The assassination of John F. Kennedy. The day Martin Luther King was gunned down. The first moon landing.
Pivotal events. And Walter Cronkite was the nation’s narrator. In his carefully scripted, fatherly way, the “most trusted man in America” nightly was invited into people’s living rooms during the 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s to deliver the day’s news.
He owned the medium. He shaped the message.
Fast-forward to today and there are myriad communications channels and no clear-cut owners. Anyone and everyone can deliver the news. Shape the news. Put their spin on the news.
Everybody is a publisher.
Crystallize your storyBehind every person, business or product is a story to be told. In the daily struggle to share your message and rise above the din, you have to ask yourself one crucial question: Who will tell your story?
Brands and businesses today can bypass traditional news channels. Using the internet and social platforms, They can tell their own story in a unique and compelling way.
In a recent MarketingProfs survey of more than 1,000 business-to-business marketers (conducted in partnership with the Content Marketing Institute), it was discovered that creating unique and compelling content is a major pain point for businesses.
seven reasons why businesses need a brand journalist to create compelling content.
While I’m clearly biased in that direction, I fully agree with Handley when she states that a brand journalist can be more effective than a subject matter expert at reaching the hearts and minds of potential customers. “Sometimes the CEO or the product manager is not the right choice to clearly tell your story.”
Here’s an excerpt of Handley’s piece and why she likes the idea of hiring a brand journalist:
They know how to tell a storyJournalists are trained to tell a story using words, images, and audio, and they understand how to create content that draws readers in.
They put the audience first
Journalists are the only people, in my mind, who put the needs of the audience (vs. the company) first. Paradoxically, that serves a company’s needs far better—because the content they create is customer-driven vs. corporate-driven. Their innate understanding of audience means that every time they sit down at their desk to create content, there’s always a little voice in the back of their head reminding them, Nobody has to read this. That kind of pressure on your content-creation efforts can only benefit your brand.
They know how to simplifyJournalists excel in deconstructing the complex to make it easily understood. They excel at expressing the kind of nuance I first learned from my journalism professors: Assume the reader knows nothing. But don’t assume the reader is stupid.
They approach content with a Mind Like WaterA lifetime ago, when I was covering town planning board meetings for a local newspaper, I arrived in the newsroom very late one night and told the night editor that there wasn’t a single thing to report on; no decisions had been reached by the Board. The editor—who I’m certain ate cigarettes for breakfast—schooled me thus: There’s always a story there, he said, even if it’s not the one you were expecting to write.
So your boring technology product? Your services firm? Your regulated industry that precludes you from talking about certain specifics? The Mind Like Water content creator finds the crevices where the stories lie. (Also, whatever you sell can’t possibly be as dull as town planning board meetings, and I found plenty to say after that night.)
They tell the truthThe best corporate reporters care about accuracy and truth, whether they are creating content on behalf of your brand or a traditional publisher.
They quote sourcesJournalists are trained in backing up opinions and assertions with research and facts, and attributing ideas to proper sources. That enhances your credibility as a voice in your industry.
They bring a journalist’s sensibility to building a brandThat enhances your integrity.
How do you handle your content? Is it planned and purposeful? Is it created with the audience in mind? Do you make every word count? And are you telling a compelling brand story?