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.