Elements of ethics in content marketing

Photo via Flickr by Prayitno

As brands become publishers, content marketers need to become aware of the ethical pitfalls that everyone in the publishing world faces. Plagiarism, copyright and other issues may not always rise to the level that involves your lawyers, but they will often rise to the level that does involve your ethics and your reputation. Using someone’s photograph without proper credit or mis-attributing a quote are, at a minimum, embarrassing. In some cases they may expose your brand to ridicule, negative publicity or even legal risk. Here are four guidelines for ensuring your content is ethical and appropriate. 1. Respect the truth. The marketplace is not just a competition for buyers’ dollars, it’s also a competition among competing viewpoints. Inevitably, you will be working against someone else’s viewpoint. That’s fine. It is not fine, though, to imply that something you don’t like — a viewpoint, a piece of information, a perspective — is not true if it is. And it is not OK to … Continue reading

Stop looking for silver bullets and start asking smart questions

Via http://www.flickr.com/photos/puuikibeach/6297268348/

Marketing and public relations problems are not monsters, but lots of people seem to think they are. If I can just find that single right tactic – that silver bullet or wooden stake – then I can slay the demons of competition and win the business. I'm not kidding. I've had clients basically say things like "All we want is a news release" or "We just need a really good-looking brochure" or "If I could just get my website to rank highly on Google ..." Even when an agency, marketing-communications manager or freelancer delivers on those goals, the client is still likely to be disappointed. (And you can guess who gets blamed then.) Here's the point: No single tactic or channel is going to solve all your marketing problems. Whenever I hear clients start to say "We just need ..." I start asking questions. Because I know if I don't figure out what outcome they actually want to achieve, they probably won't be happy and I may not be working with them for long. Clients are … Continue reading