Guest Blogger Henry Stimpson: Write It Yourself or Hire a Ghost?
|April 30, 2012||Posted by Anharris under Communications, PR|
Bylined articles and blogs are great PR and marketing tools. Should you write your own articles or hire a ghostwriter?
There are advantages to write-your-own. You can get your thoughts down directly without an intermediary. Particularly if it’s a highly technical subject, writing it yourself can be easier than trying to explain the matter to a ghostwriter.
Most executives and experts—with a little coaching—can write publishable articles. The draft doesn’t have to be perfect. If the basics are there, editing can fix any problems.
There are disadvantages to doing your own writing. The biggest one is that it never gets done.
Many people have good intentions. They say they’ll write, but it never happens.
Some people don’t have the time. Others don’t have the ability. When either time or ability is the problem, consider using a ghostwriter.
Here’s what a ghostwriter should bring to the table.
Ability to challenge the author to fully develop his thoughts. A ghostwriter is just the medium. A good one will have an interactive conversation and ask questions that challenge the expert to prove his or her case and take all thoughts to their logical conclusion.
Knowledge of how to work with editors. This doesn’t apply if you’re self-publishing a blog post, but it’s crucial otherwise. Before you write an article for publication, you need to know what the editor needs and wants. The ghostwriter should first send the editor the article idea and get editorial approval and specifications before writing it.
Proven writing skill. Look for a portfolio of published articles. The ghostwriter should be able to write articles that have panache and punch—that are compelling and reader-friendly, without fluff. A skilled ghost can help your article stand out in the increasingly crowded marketplace of ideas.
Henry Stimpson is the owner of Stimpson Communications, a public relations and marketing communications firm in Wayland, Mass. A widely published writer, he holds the Public Relations Society of America’s Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation and degrees from Boston University and Simmons College.