When we think of plagiarism typically student research papers come to mind. Occasionally we hear of professional writers accused of copying another’s work. Yet, this week’s media frenzy over Melania Trump’s alleged plagiarized speech at the Republican National Convention proves that pretty much anything written can, in fact, be stolen from someone else.
Plagiarism questions the authenticity of the accused, in this case, Mrs. Trump, and diminishes the person’s credibility. Think about it: If you have to steal someone else’s ideas and pass them off as your own, are you really trustworthy?
Beyond receiving a failing grade for a paper peppered with the thoughts of another writer, or being in the midst of a plagiarized speech debate, copying the written words of another person can have impacts in the business world as well. Perhaps your competitor launches a genius marketing campaign for a product or service similar to one of yours. If only you had thought of it … but you didn’t.
It’s too late to pass it off as your own and try to credit yourself with thinking of it first. Instead, go back to the drawing board and dream up a more inventive way to market your company’s offerings and put that plan into action.
As a business owner, there are three important things to keep in mind every day, even when you’re not looking for ways to avoid plagiarism.
- Be original.
What sets you apart from the competition? Figure out what makes your business or services unique and promote it. Being one of a kind shows your authenticity. As an added bonus, plagiarism can not be an issue if your company is blazing its own trails instead of following the pack.
- Be human
People choose to do business with other people. Period. Never forget the importance of showing a little compassion and understanding. When competitors implement hard and fast rules to govern how they do business, refrain from copying this approach. Remember that we’re all only human and subject to fail at times.
- Give credit
We all have been in work or school situations where someone else may have taken credit for an idea that was not their own. When an employee, colleague or customer shares an idea worth putting into action, be sure to acknowledge their effort by giving credit where it is due.
Can you think of other situations where plagiarism has or could come into play? Please share your thoughts below.