Brand Journalism: Tell your story
For a company or brand, using ‘brand journalism’ to tell your story can be an effective way to proactively communicate what you want known. Because let’s face it – with the overload of information bombarding us every day through emails, social networks, the media and our personal interactions, most of us just tune out conventional advertising. When ads interrupt our television or radio programming, we “channel surf” to avoid them – or we’re quick to click them off when they jump across our computer screens. The information is seen quickly and often forgotten.
This is why repeat content advertising is important when building your brand. If your message is heard or seen repeatedly, it will eventually reach your intended audience. And this type of outreach will give you measureable outcomes you need to know in order to make your business successful.
Telling your company’s story – through the eyes of employees, clients, and about new products or ideas can bring added strength to your marketing package – and, as a journalist and communications/public relations professional, it’s exciting. I use my reporting skills to tell my client’s stories, and they are seeing positive results.
In the past, the only way to reach broad audiences was through an advertising campaign or notice in a news story. Today, companies and organizations can communicate their brand directly with core audiences and target markets through social media platforms. And this context creates a golden opportunity to develop brand affinity.
Brand journalism gives your business a human, recognizable face. Posting engaging, positive stories about your business, employees’ contributions to the community, or other topics of interest will increase your company’s likeability. Plus people tend to share content they like with their social networks which will broaden your reach even further. Stories are memorable and can provide a fuller picture of your business or organization than mere data.
According to an article by journalist John Teirney in the New York Times, by scanning people’s brains and tracking their e-mails and online posts, neuroscientists and psychologists have found that good news tends to travel faster and farther than bad news.
Teirney quotes social psychologist Jonah Berger when he says, “mass media want your eyeballs and don’t care how you’re feeling. But when you share a story with your friends and peers, you care a lot more about how they react. You don’t want them to think of you as a Debbie Downer.”
So it stands to reason if you share positive stories with your audiences, they will be far more likely to support and share information about your company or organization. Your positive messaging will spread rapidly across social media channels – and your brand stories will linger long in the public’s mind.
Integration of brand content across multiple communications channels is crucial. Speaking at one of the company’s Brand Journalism for Corporate Communicators workshops in Chicago, Ragan Communications CEO Mark Ragan said, “Brands need to master telling their stories indirectly. It’s about the brand, but the focus is always about the audience.”
So brand journalism may not necessarily bring measurable traffic to your store or business, but it will bring audience to your content. Taking the time to build a brand journalism program within your company or organization brings tremendous added value to your public relations outreach. Content marketing and brand journalism work together to position your business or organization in the public’s mind in a positive way. Want to know more? Give me a call!