There’s a sobering piece in the New York Times about how the business of commercial photography is evaporating and morphing into something entirely new and different. The PR industry is rapidly changing, too, and much faster than many PR people even know.
Many of the traditional mechanics of PR – like events, press releases, media kits, etc. – are much less effective. Distribution of PR materials by blast emails is caught and trashed by spam filters, rendered useless. Even writing styles are changing to adapt to the Web.
Communication in today’s world is most effective when it authentically, credibly and transparently engages audiences to share information. Communication today is less about promoting, selling or marketing.
Online newsrooms, for example, today are not about pushing out company news or announcements about your organization … just as today’s best practice of PR is not about pitches. The best online newsrooms use Brand Journalism’s clever style of credibility and influence to expeditiously enhance brand distinction and awareness for an organization.
Over the years, it’s interesting how David Meerman Scott and I have been independently writing books about our respective research on the changing face and style of communications in the digital era. And, not surprisingly, our thoughts are occasionally mirrored in lectures and blog postings. A couple of days ago, David wrote this spot-on piece about Brand Journalism, the style of communications practiced by my firm, News Strategies LLC:
Brand Journalism is when any organization—B2B company, consumer product company, the military, nonprofits, government agencies, politicians, churches, rock bands, solo entrepreneurs—creates valuable information and shares it with the world.
Brand Journalism is not a product pitch. It is not an advertorial. It is not an egotistical spewing of gobbledygook-laden corporate drivel.
Instead Brand Journalism is the creation of Web content—videos, blog posts, photos, charts, graphs, essays, ebooks, white papers—that deliver value to your marketplace and serve to position your organization as one worthy of doing business with.
I’ve been talking up this concept for many years now. While some people resist the ideas, I am now seeing more and more who agree with me, so I wanted to do a post to pull my thoughts together and point to some other people discussing brand journalism.
Skill Sets Required
I’m convinced that those with the traditional skills of marketing, public relations, advertising, and copywriting are not the right people to create brand journalism content. Instead you need the skills of a journalist.
The idea of hiring journalists is a new one at companies, but I think it is essential for success.
Even more important, I believe, than hiring journalists is finding individuals who know how to write in a news style in the online environment. It’s a whole different world with different nuance and dynamics than PR.
By the way, you can read more from David Meerman Scott … click here.
Check out these outstanding examples of online brand journalism:
So, what do you think about Brand Journalism? I’d like your comments.