Posts Tagged ‘brand journalism’


Connect Content Marketing to the Bottom Line

Friday, December 20th, 2013
flickr user photosteve101

flickr user photosteve101

by Sharon Miller*

Content marketing is a hot topic in the PR community, but plenty of organizations are still trying to figure it out. Last week, I attended the PRNews Media Relations Next Practices Conference in Washington, D.C. and attended the session “Show & Tell: Examples of Content Marketing That Connects to the Bottom Line.”

The sessions presenters were Doug Simon, president and CEO of D S Simon Productions; Julie Craven, VP of corporate communications at Hormel Foods; and Blair Austin, marketing director at ILMO Products.

Simon began with his five-step process for content marketing and what he calls “PRketing,” which goes far beyond brand journalism. The steps are:

1. Identify the behavior you’re trying to change

2. Identify the people who you’re trying to reach and where they consume content

3. Create content that will effectively change their behavior

4. Place the content where they’ll find, view, and share it

5. Measure, assess, and revise

Simon used the American College of Physicians as an example. The college created an iTunes channel for its members, allowing them to download important news on studies in a digestible, user-friendly format. So they not only identified a new channel in which their members consumed content, but changed the way they delivered information they deemed important for members.

Next, Craven explained that we’re competing against everyone now on social media, and that means our messages must be on target or we won’t get any time with our target consumers. Craven advocates developing a hub-and-spoke model to drive awareness and conversion via branded content. This model requires setting a goal and defining what you’re trying to accomplish, and using content, set in the middle and connecting to every goal, to push toward that goal.

Craven stressed that hub content must be concise, graphically driven, and shareable. And of course, that content must be channel specific to provide utility and drive conversion.

Finally, Austin spoke about how to get attention with little money. She used a case study with ILMO, a medical, industrial, and laboratory gas provider. Their challenge was not only budgetary, but also that their industry doesn’t support marketing. The company’s goal was to generate national media attention with its 100th anniversary, and share that media attention on its existing channels to encourage its core audience and position ILMO as an industry leader in marketing and communications.

So, when the company turned 100 years old, it created an event: The organization gave each of its 100 employees $100 on the 100th day of the year.  They fostered engagement by driving it to social media channels and spread brand awareness all on its small budget.

What content marketing strategies do you use to drive engagement? What new models have you developed to reach your target segment?

*Bio: Sharon Miller has been with BurrellesLuce for 25 years, and is currently the VP of Enterprise Solutions. She has Bachelor of Arts degrees in psychology and social work from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She did her graduate work at Drexel University in Pennsylvania, and currently resides in Ohio. Facebook: BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: Sharon Miller

Brand Journalism – An Oxymoron or Clever Communications Tactic?

Monday, February 20th, 2012

BurrellesLuce recently wrote a newsletter on 5 Tips for Incorporating Brand Journalism Into Your Communications Strategy. But what exactly IS brand journalism and how does it affect PR, media relations, and marketing as we know them?

While the term “brand journalism” aka “content journalism” has been getting significant air play lately, the concept has been around for awhile.

One of the earliest references came from Larry Light, McDonald’s CMO, at the 2004 AdWatch conference where he proclaimed that mass marketing no longer worked and no single approach told the whole story.

“Brand Journalism is a chronicle of the varied things that happen in our brand world, throughout our day, throughout the years. Our brand means different things to different people. It does not have one brand position. It is positioned differently in the minds of kids, teens, young adults, parents and seniors. It is positioned differently at breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, weekday, weekend, with kids or on a business trip.

“Brand Journalism allows us to be a witness to the multi-faceted aspects of a brand story. No one communication alone tells the whole brand story. Each communication provides a different insight into our brand. It all adds up to a McDonald’s journalistic brand chronicle,” he declared.

Brand journalism, it seems, is not just a replacement for earned media or advertising or even direct marketing. Rather it ties all these things together. It involves telling stories — that do not read like a press release or marketing and advertising copy — and that make readers want to know more about your organization. Note that if you’re going to give it a try, brand journalism needs to be part of your overall communications strategy.

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5 Tips for Incorporating Brand Journalism Into Your Communications Strategy

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

January 2012

If you’ve spent any time looking at last year’s PR and marketing trends, you’ll find no shortage of buzzwords such as, “engagement,” “SEO,” “hyperlocal,” and “mobile outreach.” We can now add “brand journalism” to the mix as communications professionals look to move beyond traditional content marketing and strengthen their storytelling game in 2012.

With the web saturated with content, more audiences control how, when, and which types of content they receive. Thus, it is no surprise that organizations are taking a journalistic approach when writing their stories, in an effort to emulate more of the tone and feel of the media in their own content creation efforts.

Read more to of this BurrellesLuce newsletter and discover 5 tips to help you and your organization get the most out of brand journalism.