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One of my favorite quotes about branding comes from the designer and branding pioneer Walter Landor: "Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind." Landor, perhaps best known for designing the Coca-Cola script, applied his genius far beyond the world of consumer-packaged goods, serving companies as diverse as General Electric, Japan Airlines, and Shell Oil.
Landor’s quote came to mind recently when reading a post by Ann Hadley on mpdailyfix.com. She speaks to the cogency of using brand journalists to meet content marketing needs, and as someone who has plied this trade for decades, I couldn’t agree more.
Her opening paragraph really hits home:
Brands now have the ability to bypass the traditional press and tell their own story in their own voice in a unique and compelling way. As I see it, good content isn’t about storytelling; it's about telling a true story well.
This should be particularly salient for business-to-business marketers, who, in this real-time digital age, increasingly find creating compelling content a challenging task.
Hadley points to seven reasons working with a brand journalist makes sense in a marketplace where the quest for attention is increasingly competitive, complex and often muddled.
- They know how to tell a story
- They put the audience first
- They know how to simplify
- They approach content with an open mind
- They tell the truth
- They quote sources
- They bring a journalist’s sensibility to building a brand
While Hadley speaks to hiring brand journalists as part of a corporate team, I think there are compelling reasons to outsource this work to independent journalists. Among them: better ability to control costs (i.e., applying the journalistic asset to a specific project or goal and not incurring the overhead of having it on staff), seeing things from a perspective outside the four walls of the enterprise, and speed to execution.
Our clients can speak to this.
There's a plethora of information within your company that can be leveraged into blog posts, podcasts, videos, e-books, feature articles and more. Many times retaining an outside journalist can facilitate transforming your local knowledge into copy that creates value and moves minds.
And that's something we can all raise a glass to.