As the print media continues to shrink and decline, brand journalism is the buzzword on our industry's lips as content marketing evolves into engaging newsroom-style messaging.

The term "brand journalism" has existed for close to a decade, with Larry Light using the term in 2004. At the time, he was chief marketing officer at McDonald's and claimed that mass marketing no longer worked, introducing brand journalism as a method of recording "what happens to a brand in the world".

So what is brand journalism exactly? Brand journalism transcends traditional marketing staples such as competitions, product launches, eDMs and brochures. According to Forbes, it involves marketers using the tools of digital publishing and social media to speak directly to consumers. As axes continue to swing in traditional newsrooms, this area of media and communications industry is slowly growing and will shake up decades of journalism as we know it.

In today's vast digital landscape, the future belongs to businesses that self-publish and become the media, creating content by covering their organization and industry like a news reporter.

Here's how you can begin implementing a brand journalism communications strategy in your business:

1. Hire a journalist! Seasoned journalists know where it's at - they are knowledgeable and experienced, with a background of using engaging hooks and emotive language to entice consumers into reading on. Media professionals are continuing to cross over to corporates and consultancies as media organisations buckle and fold - it would be silly to overlook their storytelling experience and interpersonal skills.

2. Tell meaningful stories. Brand journalism is not about the hard sell - it's about narrating the business's story using the credibility and influence of news to tell a corporate tale. Taking on the established principles of traditional journalism and good storytelling helps your business stand out from the pack and achieve competitive differentiation from its competitors.

3. Balance is key. Don't just paint a cheerful story of your business and its success - share its challenges and you're continuing to deal with them. If there is an industry-wide issue which is giving you a headache, talk to consumers about it. Open the back door and let them see the inner workings of your business.

4. Respond swiftly. If a big news event or current affairs story related to your industry breaks, don't wait - act straightaway. Timeliness is key, which is where your brand journalist comes in. They'll have years of experience dashing to breaking news events and filing stories against the clock on a daily basis.

5. Initiate two-way conversations. After putting your brand story out, engage with your consumers and potential clients on social media - there's a full range of platforms for businesses to invite engagement by being in the palms of their consumers' hands. Social media is no longer an option; it's a must.

─ Eliza Sum
Join us on social media
instagram
Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Contact Us

  • Our addresses:
    Marketing Eye3423 Piedmont Rd., NE Atlanta, GA30305
  • Atlanta: 404-626-8070
Contact Form

Connect with Us

Latest Marketing Eye Tweets

  • Colors exist in essentially all design, so why not use specific colors to your advantage? Different combinations ca… https://t.co/EK4PlkIhET

  • Although microcopy may not take up a lot of physical space in your writing, it can vastly improve a user's experien… https://t.co/SW4g6gAkR1

  • Although digital marketing exists in a constantly changing technological landscape, here are 7 tools that stood out… https://t.co/8oi5KTZ66i

  • Great article explaining how @instagram is diversifying their brand to grow with their audience and capitalize on s… https://t.co/LXA5wr1KoD

  • Glad to see an explosively popular social media brand using its reach for a great cause that considered its audienc… https://t.co/oH6kWOPrn1

  • Climate change is an increasingly dire issue that businesses can take steps to prevent from getting worse in the fu… https://t.co/Rju71i9jvz

  • Tried and true tricks for both begin accumulating and maintaining an audience on social media to showcase your idea… https://t.co/9A3GAettKM

  • Interactivity and communication with consumers can lead to great opportunities to improve your brand.… https://t.co/WZfNxoo6oO

  • If a sign is #art yet it just gives a message people need to receive, am I just obsessed with #advertising and losi… https://t.co/rk8zdoyO6F

  • Living life to the fullest means getting out of bed early, rising to new challenges, having lots of conversations,… https://t.co/ll59QqpZUS

  • @TheLadyCPA I’d so love to chat to you!!

  • A night out in Los Angeles before heading back home to Melbourne. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve got a plan. I’m choosing… https://t.co/8aFFJnzu6R

  • When people are negative about life and always complaining there is usually a deep seeded issue that needs to be re… https://t.co/3eiPlAaOws

  • I’ve made a firm choice this morning to reach for the stars and bring all the people I love and respect with me. Wh… https://t.co/5ZBZud3Ay7