Brand Journalism: Embrace the Trend for Your OrganizationBy Gini Dietrich

I’ve been thinking a lot about brand journalism lately. Of course, this blog-in some ways-is exactly that. But I’m thinking bigger.

Mr. D is a huge Bill Simmons (ESPN, Grantland) fan. For years, he’s been quoting this man to me like I should be impressed.

Eventually I began to listen. And, during the holiday break, I decided to check this guy out.

In the beginning, he wrote a few columns, built that into a magazine with a popular editorial (which has since shuttered), and then began to add things such as podcasts, television reporting/editorializing, and a book.

He launched Grantland in 2011 and, today, it is the place to go for information on all things sports-related, but also pop culture, snarky stories, and fun related items.

He’s taken his personal brand and built it into something bigger…even stepping into the shadows while encouraging some of his team to step into the spotlight.

I admire and respect the heck out of this. I love how he’s scaling the brand beyond himself.

Owned Media for a Brand

During Content Jam, Stacey Hood and I were talking about this very topic and he encourage me to check out what Big Communications is doing in Alabama.

Their client, Alabama Gulf Seafood, has a very robust brand journalism program. One that would make anyone envious.

What Big has done for their client is create a site that is packed with compelling content, presented in a way that’s easy to find what you need.

It includes: Where to find Alabama seafood, what’s in season, how to catch it, and how to prepare it.

Click on “how to prepare” and you are presented with recipes, a “how-to” guide, and things chefs recommend. There aren’t dates on this content so it’s easily presented as fresh and new consistently.

What’s interesting is there is only one new piece of content per week, but because of the way it is presented, it feels like it’s being updated constantly.

They’ve proven it is possible to create compelling and valuable content without having to do it every, single day.

Media Outlets Creating Brand Opportunities

Forbes four years ago launched AdVoice, which was rebranded as BrandVoice a little more than a year ago.

It is a publishing platform for brands to use to post editorial, news items, and more on sites such as Forbes.

In a story talking about that and the brand journalism effort Forbes is undertaking, Lewis DVorkin refers to the five most popular posts the day his story ran.

In the top five are stories from Salesforce and by NetApp.

Written by, not about.

The companies used BrandVoice to produce content for the online magazine that was so valuable and rich, readers continued to share and comment on it…putting both in the top five most read articles.

Brand Journalism for You

This is where things are headed. Brand journalism for your organizations or clients is about creating an experience for your customers, prospects, brand enthusiasts, and even critics.

But it’s not just content you’re producing.

It’s breathing life into old content.

It’s providing a way for users to generate content.

It’s allowing for sponsored content.

It’s republishing industry-related content.

It’s finding or creating long form content.

It’s a simple redesign of your site to enhance the user experience.

What are you going to do this year to stay ahead of this new trend?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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