Discovering the Value of Public Relations and Brand Journalism

Photo by Alan Light

The online world has opened up great possibilities for organizations. While it is true that newsrooms are declining and it is more and more challenging to grab the attention of traditional media (more challenging, not impossible), it is also true that the opportunity for clients to tell their stories, to spotlight successes, to showcase the benefit and value they offer to customers, clients or stakeholders is greater than ever before.

We have always had a strong focus on creating compelling and engaging stories for clients – great stories are at the heart of public relations. Advertising and marketing campaigns provide value in context of what they are; public relations isn’t advertising or marketing. Our approach to public relations is (and has always been) with an editorial lens. It is about relevant and timely information that is of value to stakeholders – not just about what the organization wants to promote, sell or highlight. Building a story that is of interest, engages people, and stimulates discussion and the sharing of ideas is always our goal. A brand journalism approach brings that into better focus.

Brand journalism is based on credibility, openness and trust and it is a balanced story. It enhances the reputation, image and leadership of an organization, the CEO and senior executive team, and the people that work there. It’s about human interest. Brand journalism helps an organization connect with stakeholders and build awareness and brand trust.

Think about some of the most popular talk show interviewers of the past few decades – Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Anderson Cooper, etc. – each of these people ask a range of questions from the funny ones to the tough ones. They open the conversation with world leaders, celebrities and local heroes – telling funny, heartwarming or interesting stories. And we listen. Intently.

Think about what brand journalism could mean for your organization. It’s a way to showcase something interesting and exciting happening. It’s a way to tell your story in a compelling, engaging and, even, entertaining way.

What if your online annual report could have links to quick video interviews to people profiled in the written report? What if a customer could have the opportunity to interview your CEO or President about a new product or service? What if you could showcase the work being done in several locations and how it all fits together? Who are your employees when they aren’t at work? What does your organization do to help support its local or global community? What would your stakeholders like to know about your organization that has some heart and soul?

If you had your own television show or print column (or both), what would you showcase about your organization? What stories are waiting to be told?

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