More than just Rock Stars need publicists on the Web

29 Oct

Ever want to be so famous that you need a publicist to ensure your name is in the papers and TV? Ever wish you had a publicist to help keep your name out of the press?

Forget George Orwell’s 1984 Big Brother watching you, it’s “little brother” on the web watching you. If your goal is to be found on the web then you need to manage your reputation carefully. It’s so hard to build a good reputation online but unfortunately its very easy to get a bad reputation.

As Maxine Winer, who leads the Reputation Management practice at PR agency Edelman, reminded me, “…one of the top 10 rules of blogging is to always get permission to use someone else’s material…. in the blogosphere, transparency reigns supreme and people are judged (often harshly) based on their authenticity or lack thereof.”

Many of the sales author bloggers I’ve been reading have turned in another sales author/speaker because they’ve found their content published on his website under his name. I first saw Dave Stein mention it in his blog. Then Geoffrey James of Selling Power posted on his blog. Next I saw Jill Konrath’s blog saying that this same author was plagiarizing her content.

When you read the trail of blog postings and comment, what do you think? Maxine and I think this is plagiarism, pure and simple. Maxine told me, “It’s bad behavior in any form–not to mention illegal if the material is copyrighted. In this case, it’s just plain foolish (or perhaps arrogant) to publish on his blog and represent as his own work that was written by others. And word spreads like wildfire online. Repairing a tarnished reputation isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either.”

After reading these sales author blog postings and talking to Maxine, I suggest:

  • Don’t plagiarize. Duh! It’s unethical and way way too easy to get caught
  • Keep tabs on your own content. Use a service like Google Alerts to search the web for your published content being used without your permission

So what should this sales author do about the plagiarism charges? I asked that question of Maxine and her response was that what he needs to do is admit what he did, acknowledge that it was wrong, apologize (both to those whose material he used and to his readers) and promise to never again use other people’s work without their permission. What do YOU think?

PS - Thank you to The Pandemic Blog for the picuture, where I found another post by an author complaining of plagiarizing.

2 Responses to “More than just Rock Stars need publicists on the Web”

  1. Geoffrey James October 29, 2008 at 4:51 pm #

    I think he need to change careers. This is such an enormous breach of trust that I’m not sure how he can reasonably expect to recover.

  2. Michael Kreppein November 11, 2008 at 1:58 pm #

    Here’s another example of potential plagiarizing of sales author content –

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