First of all, what is brand journalism? This is a fast growing trend of brands taking back control of their content. Brands are creating their own journalistic content instead of relying on traditional, third-party media sources. Used as an incredibly effective self-publishing tool, more and more companies are realising the impact brand journalism can have on shaping their company’s public perception and message.
To help understand more on what ‘Brand Journalism is’ I spoke to founder of ‘We Do Stories’, Joel Buckland. ‘We Do Stories’ is a social enterprise that uses creative content marketing to bring a voice to communities that otherwise would go unheard.
“Brand Journalism is an approach to content creation which utilises the principles of journalism and mixes them with modern storytelling technology such as web videos, online photography and blogs in order to tell the over all story of a brand.” Buckland revealed that “This approach to content has been used for years by the big brands such as McDonalds or Coca-Cola however more recently small organisations have been able to compete with the giants at a low cost simply by telling their stories in a compelling and interactive way.”
As great and forward thinking as brand journalism is, does this pose a very real threat to the PR industry? With content creation becoming an increasingly important aspect of public relations and more companies are taking on PR pro’s in-house, you could wonder if some companies are losing out on some core PR components. This just isn’t true! Brand journalism still doesn’t allow for the third-party validation that is such a critical component of PR. Think about it, if you were fed biased stories all the time, you would switch off mentally. A great PR message, incorporates the negative and positive aspects from people not directly linked to the company (i.e bloggers). This will build trust with the consumer.
Smart companies will use both adjacent to each other.There’s no doubt that the need for content has increased, but there is room to share, and, by doing so, both corporate bods and PR pros can create more insightful and meaningful content across the board.
As content creation is often one of the most time consuming aspects for PR teams, by working with brand journalists, not only can PR pros can get more interesting material to use for pitches and longer form content, but they can also regain the time otherwise spent on content creation. This allows more time to really hone in on pitching and cultivating relationships with key members of the press. Where personally the PR’s shine!
What do you think? Will the rising brand journalism trend positively or negatively impact within the PR world?
For a great company in Brand Journalism, check out http://www.wedostories.com.