Here at AHA, we’ve been talking about brand journalism for years. We know how valuable it is for organizations to tell their stories in the same editorial-style manner that a journalist would. Creating informative, interesting and entertaining content, branded content or as we call it – brand journalism – allows an organization to connect directly with their target market or stakeholder group.
The Internet allows an organization to produce its own “news station” – and to use print (articles and written information), broadcast (video and audio) and interactive (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and more) to fully engage with the individuals and/or groups they want to connect with. It should be time for everyone to do a happy dance! So much of the opportunity and power has been placed in the hands of the organization – yet very few do it well or even at all.
Brand journalism could mean a series of how-to articles about something relevant to the products and services you provide. It could be a series of short video segments that showcase the individuals or companies using your products and services. Brand journalism could also be a podcast about something unique to your organization. Then it gets shared on your website, on social media sites and on your blog. (Do you have a blog? It is a key element in building relationships with your target market.) If the content being created is informative, helpful, engaging and interesting, it will help to build social media audiences.
We work with a range of clients in creating brand journalism campaigns and content. The key is that we develop a strategic approach. We work with our clients much in the same way as a newsroom works. We identify key stories and we make sure the content flow works together and leverages off each element rather than just dropping random bits of copy out there. We identify the target audience and how they like to consume information. We build an editorial schedule that has some room for flexibility for when news happens, and we develop strong content with solid visual elements.
It is such an exciting time to be a communicator – or a business leader who understands that content can be an incredibly valuable tool that: a) builds relationships with target markets and stakeholders; and b) can be measured. There is a huge opportunity to create strong return on investment using branded journalism.