July 28, 2013

“Brands Must Start Thinking Like a Media Company”


image via Forbes

There’s no doubt about it, things are changing around here. I often talk about this shift from “traditional PR” to “content marketing” as it fascinates me. It also rings bells of Seth Godin’s theory that the “industry is dead“. What he means by this is that an individual person or individual brand can go straight to the marketplace/public with their message, instead of going through a third party, or calling up a journalist first. We are all publishers now.

So, brand marketing. How does this compare to the frantic experience of the newsroom? It’s actually a lot more similar than you might think.

I thought I’d list a few rules that I believe join up this idea of bring “the newsroom” to brand marketing strategies. Interestingly, you’ll notice that aspects of social media marketing have direct comparisons with  journalism.

1. Make a good headline: Whether you are crafting a single tweet, or a short sentence to sum up your upcoming campaign, make it stand out. Imagine you were selling a news story to the world, something interesting, captivating and concise.

2. Make it exclusive to your audience: Why would anyone tune in to your particular channel and not that other very similar one over there? For example, when all brands are talking about a news event such as the Royal Baby, you have to find an exclusive angle. Don’t just jump on the ‘newsroom bandwagon’ with no exclusive spin.

3. Keep it on brand: Every newspaper has an individual brand, and all content reflects the history of that brand. The Times content is very different from The Sun for example. Same goes for your content strategy, you should stick to topic areas that you can own, that are unique to you.

4. Have a voice: As a community manager or content creator for a brand on social channels, you are essentially their roaming reporter; the journalist out to get your next scoop; the eyes and ears of [insert brand]. You are responsible for being the voice and the energy, and to make sure people think of  [insert brand] as the most relevant new source in that specific area (if it’s Nike, then sport etc). It’s not just about ‘getting there first’ but about having an opinion on what is happening in the world around us. It’s about building trust.

I caught up with an ex-colleague of mine, Michael Brito, who has just released a book called “Your Brand, The Next Media Company”. Here’s what he had to say about this new shift:


“There is a content and media surplus in the market place today. There is also an attention deficit in the minds of consumers. This makes it extremely difficult for brands to reach them with game-changing, relevant content.

For this reason, brands are reorganizing their marketing and PR teams to become more like “newsrooms” so they can capitalize on creating real-time content that reaches consumers in the online communities where they spend the most time and also within the search results.

The shift in thinking, communicating and organizational structure is wrapped around the premise that brands must optimize the “content supply chain” and create workflows that facilitate content ideation, creation, approval, workflow and optimization in order to do this effectively.”

What do you think?

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  1. thank you so much for this!! Really appreciate it!

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