Brand Journalism is authentic storytelling


My name is Ike Pigott, and you arrived here because someone you know passed along a link from a presentation I made. (If you are reading this Friday morning, June 21, 2013 – then I might still be speaking. How cool is that?)

My session on Brand Journalism was part of the Vocus PR Demand Success conference in Washington, DC.

You got here from this tweet:

“Brand Journalism is embedded storytellers humanizing your organization.” @ikepigott #Demand13

So, let me explain what that means.

For decades, those of us who have communicated on behalf of organizations have relied on some tried and true formats for getting our message across. However, the dual need for total control of the message and widespread distribution left communicators crippled when it came to the most powerful format on Earth: the Story.

  • Advertising forces messages into unnatural containers
  • News releases are filtered and edited, if used at all
  • Paid placement dilutes authenticity
  • Word of mouth is erratic

Enter Brand Journalism, the opportunity to share stories that highlight the people who make your organization shine. Today’s tools allow you to feed a media beast that can benefit from content they don’t have to generate, and to reach the audience you wanted to directly if necessary.

To make it work, you need to embrace:

  • Storytelling – universal human experience, that cuts to the What’s In It For Me?
  • Embedded Journalists – internal creators who write for external audiences, giving them information and inspiration built for them, and not to serve a company interest
  • Neutral POV – Your content has to feel like an end product, not a means to an end for your product.
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