Todd Defren on PR-Squared discusses the differences between Ghost Blogging in a personal blogs that are associated with a company as compared to corporate blogs which are more bureaucratic. It writes about the difficulties of maintaining a good, solid blog–the time-commitment.
It’s very easy to think that Ghost Blogging is wrong. Jason Falls for example, believes that ghost authoring of any kind is a dishonest profession for very obvious reasons. We preach about transparency in corporate communication and yet Ghost Blogging negates this principle completely. If you hide behind another person’s by-line, then you are hiding that fact from your audience. Also, it is unfair to the ghost authors of the piece who gets no credit or glory for their writing.
PR-Squared illustrates the other side of this dilemma beautifully. They compare Ghost Blogging to any other type of company writing such as newsletters, explaining that such writings aren’t written by one person, but instead are a collaborative effort. A corporate blog is more a product from that company and needs to be maintained in order to be well received. It is also assumed that they would not put just anyone at the helm of a corporate blog, especially if under the name of the CEO or another important executive. The ghosting author would have to know the issues, as well as the inner workings of the company in order to accurately imitate someone high in the ranks. This means that the ghost author’s information isn’t incorrect, despite the in-authenticity of the name attached to the post.
Paul Roberts,(a fellow PR blogger) brings up the issue of content being greater than source, meaning that what is said is more important than who says it. He uses the example of Reagan’s speech on the Challenger tragedy. Roberts explains how moving the speech was, and that it wasn’t until later that he found out the speech was written by someone else. His point is that the words were still beautiful, and it didn’t change the meaning for him by knowing that the poetic phrases didn’t come from our President’s mind. As long as we have valuable content to consider, does it matter where it comes from?
Do we value authenticity over content? Is Ghost Blogging truly unethical (by definition) or merely insincere practice?
Remember to try to distinguish ethics from morals