What Every PR Pro Should Know About Brand Journalism

The other day I was in a meeting where the words "brand journalism" were mentioned, and few in the room could give a proper description of what that phrase actually means. So, here's my breakdown of what every public relations professional should know about brand journalism, and how it's different from content marketing. What is brand journalism? Let's start with a little background. Do you remember a time when brands relied heavily on television ads to get their message across to their audience? Well, some today still do, but many started looking for additional communications channels in the early 2000s when DVR rolled into the homes of millions across the country.Traditional advertising has always been about selfishly pushing repetitive messages to a broad audience that are intended to motivate them to buy your product, service, etc. Brand journalism on the other hand, is about reaching the right audience in ways they want to be reached, and providing them with a compelling story, brand-focused or not, they find interesting.Unlike content marketing, which nurtures interest, generates leads and hopefully converts buyers into customers, brand journalism is used to generate overall brand awareness. If you're familiar with Hubspot's Buyer's Journey, brand journalism would fit into the awareness stage, while content marketing is used in the consideration stage.Think about it, are you more likely to buy a product from a tech company that boasts their CEO on their latest TV commercials, or would it be more compelling to a buy a product from them after seeing their CEO in a documentary they produced about how they are pushing the tech industry to be more innovative? I'm guessing you chose the latter. Consumers are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer them if they trust you and believe in what you do.Public relations professionals have been acting as brand journalist longer than you think. When's the last time you used a story to connect with your audience? The ability to tell a good story is the bread and butter of what communicators do.

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