How to become a brand journalist
On April 17th Tom Foremski organized a Media Salon in San Francisco on the rise of 'corporate publishing'. During the event a panel of experts discussed trends and effectiveness in corporate content strategies. The event inspired David Libby -from 2pinz- to write this article on how to become a brand journalist.
Become what? A “brand journalist”? What’s that you say? It’s part of the communication fabric of the here and now and future.
First, us traditional PR pros at branded companies pitched stories to journalists so that they could have sources and information to write their stories. Now, they’re the journalists too.
What changed? Well, for starters, the Internet went platinum. All of a sudden anyone could use a platform to publish their own content, then images, and then videos. Now, brands can use a combined set of tools to bring their press rooms to life.
Here are some ideas on how to become a brand journalist:
Think from the outside in
In formulating a newsroom, most companies will go to the basics. “Let’s include our latest press releases, media coverage, logos, press contact, and more!” Not so much with a branded journalistic newsroom. The idea is to bring people in. To teach them. To inspire them. The branded newsroom is more about positioning and differentiation than it is about promotion. To be the thought leader, you have to lead with content that is thought-provoking, authentic, builds trust, and that readers want to read.
Write about more than your products
While the content of your newsroom will cover topics close to your brand, there’s not always the need to mention your products, if at all. Those links can live above your branded press room in the navbar. What you’re going for in the branded newsroom is a deeper dive into why it really matters why you’re focused as a business on these topics, who’s behind the topics, where did they originate, by whom, and what’s the future.
Put a face to your marketing
It’s important that the people behind your words are identifiable as leaders in your sector or business. By leveraging the people in your organization, you’re giving credibility to your newsroom, its message, and your brand. Just having any person write your content won’t fly as you will need to put a face to your marketing. Those authors can also go offline and become part of a speaker tour or be quoted in articles on related subjects. Build your brand!
Do more with your newsroom
Go beyond the traditional press room and include video and audio clips. Even slate in social media so that your readers can tweet from within your content. Use a lot of images to engage the readers too.
Don’t Forget the SEO
Optimize your content for search on-page and behind it. Your branded newsroom will have so much natural content that it will be a goldmine for search. Make sure to categorize your videos, blog posts, and audio files. Add search phrases to content and hashtag when sharing on social.
Share your content
I would think that this would be the hardest part. How do you convince others to share your branded content? Invite them to contribute, mention their companies/people, speak at their conferences or invite them to speak at yours. Or, just tap your stakeholders to share your content. Simply just tweeting out the latest blog post isn’t enough. There needs to be a sound strategy that helps get the message out to the right people at the right time.
See, there’s a lot more that can be done to a newsroom if you’re a brand journalist.
Written by David Libby, 2Pinz
This revised article was first published on Business2Community.com on May 23, 2018.
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