Church & State Takes Back Seat to Other Ethical Concerns


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Lengthening laundry list includes maintaining top quality, fair use snafus, enforced marketing involvement, social media conduct – plus lots more!!!
Howard Rauch's slides from May 26, 2011 ASBPE webinar, B2B Ethical Struggles and Solutions in a New-Media Era

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Church & State Takes Back Seat to Other Ethical Concerns

  1. 1. Church & State Takes Back Seat to Other Ethical Concerns Lengthening laundry list includes maintaining top quality, fair use snafus, enforced marketing involvement, social media conduct – plus lots more!!!
  2. 2. Ethics Issues Make Headlines! <ul><li>How to Create Awesome Content </li></ul><ul><li>Fair Use: How much is too much? </li></ul><ul><li>Correction practices at major news sites are a mess, survey finds </li></ul><ul><li>Are we seeing a shift in the quality vs. quantity content debate? </li></ul><ul><li>Freelance Success: Dealing with nightmare clients </li></ul>
  3. 3. Ethics Alerts From the Field <ul><li>“Our editors were always being pressured by their tradeshow staff because they didn’t provide enough pages of coverage, were reluctant to include the entire list of exhibitors (though it’s of little value to editors), or didn’t sound enthusiastic enough. And of course, editors could not make mention of, let alone cover, competitive shows.” </li></ul>
  4. 4. Ethics Alerts From the Field <ul><li>“ There are no Dale Carnegies in the B2B sales camp. Dale Carnegie never would be bartering sales for editorial.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ In this digital age, many editors have become one-dimensional. They rely totally on e-mail for information. If any inquiry pulls no response, they never even think of picking up the phone. Further, as a result of this new media rut, editors have less of a connection with their readers.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Ethics Alerts From the Field <ul><li>“ One major change is that some publishers are reorganizing editorial jobs in terms of content category. This includes responsibility for advertising projects as well as conventional editorial material. Sometimes this requires an attitude adjustment as far as becoming comfortable with sales-oriented assignments. Unfortunately, editors moved into this new role were not given a choice. It was a matter of “take this job or don’t have a job.” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Ethics Alerts From the Field <ul><li>“Freelancing becomes a problem when you are assigned to handle a specific project and the client asks you to make several small changes that add unbilled time to the project. It usually starts with one such request and mushrooms into several 10-minute changes. If you do someone a favor just once, it becomes expected and at no charge.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Ethics Alerts From the Field <ul><li>Common on-line problem is the “one-man site.” In this case, one person is piecing together a site that looks as if a team is doing it. One issue that results: Plagiarism from pasted, stolen copy.” </li></ul><ul><li>“Where they exist, ethical policies should be posted so readers can see what the publication stands for.” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Ethics Alerts From the Field <ul><li>“ We’re competing against more forms of content while feeling pressure to produce more content in shorter time frames. And now, we’re looking at our advertisers as content competitors. The barrier to entering the content area is very low. Anybody can create a blog.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ More of a problem today, especially with digital content, is a tendency to use sources that are not credible. We have to teach our editors how to use the web, then verify the information they obtain.” </li></ul>
  9. 9. Ethics Alerts From the Field <ul><li>“ Some editors are negotiating rates with freelancers that they have no intention of honoring.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ For many editors, the Church & State thing no longer is the main ethical concern. Instead, I worry about how to avoid having the sheer pressure of trying to meet content demands with limited staff forcing me to compromise quality standards.” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Ethics Alert -- Content Marketing <ul><li>Recent Zmags webinar -- “How to Create Awesome Content” -- offered excellent input to B2b marketers on content development. But also reviewed pertinent data for B2B editors following the content marketing trend. </li></ul><ul><li>Data cited was based on information gathered from 1,000 marketers. </li></ul><ul><li>88 percent use content marketing. </li></ul><ul><li>Biggest challenge (by 36%); producing engaging content; next hurdle (21%) producing enough content. A third concern (20%): budget to produce content. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Survey Results Reflect E-news Quality Shortfall <ul><li>Data is taken from Editorial Solutions, Inc. ongoing studies of e-news delivery. </li></ul><ul><li>Phase II reflects practices of 50 sites delivering a total of 580 articles. </li></ul><ul><li>Of total articles reviewed, 308 -- 53.1% -- lacked evidence of enterprise. Information provided gave impression of being straight PR announcement rewrite. </li></ul><ul><li>When it comes to engagement, the best approach is to provide direct quotes from authoritative end-user sources. However, 13 of the 50 e-news packages reviewed used no end-user quotes. </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence of foggy writing mirrored findings of the Phase I study; 197 articles -- 33.4% -- were burdened by parades of endless sentences. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Detailed newspaper policies offer excellent quality guidance <ul><li>For instance, consider these excerpts from the policy statements issued by the Roanoke Times News: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Plagiarism is unforgivable and will be cause for termination. We will attribute all material we use from other newspapers, other media or any other sources. We will credit other media that develop exclusive stories worthy of our coverage.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Quotes are sacred. Don’t clean them up to hide bad grammar, slang or broken English. If we’re afraid that a direct quote will embarrass a speaker -- particularly if the speaker is someone not accustomed to talking to the newspaper -- paraphrase the information.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ To the fullest extent possible, this newspaper will provide readers full information on the sources of news it prints. Sources are to be identified by name, position and other information relevant to the story.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ While a one-source story may occasionally be unavoidable, stories that rely on a single source will be viewed skeptically. Reporters who submit one-source stories will be encouraged to find additional sources before their stories are published.” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Times News Social Media Policies <ul><li>“ Information gathered using social networks should be independently confirmed offline. Verify that the person you’ve contacted on line is in fact the person you think you’ve contacted. Interview sources in person or over the phone whenever possible. As always, verify claims and statements.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Be careful and consistent about joining groups and supporting causes. Either avoid them entirely or sign up for lots of groups.” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Self-scoring ethics profile is a work in progress. Your input invited! <ul><li>In my former VP/editorial capacity at B2B multi-publishing firm, I used self-scoring profiles to clarify staff expectations. </li></ul><ul><li>Areas addressed included complaint-handling, feature article writing, field presence, trade show coverage, personnel management and publisher potential. </li></ul><ul><li>Typical profile consists of ten statements that can be scored numerically or on a Yes-No basis. </li></ul><ul><li>Sample self-scoring devices have been posted as blogs on ASBPE’s national site. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Self-scoring profile -- continued <ul><li>Examples of possible self-scoring statements pertaining to ethics policies: </li></ul><ul><li>We have a written policy describing ethical practices pertaining to relationships with advertisers. </li></ul><ul><li>Our ethics guidelines are posted on our website. </li></ul><ul><li>Articles based on original research accurately describe methodology and level of response. We will not publish information based on an inadequate return. </li></ul><ul><li>When interviewing new editorial recruits, we present an honest picture of personal and financial growth the position offers. </li></ul><ul><li>If you answered the above on the basis of Yes = 10, No=0, how did you shape up? In a self-scoring policy consisting of ten questions scored on a Yes-No basis, passing grade should be at least 80.0. </li></ul><ul><li>Some elements of our profile-to-be will be based on information contained in ASBPE’S Guide to Preferred Editorial Practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Feel free to submit your thoughts concerning possible statements we might include. E-mail </li></ul>
  16. 16. Speaker contact information <ul><li>Name: Howard Rauch </li></ul><ul><li>Chairman, ASBPE Ethics Committee; e-mail: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Other: President, Editorial Solutions, Inc.; e-mail: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Phone: (201) 569-7714 </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter contact: </li></ul>
  17. 17. Ethics Editorial QualityPostscript: The Quest For Originality <ul><li>Excerpts from recent blog – “All the Aggregation That’s Fit to Aggregate” </li></ul><ul><li>Author: Bill Keller, Executive Editor, The New York Times </li></ul><ul><li>“ ‘ Aggregation’ can mean smart people sharing their reading lists, plugging one another into the bounty of the information universe. It kind of describes what I do as an editor. But too often it means taking words written by other people, packaging them on your own Web site and harvesting revenue that might otherwise be directed to the originators of the material. In Somalia this would be called piracy. In the mediasphere, it is a respected practice.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Then again, some of the great aggregators, Huffington among them, seem to be experiencing a back-to-the-future epiphany. They seem to have realized that if everybody is an aggregator, nobody will be left to make real stuff to aggregate. Huffington has therefore hired a small stable of experienced journalists, including a few from here, to produce original journalism about business and politics.” </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>To receive bonus copy of competitive analysis commentary focusing on e-news strengths/weaknesses, can e-mail Howard Rauch at [email_address] . </li></ul><ul><li>To discuss further material covered during webinar, e-mail [email_address] . I will forward your inquiry to all panelists for immediate response. </li></ul>