Thursday, 8 December 2011

Introducing: Brand Journalism, A Practical Guide to a New Medium

Here's something that worries me.

I try to help journalism students to acquire the skills they need to get jobs.

That's what the Multimedia Journalism project is all about.

But what worries me is that the number of jobs in what you might call traditional journalism is shrinking fast.
Pretty much every day there are reports of cutbacks and lay-offs by the traditional employers of journalists: publishers and broadcasters.

It's not that journalism skills aren't still in demand. Infact, many more people in a range of disciplines other than traditional journalism now need those skills.

That's because of the growth of social and other online media, and their use by marketers, public relations professionals, communicators and brand managers.

And because, as a result of the accessibility of social and online media, every company is a media company.

What is emerging is a new form of journalism - brand journalism. It requires all the traditional journalistic skills to do it well, but it also requires an understanding of marketing and PR.

Journalists have often seen PR as a dark art, and one that they would only move across to if their career in 'pure' journalism hit a brick wall.

They can't afford to think like that any more. And there is no need to see well-practised brand journalism as any lesser craft than the journalism required by publishers and broadcasters.

So I'm working on a new project.

Its working title is Brand Journalism: A Practical Guide to a New Medium.

It will be for those in all the disciplines mentioned above.

It will give journalism students and journalists the essential additional knowledge, understanding and practical skills they need in marketing, public relations, and communications.

And it will teach marketers, public relations and communications professionals, and brand managers what they need to learn about journalism.

It will take the form of a textbook - in both paper and ebook format - plus a comprehensive supporting website. And, as you'd expect, it'll also exploit the full range of social and mobile media.

As things develop, and the project takes shape, I'll post updates here. Meanwhile, and as a first step, I've begun to curate the topic of Brand Journalism on You can find it here.