How Not To Plagiarize Other People’s Work

One gentleman from a very large, very well-recognized company posts content on his company’s internal blog. He leads an inside sales team and provides content to help them better perform in their roles. He’s been posting frequently, and a lot of people on his team like his ideas. But his strategy has a few problems.

  1. The first problem is that the content this sales leader is posting isn’t his. The content is actually mine, taken directly from this blog. That wouldn’t be a problem, except he has been publishing the content under his own name, making it look as if the content is his.
  2. The second problem with his strategy is that other people within his company read my work and subscribe to my newsletter. When this gentleman posts “his work,” his team immediately identifies it as mine. They continually email me to tell me that he has plagiarized my work.

I emailed this gentleman on LinkedIn and thanked him for sharing my content, asking that he please attribute it to me, and explaining how helpful that was to me in allowing me to be known as a value creator in big companies like his. I also politely suggested he could also take it down, if he thought there were a better choice.

When he didn’t reply to my first email on LinkedIn, I sent a second. Again he didn’t reply. So I sent a note to him directly to his work email, worried that his leaders would be told that he was plagiarizing my work and reprimand him–or worse. I didn’t want to see that happen.

Finally, he removed my content rather than attribute it to me (which might have embarrassed him).

A lot of sales managers and sales leaders use the content I post here to run their weekly meetings. Some of them also use my weekly newsletter as their Monday morning sales team meeting. And a bunch of people email posts to their whole teams.

You don’t need my content (or anyone else’s for that matter) for your blog. You have your own ideas, thoughts, views, and experiences, all of which are every bit as valid as mine.

  • You can take the idea from someone else’s post and write your own view of that same topic, giving it your own slant. Or, if you agree with everything they say . . .
  • You can take a paragraph from someone else’s post, attribute it to them, and expand on it and make it your own.

Plagiarizing makes you look bad. Citing other people’s work makes you look learned, smart even.

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Filed under: Sales

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