August 1 The MGMPR Blogger

Brand Journalism

Celebrating Business, Birthdays and Brand Journalism – MGMPR is two-years-old today

By Eleanor McGillie

MGMPR is two-years-old today and we are delighted to take this opportunity to share with you how things are progressing and why our ‘Brand Journalism’ approach adds much needed value to Public Relations today.

We work with companies, individuals and organisations who like to think outside of the box because that’s what we do. Our clients are people who have a story to tell and they totally embrace the added value of our storytelling skills to deliver their corporate messages to the people who matter to them most – their customers, potential customers, their staff, their stakeholders, the general public and very importantly, the search engines!

Of course there are many ways in which these messages are communicated but essentially everything comes down to the written and spoken word. How words are used is crucial.

MGMPR Ltd was set up because having worked as a journalist, news editor and editor over a 20 period, I, like most journalists, have seen the effects of poor PR on brands. I have been on the end of the phone listening to PR account executives ‘pitching’ non stories that never would have seen the light of day on any news, business or feature page. I have also received hundreds and hundreds press releases during my career which ended up spiked because that was the best place for them.

I often felt bad for companies when I wouldn’t use submitted press releases. But the flip side of that coin is I had standards to maintain for our readers. But also, and very importantly, PR graduates and consultants working in the industry for a long time, are not necessarily professional writers nor are they necessarily media law trained, so they have had a tough time trying to write content which is worthy of journalists’ standards.

But of course the end result is that companies, often paying huge amounts of money for a communications service, often end up disappointed and out of pocket.

Our ‘brand journalism’ approach to PR has been described to us as a ‘breath of fresh air’ by our clients. We are a team of media law trained professionals who together have worked in print, digital and broadcast media for decades. We know what works and what doesn’t. Knowing and identifying what makes a story and having the skills to write and develop that story in a way which will not only engage journalists and editors, but will also engage their readers, is vital.

Our clients get a lot of media coverage – they also get credibility because they have us as their very own media team. We are an editorial team of professionally qualified journalists and editors, PR consultants, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, SEO and Google Adword specialists, branding specialists, web developers and designers, social media managers, business performance strategists, web editors and much more. We put the right team in place to make sure you get what works for your business.

Media and marketing are converging. Brands are moving away from traditional PR and are embracing publishing operations. Brands are recognising that storytelling is a powerful way to connect with existing and prospective customers. But the key to gaining the trust of your customers is by publishing well written content which is credible and honest.

‘Press Releases’ are already becoming a thing of the past as companies embrace ‘storytelling’. Brands are taking control. In 2012, Coca Cola unveiled its own brand journalism website. It has already set a deadline for when Press Releases will no longer exist in Coca Cola. The New York Times covered the Coca Cola Journey debut and focused on the company’s shift to brand journalism and its significance in the world of marketing and PR. It focused on how the company was switching its attention to an editorially led approach and the importance of content creation.

It’s not only Coca-Cola though which embraces brand journalism. Companies such as Dell, IBM, HSBC, Intel and Adobe are others.

Here are points to consider:

* Would you be happy to place your internal and external written communications in the hands of someone who is not a professional writer?

* Are you comfortable placing your social media and other written communications in the hands of someone who is not media law trained?

* Do you believe your story will be told accurately and effectively?

* Are you happy your communicators know how and on what platforms your story can be developed?

As we enter our third year, we want to celebrate the companies here in the UK and Ireland who we represent. They are companies who value our approach to PR. They embrace change and are staying ahead of their competitors as a result. They are companies which have vision, strategies in place, budgets for growth and are hungry to succeed in building a sustainable future. I want to thank all of our clients present and past who have been part of our story.

But like yours, our story will develop too. In the next few months, we will be hosting an ‘invite only’ event in our boardroom at The Old Courthouse, Caledon, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland where attendees will be able to find out more about our team, our approach and our services.

If you are interested in attending please register your interest by emailing me at eleanor@mgmpr.co.uk

Thank you for reading and enjoy your weekend!

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