What is brand journalism and why you should adopt this approach to PR
By Eleanor McGillie
Since 2012, when we first formed, we have been adopting a brand journalism approach to PR.
Why? Because traditional PR is no longer enough and clients want and deserve more.
So what is brand journalism? Brand journalism is a powerful communication tool which combines real reporting and engaging storytelling with an organisation’s brand, experts and experiences. Global companies are fast adopting this tool as a new and fresh approach to telling their stories using journalism.
Companies like Red Bull, McDonald’s, Coca Cola, IBM, HSBC, Dell, Adobe and Intel all practice brand journalism. Companies are switching their attention to having an editorially led approach and content creation.
Storytelling is such a powerful way to connect and build brands and manage reputations. In 2012, when we introduced brand journalism to Northern Ireland, we read with great interest as the Coca Cola Journey began to unfold in the New York Times.
Coca Cola unveiled its own brand journalism website and set its own deadline for when ‘Press Releases’ (two words which make us shudder) would no longer exist in its organisation.
The New York Times covered the Coca Cola Journey debut and focused on the company’s shift to brand journalism and highlighting its significance in the world of marketing and PR. It focused on how the company was switching its attention to an editorially led approach.
More and more companies are embracing this powerful tool. Brand journalism cuts out the fluff. We have a team of media law trained journalists who adhere to our MGMPR Code of Conduct. We are all multi-media trained journalists who are media law trained – two very compelling reasons as to why your brand and reputations are safe in our hands.
So, here are a few pointers for you to think about:
- You have a story to tell and you want it conveyed in the best way possible – you would be crazy to give it to someone who can’t write. Right? So you give it to someone who can.
- Your stories can be told to either an internal audience, an external audience or both? It depends if it’s internal or external communications you require. Either way, you need your story to be told in such a way which everyone can understand it. No jargon! Just plain English! Never alienate your audience with jargon
- From a digital perspective, three important trends for corporate communications are: Brand journalism, storytelling and creating content which is engaging enough to share
- Can you, as a large business, keep your brand personal using brand journalism? Of course you can – larger companies can localise their journeys – journalists are key to making this happen
- As the media is constantly evolving, it’s important to use data and analytics to listen to what the consumer wants
- Adopting a brand journalism approach means you are able to demonstrate an approach which is credible, authentic, accurate and transparent with all audiences
- A journalist with agency experience is the perfect foundation for corporate communications – how many times have you received a ‘Press Release’ from your PR company and wondered why it never gained any traction with a newsdesk – probably because it was a ‘Press Release’ (I’ll explain why in another blog)
- Journalists are realistic – if it’s not a story for the mainstream media then it’s not a story. But it will be a blog, or an advice piece, a profile piece for your website, your corporate magazine, an internal communication, a newsletter – a brand journalist will create content which works for multiple platforms
- Brand journalism is vital for blogging because it puts a human voice to your brand
- How do you maintain your brand positioning? By staying relevant to your audience and by being interesting enough to attract new customers
- You can use people to tell your story whether that’s members of your brand’s team, customers, clients etc. Using a brand journalism approach means hunting out the real stories
There’s a lot to cover in larger organisations. That’s a fundamental reason why you need to get it right first time round and in real time. So whether it’s corporate media relations, brand PR, social and digital communications or internal and external communications, your story will be communicated effectively with a brand journalism approach.
MGMPR is a multi-media PR agency which uses brand journalism as a powerful communication tool. If you are looking for a fresh approach to your communications give us call on 028 3756 9569 or 07709805379. Take your brand on a journey. Brand journalism can be used in all sectors – construction, engineering, law, renewable energy, healthcare, education, food and drink, health and well being, the motor industry, property, financial and much more.