Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Emerging World of Brand Journalism

The Internet has made brand publishing ubiquitous. Gone are the days when brands required an intermediary to reach their target audience. Now, they have the luxury of reaching out to their audience directly, through content storytelling.

Welcome to the emerging world of brand journalism

Brands are using digital publishing tools and social media to directly reach out to their audience. 

On January 11th this year, one of the biggest e-commerce platforms in India, Flipkart.com announced the news of their new co-founder on Twitter. As a PR professional or a reporter, we usually expect big announcements to unveil at a press conference/event BUT with digital media, things are changing.

Flipkart tweeted the news via their handle @FlipkartStories and uploaded the full story on stories.flipkart.com. The news of course spread like fire!

Flikpart now shares all their stories on the stories.flipkart.com.

This example reiterates the fact that:
  • Brands want to own the narrative and want to be storytellers to reach out to their consumers/stakeholders directly
  • Brands are looking for quick and effective ways of communicating with their target audience 
  • There is no need for intermediaries to tell a brand's story - with brands sharing their own stories, they don't need reporters to reach out to the stakeholders. However, how 'authentic' the story is, cannot be judged 

Brand journalism and brand content have very different purpose and ethics. Journalists/reporters share authentic news with the public, however, a brand's content is always targeted at its consumers. The ultimate aim of a reporter is to'inform' the public and that of a brand is to 'sell.'

So while we say that the world of brand journalism is emerging, not sure if it will 'shake up' the media industry. That said, we might see a rise of brand editors in the near future. What do you think?

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