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Is Brand Journalism the New Public Relations?

Brand journalism is a growing trend within the online marketing industry. While businesses are continually looking for new ways to convey their message to the public, some businesses have started to fine tune their online approach to their consumers in a newer journalistic manner called Brand Journalism either through their own website or via social media.  

Brand journalism is essentially the same as traditional PR, but it is made easier by the internet and social media. Businesses now have full control of their own media channels, and they no longer have to depend on journalists or publishers to build thir brand especially online. But will brand journalism replace traditional PR?

What is brand journalism?

Brand journalism is exactly what its name suggests – branded material written in a journalistic style. With brand journalism businesses can offer relevant information directly to thier target audiences. Instead of pushing information, like when you place an ad, brand journalism pulls or attracts audiences to the information. 

This newly trusted resource and the use of social media has created a rich opportunity for brands Says Brian Kress of The Richards Group. The philosophy is simple, brand journalism is combining the tenets of journalism with brand storytelling, thereby creating a new kind of value to its customers. Not just in the products or services it sells, but in the communication itself. It’s ideal for a social media environment because it shares a similar goal: to become a transparent, open and engaging way to have a conversation about a brand and tell its story to an interested audience. 

Should you invest in brand journalism?

When brand journalism is properly and consistently applied, it will bring the following benefits to the business:

  • It will generate goodwill, trust and a positive brand association. Customers will return to the business and its online platforms for information and insight.
  • By taking a leadership role in your industry you will create brand awareness, and you will position yourself as an expert.
  • By sharing brand stories you will build a community around your brand. 

Is there still room for traditional PR?

To pass an objective judgment on this issue business owners need to consider the difference between brand journalism and traditional PR. With brand journalism a business can reach its online audience directly, and the focus is on spreading beautiful, authentic stories about the brand via internet and social media. In traditional PR, on the other hand, the focus is on the relationship with journalists and publishers who control traditional media outlets. 

It seems that brand journalism is a way for businesses to become publishers themselves. They no longer depend on media professionals to get their message across. However, it can't replace traditional public relations altogether. Brand journalism works when a business wants to tell a story through its employees, but it can't replace a full PR campaign. Remember, brand journalism is soft advertising, but it opens doors to new potential customers. You may be surprised at how your target audience responds to this content marketing strategy. So what are you waiting for? Hire a social media expert or get your team active on promoting your product or brand today.

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