Brand Journalism, or the Art of Telling a Good Story

  • Categories:

    Content Marketing, Public Relations

  • Date:

    March 31, 2014

Brand Journalism, or the Art of Telling a Good Story



Content Marketing, Public Relations

Recently, Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center landed more than 250 hits in national and local media including exclusives with “CBS This Morning” and the New York Times for its Google Glass story. So how did they do it?

The hospital realized that traditional news media relations, while still critical, no longer represents a comprehensive approach. They knew that to rise above the noise in a crowded landscape, they would have to come up with creative ways to package and deliver their story across multiple channels.

They would have to become brand journalists.

Brand journalism is the art of creating packaged news stories that provide information the public can use. You have to be a good storyteller to practice brand journalism well.

Good journalists and public relations professionals have been telling good stories for years. So how does brand journalism differ from traditional journalism?

Public relations is a subtler way of telling a story than advertising. But if you step into the brand journalism space, you have to embrace the possibility that your brand’s presence could be reduced. In some instances, your brand might not get mentioned at all.

When you commit to brand journalism, you’re committing to category education and category awareness. You’re thinking like a consumer so you can help them. You’re telling a story for the benefit of the greater good. That’s a tough move for some marketers, but you have to stay focused on your broader goal and bigger vision. If you’re patient, those consumers you helped in the beginning will reward you later.

Ohio State made a big splash with its Google Glass campaign, but brand journalism isn’t just for doctors. The home category is a terrific field for what I like to call the art of telling a good story, because when it comes to their personal spaces, homeowners are hungry for ideas, education and inspiration. Whether you build knees or nightstands, you can implement an effective brand journalism campaign. The key is to find an angle you can own and a creative way to share your story.

In my next post, I’ll share tips to help you on your way to a successful brand journalism experience.