Should Branding Agencies Ghost Write for Their Clients in 2011?

A Google search turns up a 2005 article where a copywriter asks the question – “Should PR firms ghost write client blogs?”

The author argues that there’s something a little disingenuous about advertising someone else’s words as your own branding strategy. The author writes, “At present, while blogging is still in its infancy, the watchword of transparency must be obeyed. The active corporate community is small enough to be self-policing and we’re not quite ready for ghost-written blogs.”

Fast forward to 2010. Branding strategy is the name of the game, and every PR or advertising firm seems to claim some sort of secret strategy that’s a cut above the rest. So here’s the question – if a ghost writer handles your blog, writes articles for your clients or gives “branding strategy advice” under your name, is this still a big corporate no-no?

The answer is that times have changed drastically, and so have the ways we think about blogging and branding. While Facebook was also in its infancy in 2005, we had no idea of knowing social media would so drastically change the way we brand. The game today is all about effective branding that reaches the right people, along with providing the best content for your brand and products.

A huge part of effective branding is all about getting the right content out there. So if someone understands your branding vision and message – and your advice is good – why not ghost write? Today we’re consumed with media, constantly scrolling through Facebook. We’re media hungry. And if your branding advice could help get a client to their next level, and closer to meeting their bottom line, having a ghostwriter work for you doesn’t have to mean that you’re giving up transparency.

In a world where people constantly don’t have time – for blogging, branding, social media or other services that are becoming integral to brand establishment online – saving time is key. Finding a copywriter who understands your vision and what you’re trying to get across could change the way that you do business online. Giving a credible, responsible copywriter a list of articles, and briefly breaking down your thoughts and goals with social media and branding, can often be enough for you to get great content going.

In a rush-rush world, sometimes it’s just about getting the job done. If you share your unique vision with a copywriter, that doesn’t mean the vision isn’t yours anymore. So, should PR firms ghost write client blogs in 2011? The answer is YES – if it helps establish the brand and save time, PR firms have a responsibility to help a client do so to get to their next level with branding.