Who is credited with writing your newsletters?

This is more of a question than an advisory piece although I don’t know how many readers of this blog will know the answer.

I was looking at another tax newsletter recently that I had received from quite a large firm of accountants. It’s a nicely produced bespoke newsletter with professional photos of each author alongside their name and contact details. The same newsletter is also available online. Most of the articles were attributed to tax managers, consultants and directors. The firms’ tax partners seemed not to have been very involved.  I’ve seen many similar such newsletters from smaller  firms that don’t have any specialist tax tax partners.

Does this absence of any reference to tax partners give the desired impression to recipients and readers of the newsletter?

Reasons for adopting this approach could be a mix of:

  • Allowing or encouraging those who have yet to make partner to get involved in PD activities
  • Tax partners are too busy
  • Giving credit where it’s due (rather than crediting tax partners for pieces written by staff)

If the recipients and readers of the newsletter are principally clients of the firm who know one or more of the tax partners I suspect all is well. For new contacts of the firm though I think this approach may be counter-productive.

What do they think about receiving a newsletter where the articles are not attributed to tax partners?

  • Doesn’t this firm have any tax partners? I’m not inclined to use or refer work to them if the most capable tax advisers have not made partner;

Or do they think:

  • I’m pleased this firm doesn’t waste their tax partners’ time on writing articles for newsletters. Better they focus on client work and resist the temptation to take credit for articles written by their staff;

Or do they think something else?

I wonder how many accountants who send out such newsletters KNOW the answer?

What do you think?

By |2011-01-05T12:39:03+00:00January 5th, 2011|No longer current|

About the Author:

Mark Lee FCA is an accountancy focused futurist, influencer, speaker, mentor, author and debunker.


  1. Graham Jones 5th January 2011 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Mark, you raise some interesting questions. What people really want is to know who they are connecting with. When we read something we are reading the words of another person – we want to know who that person is. Newspapers who get agency copy, edited by several people will often put on a “pen name” simply to convey that the article was written by a person, not a machine.

    If tax newsletters go out with no “by-lines” or credits for tax partners they are likely to have less impact as they are perceived to come from “the firm” rather than from named individuals. Clients want to read the views of the tax partner, not the views of the firm.

    The answer is easy – firms should give “by-lines” to newsletter material as though it were from tax partners – even if the text was no written by them. This is not dishonest – it is called “ghost writing”.

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  3. Geoff Wolf 18th January 2011 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    The articles not attributed or indeed the whole newsletter is quite likely to be a bought in publication

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