Smart PR Communications Develops Fair Use Guidelines for Technology Companies

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Smart PR Communications just developed a set of editorial guidelines for copying and reviewing content that are relevant to today’s online information sources.

Strategic Marketing Consultant

Jeanna Van Rensselar, principal Smart PR Communications

Our editorial guidelines are a logical middle between the old standard of express written permission and what is trending toward no permissions and no attributions.

Smart PR Communications (SPRC), one of the leading strategic marketing communications consultants for technical companies, just developed a set of editorial guidelines for copying and reviewing content that are relevant to today’s online information sources.

SPRC principal Jeanna Van Rensselar said, “The new guidelines are an answer to the general relaxing of rules when it comes to obtaining permissions to reuse both text and graphics. They are a logical middle ground between the old standard of express written permission and what is trending toward a Wild West with no permissions and no attributions. We hope this will at least start a conversation.”

The new guidelines address 4 areas:
1. Text: what needs to be attributed and how it should be attributed
2. Graphics: fair use and correct attribution
3. 3rd party review: which materials need to be reviewed by partner companies that are mentioned and the procedure for doing that
4. Google considerations: avoiding the penalty for duplicate text

SPRC generates a significant amount of content for clients. Since most of their clients are technology and scientific organizations, they rely heavily on digital source materials with an author that is usually difficult or impossible to find. Another complicating factor is determining the original source; although updates to Google’s search algorithm are making that easier.

In addition, much of the material SPRC generates for clients is republished online—often without attribution. “Personally, I don’t care if someone republishes our material without our permission,” Van Rensselar said. “In fact, I encourage it as long as it is reproduced accurately, attributed, and used in a context that is not detrimental to our business. I think that’s both fair and practical.”

Van Rensselar added that anyone who wants to adopt their attribution-review guidelines is free to do so as long as they refer to it as the SPRC Attribution-Review Guidelines. The full document is available for review and download on SPRC’s homepage: http://www.smartprcommunications.com/

Leading strategic marketing consultant, Smart PR Communications (SPRC), specializes in small to mid-sized growing technical and scientific clients with complex products and/or services; a market that requires marketing communications consultants to get up to speed quickly, pay careful attention to detail, and translate features and benefits into terms that decision makers can understand. They collaborate closely with clients and serve as either a scalable marketing dept. or as communications specialists for an existing marketing dept. SPRC maintains offices on LaSalle Street in Chicago and in Naperville, Ill. To contact Smart PR Communications, call 630-363-8081; email: info(at)smartprcommunications(dot)com; or visit http://www.smartprcommunications.com.

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