency.  As the theory goes, the more openly you engage with your customers, the less ambiguity there is in your actions and the less “dirt” there is for others to dig up, should they choose to do so.  (For a deeper examination of the business approach to transparency, check out the book Tactical Transparency by our friends Shel Holtz and John C. Havens.)

But despite the public push toward openness, that doesn’t mean companies and brands don’t still have their secrets.  Tactical transparency doesn’t preclude tactical advantages. And, as Christopher Penn reminds us, some companies are built on secrets.

The question, therefore, is this:

Are your public actions drastically different from your private motives?

People tend to be most vocally concerned about privacy when they’re worried that the image they’ve publicly projected would be somehow damaged or destroyed “if certain information got out.”  In the case of military positions or diplomatic strategy, that concern can be understandable.  But in the case of brand management?

Perhaps the Assange affair is a timely opportunity for you to reconsider your brand’s public image and its private intentions, and to make sure that they’re harmoniously reconciled.

The world has enough secrets.  Does your company have too many to hide?

This is about more than lulling potential customers into a false state of security so you can take financial advantage of them later (although that’s obviously reprehensible).  This is about making sure that what you want and how you’re getting there isn’t in conflict with who you are.

Photo by Lost Vegas