A few weeks ago I received an email from an employee whose Executive Vice President was publishing my work on their company blog under his name. A half a dozen of his inside salespeople subscribed to this blog and brought this to my attention. I had a tough time convincing this gentleman to attribute the posts to me or take them down. He relented when I told him his people were questioning his leadership.
Three days ago I received another email outlining exactly the same scenario. Another executive leader was “borrowing” my writing and passing it off as his own. He suggested that a “ghost writer” provides him the material and that he didn’t know where the ghost writer acquired the content. Once again, this gentleman’s people emailed me to question his leadership.
Tonight I received a tweet pointing me to an individual on LinkedIn, who has been posting my blog posts every day for months, passing them off as his own. In this case, the person plagiarizing my work added his contact information to the bottom of each post, asking people to contact him for help with their sales results. He was forced to remove the posts when people in the small sales community left a dozen comments under one of his posts.
The people who are plagiarizing my work and the work of others who regularly produce content are creating a serious problem for themselves. They are very publicly showing a lack of character. And they are leaving a long trail behind them, one that their employees or customers can easily follow. Anyone could capture screenshots of the plagiarized work and provide evidence to others or publish it themselves.
None of this is necessary.
There are people who do a very nice job synthesizing content on the web. Many of them don’t write much content. Instead, they curate content for their audiences. Their audiences find that curation is valuable because these curators are doing the work of pulling together content worth reading or viewing. Curation is a good strategy for a lot of folks.
There are no shortcuts to building your brand and your reputation. You have to do good work. You have to do that work consistently. You need a unique point of view, and you need your own voice. But none of this matters if you don’t have character.
Plagiarism isn’t a content marketing strategy.
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Filed under: Content Marketing