Brand Journalism

Great content needs an audience

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on September 01st, 2016

We spend a lot of time talking about, producing and getting client approval on great content here at AHA. We create a range of pieces – from speeches to newsletters, web content, editorial-style articles, infographics, presentations, video series, photo essays, news releases, media pitches, social media content (including Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn and more), blog posts… and so much more. And – before we put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, turn the camera on, or open PowerPoint, Keynote or iMovie… we identify who the targeted audience/community is and work out where the content will be distributed, shared or shown.…

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3 steps to creating engaging content

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on August 17th, 2016

Early in my journalism career, I applied for a section editor position at a national magazine where I worked. The section editor was responsible for following trends, fads and news, identifying the types of articles that would be written for the section, pitching them at the weekly story meetings, and assigning and editing articles. I thought it would be a good step forward in my career.

During the interview for the job, the senior editor asked me what I thought was more important – understanding which topics our readers wanted to see or going with what I thought we should …

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An organization needs to tell its own story

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on August 10th, 2016

On Tuesday, I saw an announcement that the Toronto Star, the largest daily newspaper in Canada, has laid off 60 people – most from the newsroom/editorial side of the paper. This unexpected mass layoff is devastating news for the individuals involved, for journalism in Canada, and for organizations who use media relations and publicity to raise brand awareness, to tell their story, to humanize their business, and to show how they are a good corporate citizen and member of their community.

Here in the AHA office, we feel terrible for the people who lost their jobs. Not only did …

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What’s the purpose?

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on June 08th, 2016

What’s the purpose? That’s a question that we often ask when working with clients to plan proactive, positive PR campaigns, in delivering issues or crisis communication, and in creating any type of content – articles, online, web or social media copy, video, news releases, speeches, presentations, media pitches, brochures, ads and so much more. And it’s one we ask clients over and over again because it’s easy to get sidetracked with what you can do – and the reason for doing it can take a backseat.

The challenge that we, as communicators, face in today’s world is that we have …

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Fast Take Friday

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on March 04th, 2016

Our Fast Take Fridays are back. In today’s video, I talk about strategic communications.

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Brand journalism win for Duke Energy

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on March 02nd, 2016

I recently read an article about a new brand journalism site being produced by the U.S.-based organization Duke Energy, via an article on Ragan.com by Paul Working.

This site is a great example of brand journalism. According to the news release, this is an online destination for stories about remarkable people, innovations and community and environmental issues. And there are some solid, well-written articles that are examples of brand journalism best practices on this site. There is one on Duke Energy’s environmental director who is a national leader in devising ways to prevent wind turbines from accidentally killing bats. …

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AHA taps media icon Charlotte Empey as Toronto Bureau Chief

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on February 16th, 2016

We are beyond thrilled to announce that media icon (and all-around awesome human being) Charlotte Empey has agreed to take on the role of AHA’s Toronto Bureau Chief.

AHA partner, Ruth Atherley, and Charlotte have known each other and worked together for many, many years. Their friendship and professional relationship goes back to the days when Charlotte founded and was Editor-in-Chief of Modern Woman magazine and Ruth was a contributing writer for her. Charlotte went on to have senior and leadership roles at many of Canada’s national publications – including as Editor-in-Chief for Metro English Canada (daily) newspapers and Canadian

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AHA news release

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on February 16th, 2016

For Immediate Release                                                                                

February 16, 2016 

AHA Creative Strategies taps media icon

Charlotte Empey as Toronto Bureau Chief

Gibsons, B.C. – Charlotte Empey, former Editor-in-Chief of Metro English Canada newspapers and Canadian Living magazine, has accepted the role of Toronto Bureau Chief for AHA Creative Strategies, AHA CEO Ruth Atherley announced today. Along with heading up the Toronto office, Ms. Empey will also work closely with the AHA team to expand the agency’s brand journalism and branded content services. She will do this through a strategic partnership between her company, FYI Media and AHA Creative Strategies.

“Charlotte is an incredible …

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Telling your own story

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on February 12th, 2016

How we communicate, both professionally and personally, has changed drastically in the past decade. The online world has created a different way of connecting with stakeholders, your target markets and your community, as well as with family and friends. And that has had an impact in the world of media, including journalism, advertising and marketing.

For the purpose of this blog post, I am going to focus on journalism because publicity and media relations are often important components of what we do as communicators. In Canada and the U.S., newsrooms are not just shrinking – many are ceasing to exist. …

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What Super Bowl ads & halftime reactions mean to businesses

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on February 10th, 2016

Super Bowl ads are highly anticipated and costly. It is estimated that just buying the time slot for a 30-second spot for Super Bowl 50 would have set you back around $5 million U.S. And then there are production costs, which are estimated to be up to $10 million U.S., depending on the commercial.

The halftime show is another big element. This year, Coldplay was listed as the headliner, and then Beyoncé and Bruno Mars were added to the playlist – all high-profile entertainers with huge followings.

The reactions on social media to the ads and the halftime show are …

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