Ghosting Ethics

Cheryl Snapp ConnerDo you believe in ghosts? Many of the nation’s leading executives and entrepreneurs certainly do – as well as top athletes, Hollywood stars, and of course, politicians. If communication isn’t your strong suit, then you may believe in ghosts, too.

Ghostwriting, of course, is the widely-accepted practice of writing a book, a blog, or a commentary in someone else’s name. Over the years, many writers have lent their literary skills to celebrities and others in return for pay. As the name suggests, ghost are unseen and usually unsung. But is the shadowy nature of ghostwriting an ethical trap for ghosts and hosts? In a recent Forbes.com column, Cheryl Snapp Conner looked into the truth and consequences of ghostwriting.

Essential to a successful “ghosting” relationship, Conner tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally, is strong bond between “the author” and “the ghost.” More and more, such literary marriages occur when corporate leaders sign up to a content marketing strategy.

“We’ve got many CEOs today who have committed to a [blogging] schedule, and now they need something every week.  Maybe they started out with a good process and a good intent.  But busyness got the better of them,” she explains. “They’re just turning to that writer and saying, ‘you know my voice, go.’”

Cheryl Snapp Conner is the founder and managing partner of Utah-based Snapp Conner PR. She is a trustee of the Utah Technology Council (UTC)  and has been recognized as one of Utah’s 30 Women to Watch. Her columns appear on Forbes.com/Entrepreneurs and she is also a contributor to Yahoo Finance and OpenView Labs.

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