Is it fair to criticise other people’s work in public?

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Maybe it’s always been done and I’m only just noticing it. Or maybe it’s a new trend. But I’ve been seeing more and more copywriters criticising or laughing at what they consider to be poor examples of the art of copywriting on Twitter / LinkedIn / etc. Indeed, I did it myself a few weeks’ ago.

I’m not sure I’m comfortable with it. In many cases I’d agree with the criticisms that are being made. But there’s a person behind every example being shown. Someone did their best when they were writing it.

I guess I can see the argument for commenting on other people’s work in this way. It’s a cruel world. We should always challenge ourselves to do better work. We should always try to raise standards.

But won’t the results of the campaign tell the writer (and indeed the team of people who were part of the process and signed it off) what they need to know? If they get poor results they’ll know they could have done better. And if they get good results, then who’s to say it was bad writing?

All I can think is that if someone were to tweet / blog / Instagram an example of my work and laugh at it, even if no one knew it was my work it would absolutely finish me off. I hate to think that’s what’s happening to other copywriters. I guess that’s why I don’t like it and won’t be doing it again.

What about you? What are your thoughts on calling out poor examples of your craft?

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