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Corporate Journalism: Why companies should work more like journalists when it comes to content marketing
Communications – PR, Social Media, Content Tools 5 March 2019

Corporate Journalism: Why companies should work more like journalists when it comes to content marketing

The boundaries between PR, marketing and journalism are often blurred or quickly merge. The main focus, whether brand communication or reporting, is to inform one’s target audience in the broadest sense. However, if you look at the most basic pillars of journalism – fairness, balance and accuracy – you can quickly guess the differences to PR or marketing:

The correctness of one’s own content is universal for everyone. Whether as a medium or as a brand, the information communicated must be coherent and correct in order to ultimately be one thing above all: credible! If you are caught cheating, you will quickly lose your readership.

Fairness and balance, again, are a bit trickier and make the small but subtle difference. In traditional newsrooms, all sides of a story are expected to be explored and presented. Unthinkable again on a brand’s in-house blog, magazine or even social media channel! As a company that engages in agenda setting on its own behalf and uses content marketing wisely to do so, it is of course important to position itself far from the competition.

Why it can still be worthwhile for companies to think and work more like a journalist, you can read here:

Corporate journalism: Finding the news value in your own company

For many, journalism is a sacred term that may only be mentioned in connection with traditional editors and media. Corporate journalism, in turn, refers to a specific form of media reporting that takes place on company-owned blogs and newsrooms. One brand that can be considered a pioneer is Coca-Cola. In the typical news portal design, there are exciting stories from the company in the in-house editorial department. On Coca-Cola Journey, interested readers can discover reports on sustainability and the odd cooking recipe. All of these are stories that, apart from the strong brand imprint, could also be found in a newspaper.

Thanks to objective reporting, even company and employee internals become gripping news. The key to turning boring facts into exciting news is to publish information with a high degree of credibility. This should be able to keep up with traditional media reporting. Effective here is content that is created with the aim of developing relationships and less in the direction of lead generation. They also strive for authenticity thanks to journalistic standards. Thus, almost investigative stories about personalities or even small and big heroic deeds from the company itself are suitable. They show the people behind the scenes and establish an emotional connection with the target group.

For more topicality: Agenda Surfing

If a company doesn’t just want to fish in its own pond of topics, it should try agenda surfing. Here, the brand takes a stand on current topics that play a role in public perception, but are also strategically important and appropriate. The goal is to occupy topic areas and to be perceived by the target group. The need for action on one’s own behalf, for example in political debates, is also permitted. The same applies to highlighting everyday reality and finding solutions thanks to one’s own product. One company that stands out here is EA.

On their blog for digital game culture, interested parties can find contributions on new political guidelines, for example, on the promotion of digital games. New findings in research and science can also be found – always up-to-date and close to current events. In this way, companies not only indirectly succeed in advertising their own cause. They demonstrate zeitgeist and also become more visible to the target group. A daily press review and targeted monitoring of media events can help to identify relevant topics for your own content marketing.

Content is king: Real added value for the target group comes before product launch

In order to attract the target group thanks to your own content, it is not so much the product information or the latest on the brand itself that makes a convincing first impression. Instead, it is important to act like a real journalist and offer the reader added value. For example, the online photo platform Pinterest supports its target group with the latest home or beauty trends in its in-house newsroom. Brands that put the benefit for the reader in the foreground and shine with customized content are rewarded with an involved and emotionalized audience. So if you want to ensure genuine identification with your customers, you have to do without buzzwords, empty phrases and faceless facts about your own company.

It’s clear that journalism and brand communication are not necessarily easy to reconcile. But brands that want to inspire the masses today can no longer avoid content beyond their own products or services. Companies that cleverly combine daily news and genuine added value with their own brand not only open up a more varied range of topics for themselves. They also address a much larger target group. So nothing ventured, nothing gained. Content marketing offers companies the luxury of experimenting, testing, and learning.

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