Who is Hank Walshak? Hank Walshak, founder, owner, and CEO of Walshak Communications, Inc., is a communications consultant, executive presentation coach, and author. He focuses on helping knowledge entrepreneurs in small and mid-sized businesses and their owners create expertise-related content to differentiate themselves as experts. Read More

Brand Journalism and How We Got To It

Traditional approaches to marketing aren’t working as well as they once did.  That’s because traditional marketing always focused on what’s called mmarketing speak to prompt behavior changes or actions by customers and clients.
You know: “Buy this. Go here. Call us. This is what author Seth Godin callss “interruption marketing.”

People today are fed up with advertising and marketing speak and filter out marketing messages.

Delivering content  used to be a pushy, one-way street. Not any more. Now it’s about having conversations, not selling.

Now a well-told story stands out as one of the best ways to get your messages across.

Brand journalism involves telling stories journalism-style about a company, that make readers want to know more, stories that have conversations with customers or clients, giving them original, helpful content they can relate to.

This means no preaching at them or bombarding them with sales messages, but giving them original and useful and interesting stories they can relate to.

In 2004, McDonald’s Chief Marketing Officer, Larry Light, said mass marketing no longer worked and that “no single ad tells the whole story.” McDonald’s, he insisted, had adopted a new marketing technique, “brand journalism.”

He defined brand journalism as a way to record “what happens to a brand in the world” and create ad communications that, over time, can tell a whole story of a brand

He rejected traditional marketing and advertising approaches that focused on brand positioning. Instead, he favored a content stream approach involving multiple channels and journalism-style writing.

His modeled the way an editor creates a magazine, with an array of varied different content aimed at a range of interests. Hence, brand journalism.

Brand journalism involves communicating messages in a variety of ways and channels. Videos, blogs, newsletters, events, social media.