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February 19, 2014


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Daniel Antion

At the AIIM New England Chapter, we started publishing (sort of) white papers after our educational events. Although I have written the content, it's really a group effort and we are trying to showcase the energy in the room so we leave it appearing as a product of the Chapter. We do our best to attribute specific thoughts to our speakers when appropriate, but it gets hard to even do that during a panel discussion. I write a lot of stuff for our company, but I actually prefer that it's associated with the company. I do agree that if something is written by an individual, it shouldn't go out under a CEO's by line. On the other hand, I've written a number of speeches for people, so I guess it's a tough question.

David Meerman Scott

Hi Daniel, thanks for jumping in so quickly. I wonder if in the case of an association it might be different than when it is a company?... Not sure. But I can see the benefit of your approach.

Cara Posey

David, this is a great conversation to ignite. Certainly we've seen many companies handle this in different ways at ExpertFile, but we love the idea of tying content to expertise and humanizing the brand through these experts.

Organizations may find themselves saying "But I can't have our marketing director as the author of every whitepaper!" This leads to the conversation about involving more experts in content creation, whether that's a blog post or more in-depth content, like a whitepaper. Certainly many experts have slide decks they can share from various experts.

The more that an organization can expand the variety of experts that they showcase, along with their content assets, the more touch points they have to start a conversation with people around specific topics or ideas. As you said, that may lead to a sale, or a conference opportunity, interview, or a valuable business connection.

We hope to see more organizations taking note of your suggestion and personifying their brand through expert content.

David Meerman Scott

Thanks Cara! I love the work that you and ExpertFile are doing around both personal branding as well as how to drive the collective personal brands to influence the company brand.

Jim Bierfeldt

People are very mobile in my industry. have run into problems where people leave and go to other organizations. Can't slap someone else's name on it since another has already been named as the author.

David Meerman Scott

Jim - that certainly puts a different twist on this discussion. Thanks for pointing out the (obvious) fact that people move employers.


I agree with you, white papers should have authors,their own authors, maybe I’m interested after that in the author and I want to do some research about him and keep in touch with him.

Dragan Mestrovic

As content is created to show expertise than it should also show who has the expertise. So the content gets a more personal touch what can result in an increase of trust.

I think we all are tired of faceless corps where mistakes and incompetency still hide behind an anonymous wall of voicemail jail, bad service and ignorance.

My personal standpoint is, if a business is hiding or do not show any people (faces) than you should avoid doing business with them. Because of they have good reasons why they hide and you should not become the guinea pig to find out why ;-)

David Meerman Scott

Dragan - this is the quote of the week! You should tweet it now. "I think we all are tired of faceless corps where mistakes and incompetency still hide behind an anonymous wall of voicemail jail, bad service and ignorance." -- David

Dragan Mestrovic

Yeah, thank you David. Just done :-) #inblurbs


Interesting article. I also think it's a good idea to put an author's name on a white paper. A white paper takes a lot of time and effort to produce, so it's a great way to display someone's thought leadership and give them credit for the work (even if a ghost writer does it for them). However, since many white papers are bad, I understand why people don't want to put their names on them. Putting someone's name on it forces you to up your game and produce better white papers.

David Meerman Scott

Queen's and CopywriterTO - thanks for the comments.

The way you both submitted meant that "CopywriterTO" and "Queens" comes up in the "Posted by:" field.

So, ironically, we don't know the name of the author of these comments...

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