Panel: Brave New World: Debating Brands’ Role as Publishers
Corporate publishing, corporate media, corporate journalism, content marketing, branded content, brand journalism … however we want to call, it is happening and it is big. That’s probably about the only thing that all participants of the panel “Brave New World: Debating Brands’ Role as Publishers” agreed on during this morning’s heated debate.
The publishing world has changed and it has changed big time. In the “old times” (not THAT long ago), the role of publishers and brands were very distinct. Publishers used to act as the information conduit for readers, whereas brands would ‘pitch’ the stories to the media and pay to have their audience-targeted advertising published.
The rise of social media has changed the game. As the role of media as gatekeeper has shrunk significantly, and interaction between consumers and brands has become a part of our everyday life, brands do not longer have to rely on publishers to reach their audiences. But they have an opportunity to use branded content to build a level of trust and differentiation with audiences never before achieved.
But are brands really taking an advantage of this huge opportunity? Even though they are investing heavily in corporate publishing with 25% of marketing budgets being spent on content creation and distribution, it looks like brands still have a lot to learn from publishers. Main issues with the branded content are information pollution, confusing content, lack of disclosure and the lack of sourcing.
How can those be solved? According to one panelist, Joe Pulizzi, it’s not that hard: stop cluttering up with crappy content and have a content strategy, think about who your reader is and what’s keeping them up at night. I second that.