Let me share a secret. You’re not the only one scrambling to create enough content. Believe it or not, plenty of traditional news media, industry associations and trade periodicals are struggling to produce high-quality, original content. And guess what? This provides an excellent opportunity for brands.
How to find a brand journalism opportunity
Marketing managers and managing editors are under the pump to publish magazines, newsletters and blog posts on a regular basis. Often these departments are severely understaffed and one person may be wearing many hats – and often doing all the writing. An offer of high quality, original content is usually snapped up, especially if you can deliver an article devoid of a hard sell for your particular product or service.
- Query the editor of the publication about opportunities to collaborate on an article. Offer access to your CEO or another director that may be difficult for an editor to contact.
- Send a list of topics or questions your subject matter expert would be willing to discuss in an interview.
- Suggest that you’re happy to write a first draft to assist with the content production.
It may sound like an aggressive approach but you’d be surprised how easy it is to get your writing published, especially if you’re not concerned about payment. If you’re also not worried about getting a byline – and you shouldn’t be if you can control the editorial message – then you’re likely to have even more success.
Requirements for publication
Getting agreement to produce a first draft isn’t that hard but then you must deliver a quality product. It’s essential your brand journalists identify the following:
- Who is the target audience for the publication?
- What topics does the editor want to publish?
- What is the ideal length for the article?
- What is the deadline for inclusion?
Once you have these requirements agreed upon, it’s essential to:
- Tell a good story.
- Write as objectively as possible.
- Ensure your copy is ready for publication. Hint: Use an editor.
Benefits of brand journalism
It’s easy to get focused on building your own content but you shouldn’t forget about the opportunity for earned media. Write in a journalistic style without pushing your products and services and you’ll find editors are quite willing to publish your content in their publication. The major advantage is your company is featured in publications that have a larger or different reach than your own content properties. You open your brand up to a wider audience and enhance the authority of your subject matter experts and executive management. Nearly everyone working in publishing and broadcasting is understaffed and forced to get by with small budgets. Approach industry associations and trade publications and offer to produce interviews, Q&A pieces or articles on trends in your sector.
Brand journalism resources
To gain influence with traditional media, sign up to Media Stable to get your content in front of TV, radio and newspaper journalists. The Australian Writer’s Marketplace is a good way to find publications specific to Australia willing to work with freelance writers. (That would be you.) Writer’s Market is an excellent resource for USA and Canadian publications. The opportunity for earned media is yours for the taking and using brand journalism techniques makes it easier than you may realise. Get in touch if you have any questions on how to get your stories published. - Sarah Mitchell