You always want the original content you generate for your brand to be useful and sharable. This draws interest from potential customers and drives engagement that can bring business to your brand. One of the best ways to do this is to practice brand journalism.
Brand journalism tells your story without selling your brand. It brings the approach and mindset of a journalist to company content, telling a story rather than pushing a product. As Lisa Arledge Powell, president and co-founder of MediaSource, points out, media relations professionals already operate in much the same way as journalists—assembling background research, conducting interviews and communicating the facts to an assembled readership. Powell asks, “Why write a press release when you can create the actual story?”
Powell mentions that the key to successful brand journalism is adopting a newsroom mentality that includes working with actual journalists, creating editorial calendars, assigning reporting beats and holding regular pitch meetings. She also identifies six ways to help communicators generate content worthy of brand journalism.
- Focus on the audience. Always consider what the audience cares about and how they will benefit.
- Find a voice. Find a real person and tell the story through their eyes.
- Be credible. Seek tie-ins into a national trend or bigger picture. Integrating third-party stats/facts bolsters credibility.
- Keep it simple. No ‘technical talk’ – find an expert who can speak the consumer’s language.
- Think visual. The most memorable stories deliver engaging visual content.
- Un-brand the content. Brand journalism is not brand-centric, but a brand journalist’s job includes figuring out how to seamlessly weave in a brand presence.
For more information on developing a brand journalist’s perspective, check out PR News’ Media Relations Guidebook, Vol. 2.
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