Writing Ethical Content

If you disregard all the suggested rules of content marketing remember this one: make sure the content that you’re creating is ethical.

According to the Society of Professional Journalists, there are four main principles to follow when reporting the news. These same rules should apply to all forms of the media as well as content marketing. They are: seek truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently, and be accountable as well as transparent. Following this basic code helps to avoid any issues that could be found in your writing.

The biggest concept to pay close attention to while writing is probably the most obvious- don’t copy other peoples work! “An ethical writer ALWAYS acknowledges the contributions of others to his/her work” (The Office of Research Integrity). This is the most basic rule but also an easy one to infringe upon when writing about topics you’re not entirely familiar with and when research is required.

This next concept coincides with the last: if you do use someone else’s work, give credit! You can do this by including hyperlinks in your text or referring to the exact source in your writing. Including outside sources helps boost your credibility and gain trust within your audience. If you are writing about a complex topic with no evidence of the use of outside research, your audience might be hesitant to believe you.

Also, it almost never hurts to concisely explain your choices and thought processes in your writing. This not only helps you to stay on the side of being honest, but also builds trust within your reader making it more likely for them to return to your website/source of your content. Content marketing depends on a relationship between your company and its’ clients. Don’t jeopardize this relationship by creating content that isn’t ethical.