Brand journalism

Corporate media and brand storytelling update the press release

Has brand journalism killed the press release? Well, we wouldn’t go that far, but brand journalism, also known as corporate media, became a buzz word in 2013 and has continued to gain momentum. Brand journalism is when organizations cover their own stories and then distribute them to their audiences via their website and social media platforms.

While us marketing folk refer to this as content marketing, the difference is that brand journalism focuses more on storytelling, features, human-interest pieces and real-life examples — could there be a better fit for healthcare marketing?

We think not.

At Smith & Jones, we believe that content and brand journalism is the new wave of healthcare marketing. For the first time, we are seeing a decreased reliance on paid media, and a higher utilization of owned and earned media. The reason it works is because it places an emphasis on the audience — who they are and what they are looking for. Plus, it’s more credible than a print ad.

We help hospitals and healthcare networks build successful brand journalism programs based on the following criteria:

Valuable content

In the past, the goal of content was to be funny or entertaining, but now patients want to benefit from what they are reading. To be successful, you need to research what problems your patients have and present solutions in your content.

Long-form content

Google algorithms are placing a higher value on long-format content. This means that having a social media presence is no longer enough. Move beyond 140-character snippets of information and back to the blog to publish longer posts rich with information relevant to patients.

Content creators

We recommend an increased budget for content creation and promotion. In some cases, this includes expanding internal staff with writers and in-house journalists, and sometimes this means working with an agency partner, such as Smith & Jones, to develop content on your behalf. It’s important to have writers who are knowledgeable on healthcare topics, storytelling and SEO-optimized content. This means that relying on your summer intern won’t cut it.

These are just a few of the ways healthcare providers can leverage inbound content and earned media to build brand presence and preference in the healthcare market. If you’re not getting the most mileage out of your brand story, contact Smith & Jones.