I work for a company as a copywriter. My core responsibility is to write engaging marketing content related to the product I'm advertising. Recently, I've written an article on my own initiative. I volunteered to relate the product to a hot trend.

It turned out to be the most successful article that received the highest traffic in the website's history. The company decided to publish it for the conference in a form of a brochure, and when I asked the manager to mention my name (write it somewhere at the end of the article in small letters + the name of our designer, because he did a great job), my request was turned down. The manager said it was team work and mentioned the names of business developers instead, who are not related to the article at all. Now it looks like a 4-page business card.

I feel a little bit offended. I wouldn't have any problems if it was assigned to me by management, as sometimes I act as a shadow writer. I think it would be fair to mention the author's name in this case.

How can I persuade the manager to add my name in the published version on the article? I could add it to my portfolio then.

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    Hello @Irene and welcome to The Workplace. I am afraid that "Should I" questions are mostly off topic here on the site, as they are asking us to make a choice for you. Can you please reword your question to be more answerabe? Perhaps about how can you manage to get your name in the paper, or something similar – DarkCygnus Sep 25 '17 at 20:42
  • When you say the article was written "on your own initiative", does that mean that your manager didn't tell you to do it, that you did it on your own personal time outside of work, or something else entirely? – Nuclear Wang Sep 25 '17 at 21:08
  • @GrayCygnus I'm not asking to make a choice for me, but for advice on how to handle the situation professionally. – Irene Sep 25 '17 at 21:10
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    @GrayCygnus Thank you for your help. I've used your suggestion and edited the question. – Irene Sep 25 '17 at 21:54
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    @JoeStrazzere Ok, will try to explain. Previously, the company published every article I wrote under the name of "bla bla expert." Now, everyone has an account and publishes articles from their own account with first and last name. The article we're now discussing belongs to the authorship of "bla bla expert," but still, it was written by me and it was my initiative. So I thought that if they are now publishing articles with personal names, mine can also be included in the brochure. – Irene Sep 25 '17 at 22:20

I feel a little bit offended. I wouldn't have any problems if it was assigned to me by management, as sometimes I act as a shadow writer. I think it would be fair to mention the author's name in this case.

How should I react?

You should react by talking to your manager privately when you both have a few free minutes.

You should learn what the company's policy is regarding attribution and bylines. Every company that publishes writing has such a policy - even if it isn't written. In your case, the policy may just be "the manager decides on a case by case basis".

You should come to an understanding as to when your name will be mentioned and when it will not. Make sure you understand the policy when an article is assigned, and when it is written of your own volition. Make sure you understand how attribution is carried forward (or not) onto derivative materials like brochures.

Then, if the company's practices don't meet your needs, you should find a new job at a company where their author attribution practices won't offend you.

Alternatively, work as a freelance writer and insist that all of your published materials include your name as author.

  • My company doesn't have any policy in terms of content attribution. – Irene Sep 25 '17 at 21:35

Don't feel offended but take it as an opportunity to learn about your company's ethics and your manager's nature. Next time you should be more careful about such things.

No body can restrict you from claiming that you have written that article. One way to show around that you are the writer is to put comments like "Thank you guys for appreciating my work and being my inspiration, this encourages me to produce great articles like this." if page has any comments section. That way you can get attention without offending anyone. also you can make a tiny blog where same article is published under your name and provide links to sites (and magazines or news papers if any) where article is published. Same thing can done over email as thank you note.

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