Test your ethics: 11 real-world ethical challenges

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I’ve faced many ethics quandaries in my long career. You will, too. Everyone believes they are ethical. But when it’s time to decide, what will you actually do? Real-life ethics test Here’s a list of ethical situations, most of which I actually faced. Put yourself in my shoes. What would you do? In the interest … Continued

Collaborating on research: the value of multiple perspectives

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Two or three researchers can do better than one. Here’s how to take advantage of that. For the purposes of this post, I’m talking about Web research that informs writing, whether that’s an article, a book, a white paper, or an internal document. Even if you’re doing actual primary research, such a survey or interviews, … Continued

How Goodyear should have responded to Trump’s attack

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A Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company slide that circulated on social media stated that political attire (like “Make America Great Again” gear) was unacceptable in the workplace. President Trump responded by calling for a boycott of Goodyear. Let’s take a close look at Goodyear’s response, and how it could have been better. The visual that … Continued

Can you sue for libel and then keep your name a secret?

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People are saying mean things about you. You’d like to sue them to get them to stop. Can you do this and maintain your privacy — including keeping your name a secret? This principle is being tested right now in Cincinnati. Bloggers accused a police officer of flashing a white power sign at protestors and … Continued

Politicizing the Post Office and the benefit of the doubt

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You’ve read the stories. Postmaster Louis DeJoy is slowing the mail down and interfering with the operation of the Post Office to screw up voting by mail. Is he really? Or has our lying, corrupt President just behaved so badly that whenever there is doubt, we assume the worst? What would you see if you … Continued

What to do when publishers reject your book proposal

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Your agent has sent out your proposal. Now the rejections are coming in. This is typical. It’s the rare proposal that interests all the editors to whom it’s pitched. What you learn from rejections Here are a few insights that can help you make use of what you learn from rejections: Expect rejection. This is … Continued

Write more. Meet less. Reflections on the memo culture.

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Zoom is great. Meeting on Zoom for 5 hours a day, not so much. Writing can help — especially if your company adopts a writing-centric “memo culture.” The value of a memo culture Consider two companies that have a memo culture, Amazon and Netflix. At Amazon, if you’re having a meeting, you have to write … Continued

Why I won’t edit your book

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I turn jobs down. It happens all the time. After five years as a freelance writer, editor, and coach, I can tell when you and your manuscript are going to be a problem — and more importantly, when I can’t help you. If I pass you off to another editor, you’re probably fine. But if … Continued