Is brand journalism a ‘half-baked, made-up’ expression?

Are brand journalists real journalists? Some say no.

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Because I oversee the blogs for my employer, SpareFoot, and am a former newspaper journalist, the expression would seem to fit. But because I work in the marketing department of SpareFoot and don’t work for a traditional media outlet, can I really be labeled a journalist?

These days, that’s open to interpretation.

You’ve got people who welcome the term—and the practice of—”brand journalism,” and you’ve got people who ridicule it. In case you’re not up to speed, brand journalism (also dubbed content marketing) refers to brands’ telling their own stories, but not packaging them as PR.

Byron McCauley spent 19 years as a newspaper journalist but left that industry seven years ago to pursue a career in PR. He believes in the power of brand journalism. McCauley told me that he foresaw a time when brand journalism would take hold, when companies that aren’t in traditional media “would see the value of producing their own really good content for public consumption.”

That time is here.

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