“Thou Shall Not Bore People Anymore” and more big tips from Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications, co-founder of Ragan Consulting Group and publisher of PR Daily, about successful brand journalism.

    Ragan, recently spoke at the PRSA January Luncheon. He discussed how interactive newsrooms represent brand journalism, why every organization must become a media outlet, and how your old-fashioned newsroom is hurting you. Here are our top takeaways from the luncheon:

    1. “Be your own publisher. Tell your own story. Showcase your expertise.” Brand journalism is more important today as newsrooms continue to diminish in size. Developing a brand journalism strategy can increase earned media opportunities by providing a story roadmap to a resource-starved newsroom.

    2. Don’t kill content with marketing. Sprinkling product promotion throughout an article is not journalism. Real journalism tells a story, includes multiple perspectives and is accessible.

    3. “Make it less about you and more about your audience.” It’s not about your brand. How will this story serve your audience and why do they need to know now?

    4. Use a “hub and spokes” approach. Develop a digital platform for your content, your hub. Promote your content through e-newsletters, your spokes.

    5. Mark’s Three Ways to Reach the Media:
      1. Ask journalists for permission to subscribe them to your e-newsletter.
      2. Email your top 5 headlines and teasers with a link to your content platform.
      3. Send a link to your priority story.
    6. Define your objectives. What do you wish to achieve through brand journalism? Your objective may be to sell more widgets. It may also be to secure more earned media or to communicate your brand values. As with any objective, you must be able to measure the success of the brand journalism strategy. 

    7. Find characters in your organization. Like journalism, brand journalism must include characters and experts. Find specialist in your organization to provide quotes and data for your story. They can also serve as your fact-checkers.

    8. Brand Journalism is a management strategy. Restructure your communication office like a newsroom. Remove corporate silos like internal and external communication and schedule a morning meeting to discuss the stories and events to promote your brand. “It’s eleven. Do you know where your content is?”


    What did you learn from the PRSA Colorado January Luncheon? Share your thoughts with us on social media using the #PRSAColo hashtag.

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