The techniques of a brand journalist have become a more respectful way to communicate with today’s informed customers and reap positive results. Brand journalism focuses on the consumer and provides truthful and interesting content that gains the customer’s trust.
Developed just in the last decade, brand journalism departs from outdated methods that target a wide swath of consumers with messages all about the organization.
Instead, it talks to them on a more personal level and addresses the consumer within a particular demographic who is likely to need or want a certain product or service.
As important as it is, many organizations don’t tell their stories well and find brand journalism difficult to understand. That’s why leaders should take notes of how brand journalists approach their craft. Ann Handley, chief content officer of MarketingProfs, wrote a blog called “Seven Reasons Your Content Marketing Needs a Brand Journalist.” She inspired us to look into which journalistic skills content creators could assimilate. Here are some ideas, based on her blog.
1. Tell a story. Journalists are trained to tell a story using words, images and audio. They understand the techniques that draw readers in. You too can find the stories in your organizations. Find the crevices where the stories lie, even in the driest information.
2. Put the audience first. Journalists are always aware that readers can put down their work at any time so they write for their readers, using all the skills of the trade to avoid wordy, dull language. They shoot for lively, colorful, powerful text that connects with their readers.
3. Learn to simplify. Journalists are trained to cut to the chase, giving the most important information first and dropping cumbersome text. They are experts at interpreting complex concepts or trade jargon so the reader is not overwhelmed or bored.
4. Quote the experts. Journalists, and brand journalists, always seek out the experts, those who are the authorities on the issues. Using reliable sources enhances your business’s credibility as a voice in your industry.
5. Follow a code of ethics. No self-respecting journalist lies about his or her sources or facts. It is a code of ethics in the profession. Write with integrity and truth.