Don’t Forget The Basics: Why strong ethical practices are essential to publishing success

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Frank Alkyer's slides from May 26, 2011 ASBPE webinar, B2B Ethical Struggles and Solutions in a New-Media Era

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Don’t Forget The Basics: Why strong ethical practices are essential to publishing success

  1. 1. Don’t Forget The Basics <ul><li>Why strong ethical practices are essential to publishing success </li></ul><ul><li>Frank Alkyer, Maher Publications </li></ul>
  2. 2. The Ethical Crisis <ul><li>Journalism’s ethical crisis has reached a critical point in B-to-B </li></ul><ul><li>The double whammy of rapid technological change and recession helped create the challenge </li></ul><ul><li>But the basics still rule…readers demand good journalism. Advertising goes where the readers go </li></ul>
  3. 3. Honey, I shrunk the Ad Budgets the Ad Budgets <ul><li>Good journalism requires investment </li></ul><ul><li>Print still provides the bulk of sales for most publications </li></ul><ul><li>Online sales are paltry by comparison (But Improving </li></ul><ul><li>Advertisers want the tracking power of online, the cost of online, but the effectiveness, or staying power, of print </li></ul>
  4. 4. What’s This Got To Do With Ethics? <ul><li>In this environment, it’s easy for everyone from top execs to the janitor to bend rules, especially online </li></ul><ul><li>We cannot let this happen </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s discuss some real-world examples—and why they damage brands </li></ul>
  5. 5. List Abuse <ul><li>A magazine is a list </li></ul><ul><li>Good editorial, design and even advertising help the list develop and keep it strong </li></ul><ul><li>Abusing the list is abusing your readers, and killing off business in the long-term </li></ul>
  6. 6. List Abuse <ul><li>Posting too often </li></ul><ul><li>If you have nothing important to say, say nothing </li></ul>
  7. 7. List Abuse
  8. 8. List Abuse
  9. 9. Press Release Abuse <ul><li>Press releases, posted exactly as they are received, have no business being on an editorial website </li></ul><ul><li>A great website is a filter for the news, not an extension of its advertisers websites </li></ul><ul><li>Posting every release is abdicating journalistic responsibility </li></ul>
  10. 10. Citizen Journalist Abuse <ul><li>People who write for free will give you exactly what you pay for in the long run </li></ul><ul><li>Counting these people who go to your site to post articles as visitors is fake readership </li></ul><ul><li>It’s a scam </li></ul>
  11. 11. Citizen Journalist Abuse
  12. 12. Fair Use Abuse <ul><li>Apply the same rules for “Fair Use” that you would use in your print product </li></ul><ul><li>Do not simply lift photos and copy from other sites, unless you have proper permission </li></ul>
  13. 13. Aggregation Woes <ul><li>Easy to do, but also easy to overdo </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical issues come from not using links to create context for something you, as a journalist, are trying to say </li></ul>
  14. 14. Aggregation Woes
  15. 15. Finding Ethical Solutions
  16. 16. Finding Solutions <ul><li>Creating a strong online ethics policy is a long-term process, not an event </li></ul><ul><li>Include everyone in the discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the focus on the reader </li></ul><ul><li>Listen, but be prepared with well-researched thought on why strong ethics delivers long-term success </li></ul>
  17. 17. Finding Solutions <ul><li>Make ethics guidelines clear, simple and achievable </li></ul><ul><li>Create a list of “dos” and “don’ts” </li></ul><ul><li>Tattoo your guidelines on everyone in the shop </li></ul>
  18. 18. Making Sense of Ethics at Maher Pubs <ul><li>We’re not perfect...by a long shot, but here’s what we do in trying to make good ethical decisions and make money, too </li></ul>
  19. 19. Making Sense of Ethics at Maher Pubs <ul><li>Everyone at the company is a potential news source </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone is respected for their industry knowledge — from sales to circulation to editorial and design </li></ul>
  20. 20. Making Sense of Ethics at Maher Pubs <ul><li>Editorial makes the final call on lineups </li></ul><ul><li>Editorial presents those lineups to sales and management </li></ul><ul><li>Sales then aggressively sells very inch of ad space possible </li></ul>
  21. 21. Making Sense of Ethics at Maher Pubs <ul><li>We don’t just post press releases </li></ul><ul><li>Our non-editorial staffers are encouraged to deliver any news they hear about in their daily rounds. Some of our best tips come from them </li></ul><ul><li>We work together, but understand our value is selecting the most interesting news, not all the news </li></ul>
  22. 22. Questions and comments <ul><li>Please feel free to e-mail me with any thoughts on the issue. </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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