Assignments, Olivet Nazarene University, PR Writing

Brand Journalism

Discovering and creating news content on behalf of a brand

The relationship between public relations and journalism is quickly changing as modern approaches allow communicators to tell a story and engage their target audience.

This is what president and co-founder of MediaSource Lisa Arledge Powell is building with her brand journalism approach. As a former journalist, Powell believes in helping brands create strategic content for national exposure.

“As brand journalists, we create relevant content for our clients that increases their thought leadership within their targeted market spaces,” Powell said. “Effective brand journalism pushes expertise and not brand objectives. It is telling without selling. The less branding applies to the content, the more it fits the criteria for strong brand journalism.”

This type of public relations provides the “journalistic vision to leverage the media to create game-changing results” for clients. MediaSource’s explanation of brand journalism “How To Be A Brand Journalist,” gives a detailed explanation of brand journalism, how brand journalism is different than journalism, how to become a brand journalist and what the best practices of brand journalism are.

 “It is telling without selling. The less branding applies to the content, the more it fits the criteria for strong brand journalism.”

Brand journalism focuses on telling the story and providing the audience with the information they want. More than journalism, successful brand journalists also have and implement marketing skills in their strategy.

Implementing brand journalism in your public relations strategy begins with being a skilled storyteller. Writing and creating compelling stories is the basis of engaging your audience. All other aspects of brand journalism are built on these tools. This is why writing and understanding journalistic writing (lede, nut graph, finding the right angle) is so important for PR professionals.

Brand journalism also emphasizes two of the four basic ethics of journalism: Embracing transparency and reporting with integrity. Your audience needs to be able to trust you are looking out for their best interest as well as the interest of your client. As a brand journalist, you value engagement and encourage two-way conversation around your client’s stories on social media platforms.

As our audiences continue to consume content in new and different ways, journalists and PR professionals need to be prepared to speak to our audience in a way they will best understand and engage. Brand journalism is just one of the many ways journalism and public relations are looking for ways to move forward and evolve.

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