B2B Marketing: What is Brand Journalism?

Stories are a powerful tool to shed light on how a person defines themselves.  Stories give insight into a person’s values, history, Brandingand goals.  Should a company be any different?

Telling the story of a brand can be challenging.  In Andy Bull’s book Brand Journalism, he shares the origins of “brand journalism” and how to reduce these challenges. Within the book, Bull highlights the story of Larry Light, chief marketing officer for McDonald’s, who introduced the concept of “brand journalism,” when he rejected the traditional role of marketing and advertising.  Light explained that a single, repetitive message could never fully encompass a mega-brand like McDonald’s.  Light stated, “Brand journalism is a chronicle of the varied things that happen in a brand’s world, throughout the day, throughout the years.”

So, with a relatively new concept like brand journalism, where do you begin?  Here are some guidelines for writing a brand’s story.

  1. Use multiple platforms.  In today’ technology age, stories are more available to the public due to the increase of media platforms that have emerged over the last 10 years. In comparison, a company blog post may send a different message than a Facebook status.  However, promoting a story in 140 characters on Twitter is very different than telling a story in a newspaper article. Social media, videos, events, blogs, photography, news articles, etc. – with multidimensional brands, why limit yourself?
  1. Have a strategy.  Leaving traditional marketing and advertising ideas behind does not mean that you stray from strategy.  The content that you publish needs to have purpose.  Creating a marketing strategy can help your company define key content and decide what platforms need to be used to publish the content.  Having a strategy can help ensure all content supports a unified goal for your company.
  1. Engage, don’t push.  The beauty of a story is that it is engaging.  It requires a conversation, and brings a company to a level where it is engaging in real, honest communication with people.  Avoid asking customers to make a change.  Instead, share compelling content with customers that leaves them wanting more.  Create a consistent dialogue and make the communication real-time.

At Ripley PR, we can create a meaningful strategy for telling the story of your brand.  With extensive experience in B2B Public Relations, we know how to create and publish content that produces tangible results for your company.  Don’t leave people asking what your story is – start telling it.

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Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

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