Top PR marks for those reputation-savvy folk at law firm Schillings after their rewriting of Instagram’s Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) grabbed the headlines.
In order to explore how fully children understand their rights in relation to social media companies, a new report from the Children’s Commissioner for England called Growing Up Digital tested the T&Cs of Instagram with a group of young people. The Instagram T&Cs run to 17 pages and 5,000 words. Unsurprisingly, the document left the youngsters utterly puzzled until Schillings stepped in.
One such entry from Instagram’s T&Cs reads: “You are responsible for any activity that occurs through your account and you agree you will not sell, transfer, license or assign your account, followers, username, or any account rights. With the exception of people or businesses that are expressly authorized to create accounts on behalf of their employers or clients, Instagram prohibits the creation of and you agree that you will not create an account for anyone other than yourself. You also represent that all information you provide or provided to Instagram upon registration and at all other times will be true, accurate, current and complete and you agree to update your information as necessary to maintain its truth and accuracy.”
After Schillings stepped in it became: “Don’t use anybody else’s account without their permission or try to find out their login details.”
Knowing the highly risk-adverse nature of many lawyers, I am impressed that Schillings were willing to produce something that simplifies the law in this way, many law firms would not. Instead, they’ve seen it exactly for what it is: an excellent way of talking to their future potential clients.
You only have to look at the firm’s website to see their difference. Gone are the standard law firm platitudes about customer service and listening. In their place is a total focus on your problem, their website says: Defending reputation, demanding privacy – protecting the privacy and reputations of the world’s most successful people.
I often get asked by clients who I think does PR well, aside from pointing them in the obvious direction of other Black Letter clients, Schillings is always a good bet.