Write Your Story

A blog on brand journalism, brand publishing, storytelling and content marketing.

Brand ‘Journalism?’ You decide.

A definitive “brand journalism” definition is elusive.
In fact, disagreement lingers on whether it is “journalism” at all.
Author and speaker Brian Solis called “brand journalism” the “worst” term in a recent keynote presentation on content marketing. “Brand journalism was a way to get content together on a hub,” Solis said, B2B News Network reported.
Contently wants to ban the term because journalism is independent while brands create content with the purpose of obtaining customers, which is true.
But “brand journalism” and “traditional journalism” have similarities as well as differences.

1) Intent
Both brands and traditional media publish content to inform. They define news in terms of what readers and viewers want to hear or need to know. Readers come first.
Brand journalists may create the content but it is still meant to engage and to educate—not to promote and to sell. “The key to gaining the trust of your audience is to publish material that is credible and honest, Dan Lyons wrote for The CMO’s Guide to Brand Journalism by HubSpot.

brand journalism definitions

Brand journalism definitions from practitioners.

2) Methods 
Brand journalists research, report, write and edit news for broad audiences just as traditional journalists do, writer and content strategist Emily Gaines Buchler explained in defining brand journalism for Business 2 Community. “Whether they graduated from J-school or not, brand journalists do what newspaper or magazine journalists do: they find and tell original stories,” she wrote.

3) Distribution
Brands publish content through channels that can be as engaging as traditional media. Companies such as Coca-Cola, American Express and Casper have built successful content brands supported by loyal audiences by investing in editorial products and giving them time to produce results, Joe Pulizzi wrote in a Content Marketing Institute blog post about content marketing programs.

Shared goals. Similar content. Same distribution.
If it isn’t “journalism,” what is it?

Share your definition of “brand journalism” or offer an alternative.