What is a brand journalist?


Thanks to social media and the Internet, every business is also a publisher. But not every business is a good publisher. In fact, few businesses are. Why? Businesses entrust professionals who know accounting to handle the company’s money. But when it comes to publishing on behalf of the company, businesses often trust the wrong people. Or no one at all. They leave their reputation to the fates. I believe that a company with a story to tell should put its publishing in the hands of professional storytellers AKA brand journalists.

The reason businesses need brand journalists is that journalists know what people want to read, watch, listen to and share. Major brands already know this. They embark on long-term content creation programs, and they hire experts who are dedicated to telling stories using words, images and audio. They succeed when they put the needs of the audience first, company second. Their stories resonate because journalists know the tools, tactics and style it takes to tell an interesting story.

Customers are savvy. They know marketing and advertising when they see it. The day of the hard sell is over. It stresses customers out.

People are leery of organizations. Trust in institutions is down across the board.

Customers value openness and transparency. It’s a way to establish trust, and it signals a vibrant company culture. A business honest and vulnerable enough to share its story is a business that is confident, accessible and worthy of trust.

As any psychologist can tell you, people use stories to make sense of the world. We see the world in patterns. Telling your story helps customers find a place for you in their world.

What story can your company tell? It can tell the story of its origin. It can tell the story of its most popular product. It can tell the stories of its very own customers. If your organization creates value in the lives of others, it has a story to tell.

Brand journalists practice journalism. They look for stories. They interview sources. They organize information in a way that is compelling and holds readers’ interests.

Every business has a story. The question smart businesses as is: Who’s going to tell it?


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Joe Donatelli
Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles

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