Mention brand journalism and people think PR, content marketing to customers and prospects, thought leadership and media pitching.
It is certainly all of those things.
But to make brand journalism work for your external comms, it’s best to start by perfecting your approach internally. After all, that’s where the stories live. And brand journalism is just about telling better stories, right? I get asked that a lot, and I always answer the same way:
Well . . . sort of.
Telling better stories is certainly what we’re all trying to do, and for all the right and obvious reasons: to better inform and engage our audiences, to attract media attention and to enhance the reputation of our organizations. But better storytelling is really the end result; it is the product of effective brand journalism. The real work is how we organize ourselves to get there, which is why I like to start brand journalism on the internal comms side of the house. If we can make this work inside, it will improve everything we do outside.
And speaking of sides . . .
The communications org chart was set, presumably in stone, a long time ago – I’m thinking the Industrial Revolution, possibly the Battle of Hastings – as separate and not always equal functions. It’s Silo City, and each department operates like its own separate fiefdom, where the primary mission is to protect one’s turf, horde your riches and gain better access to the throne, often at the expense of the other feudal lords.
That’s just a bad idea with often disastrous consequences.
Organizations aren’t loose collections of warring tribes. Not to go too Karl Marx here, but a company should be a collective, working collaboratively for the success of the enterprise and, increasingly, for the good of the greater society. That works a lot better if everyone’s clear on the goals and the approach. Not that everyone should be doing the same exact thing but properly executing their thing in a way that integrates with everyone else’s.
Jim Ylisela will be speaking at simplyIC alongside Keynote Kristin Graham on 20th May. Book your free tickets here.