It seems that more and more I am reading about “brand journalism” when researching how companies are using their online newsrooms. Some recent pieces published include “7 Reasons Why You Should Break Into Brand Journalism”, “Insurer launches brand journalism site to speak directly to customers”, and “GMP PR Agency launches new department for brand journalism.” This marketing technique is not just a fad- it is here to stay.
With the advent of self-publishing and self-distribution, the public can now directly connect with the brand and hear from the mouth of the person selling the product or service.
The key ingredient in all companies that are using brand journalism successfully is people. Focusing on the people behind the product, the people that are using the product, the people that are helping others with the product and not the product itself is one of the core tenants of brand journalism.
One great example of brand journalism is Sprint and their website goodworks.sprint.com. On this site Sprint discusses environmental and sustainability topics, such as recycling and re-purposing programs so cellular phones don’t end up in landfills, the Sprint Drive First App to make safe driving a priority, and how they are working to get internet service to 50,000 disadvantaged youth throughout the country with President Obama’s ConnectEd Inniative. Through the use of brand journalism, Sprint is able to create content addressing concerns about the environment, safer roads, and helping those that don’t have access to the technology that they need for a proper education.
Social media, brand journalism and stories about people can all integrate together to create great content. Great content can ultimately drive sales by helping to establish your brand as a thought leader in your particular industry. Offering insight, research and opinions on issues and trends, and contributing stories and news about more than just your own products and services, ultimately helps provide value for your public relations and communications efforts.