Communicators are butting heads over brand journalism.
Public relations, marketing and members of digital teams often wrestle over control of brand journalism. Who is best suited for brand journalism initiatives?
Here are five reasons PR pros should manage projects and stories:
1. Strategy. Brand journalism campaigns need a strategy. At the heart of a PR pro’s job is being able to execute publicity plans that link to a larger organizational goal. In most PR departments today, employees at nearly all levels are expected to understand their brand’s business goals. Professionals who build and execute PR initiatives that work in conjunction with the goals of other departments gain credibility with peers and executives alike. Why? It demonstrates knowledge of the big picture, which is invariably a priority in brand journalism campaigns.
2. Story mining. For brand journalism to be successful, you must deliver top-quality content. Historically, it’s been the job of a PR pro to uncover relevant stories that appeal to their target audience. Now with brand journalism, members of a PR team can use these story-finding skills for company-owned content.
3. Content creation. Content creation has been the foundation of PR since 1906, when Ivy Lee wrote the first press release about the Pennsylvania Railroad. Through the countless press releases that have been written, most PR pros have learned how to create content from a brand’s perspective without turning it into a self-serving promotional ad. This is a fundamental component of brand journalism, which demands that storytellers strike a delicate blend of content that’s important from a brand’s perspective with newsworthy stories that appeal to a specific demographic.
FREE guide: How to Be a Brand Journalist—Tell compelling stories and take your story directly to your audience
4. Amplification ability. What is content worth if no one sees it? PR pros have established relationships with news organizations that can amplify stories with earned media exposure. This tactic alone can turn a seemingly average piece of content into a trending topic. The relationship building skills that PR pros use with earned media can easily be transferred to social media and other channels.
5. Campaign collaboration. Most PR pros welcome collaboration with a larger group. These employees work with multiple departments and teams daily. They’re equipped with skills to pull people from diverse disciplines together for the greater good. A brand journalism initiative works best if you can get buy-in across the entire enterprise, requiring the teamwork of several departments that might not typically join forces. In other words, no silos.
Often, the special “people skills” of a PR pro are needed to pull it all together.
Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, a content-focused public relations firm that specializes in brand journalism. MediaSource has been named Best Health Care Agency in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Ragan’s Health Care PR & Marketing Awards. Connect on Twitter: @LisaArledge.
This article was created in partnership with MediaSource.