Friday, 18 October 2013

3 models for brand journalism in the fashion industry

How brand journalism is challenging the traditional PR model of third-party endorsement
This is a guest post from Laura Roig Vericat, who has recently completed a dissertation looking in detail on how brand journalism is transforming coverage of fashion. 
Third-party endorsement has always been the core essence of public relations, however, background research shows a rise of brand publications within the fashion media landscape, which is challenging the traditional PR model regarding the use of the media. Precisely because of that, the disclosure of the brand authorship within those publications raises concerns about the transparency and credibility of the source. Are brands able to be perceived as an authoritative media source?
Through a content analysis of three brand publications and interviews with relevant practitioners and journalists, my study looks at the different approaches to Brand Journalism that fashion brands are developing at the moment, as well as looking at different insights regarding the link between the authorship and the credibility of the source.
Research shows that there are three main approaches to Brand Journalism: ‘One-brand’, Multi-brand’ and ‘Off-brand’. All three approaches feature different stories based on the lifestyle of their target audience, but only two have a product focus and include the media model of content-to-commerce, adding links to e-commerce. The Edit, Net-a-Porter’s magazine, and MANGO Magazine, for example, enhance all stages of the decision making process, from inspiration to purchase. NOWNESS, a publishing venture form LVMH, is building a media channel to generate awareness instead of pushing sales.
Brands acting as publishers, could not be linking the authorship of the content to their brand in order to present themselves as independent publishers. They could potentially be risking their transparency in order to be viewed as more credible. In fact, research shows that while The Edit and MANGO Magazine have clear links between the brand and the content, NOWNESS, disassociates itself from the brand.
PRs interviewed for the study point out that consumers are willing to engage with brands in an editorial way, however, if brands aim to provide biased content, they would rapidly dismiss them. Without the filter of journalists, consumers become the gatekeepers of information and transparency and honesty is key to engage with them.
Also, after having analysed the fashion media landscape, it looks like traditional publications are failing to provide relevant content. In fact, research shows that consumers are now focusing on content instead of a channel.
Talking about the content, PRs agree that the endorsement power of third parties such as experts, celebrities and consumers is helping brands to be perceived as authoritative sources.

MANGO Magazine features mainly fashion bloggers and consumers

In fact, the use of such referees in brand publications is attracting the attention of traditional media. This way, instead of only competing for readers, brands and traditional fashion magazines complement each other, making brand journalism a source of information and traditional media a traffic driver.
The Guardian features content first published on NOWNESS, linking back to their site
Findings also show that brand personality gives credibility to the source, however, it also acts as a filter so brands only covering their own products are most likely to only engage with brand fans. Adding other points of view within the content, including products from other brands for example, not only gives more transparency to the approach, but also helps the brand to appeal new consumers. By providing a wider content, brands also create a key word cloud that helps the publication to be found by search engines online.
Another interesting fact is that having commercial motivations behind the content doesn’t necessarily affect the credibility of the source. In fact, this study shows that convenience prevails to independency demonstrating that the new media model of content-to-commerce can actually benefit brands willing to develop a publishing venture.
Transparency and content appear to be more valued than the independency of the source when conferring credibility to the media. It looks like PR has the opportunity to build a media system in its own right and Brand Journalism appears to be the medium. However, there is a time factor to be considered and the constant delivery of those values is essential to build a credible media: “brands need to focus on how they can leverage traditional media to not only drive sales today, but audiences tomorrow”, - Tom Martin.
* Extract from MA dissertation submitted for Westminster University, Master’s degree in PR,
London, 2013. The copyright of this document is shared by University of Westminster
 The dissertation has been published on Issuu and it is available here.
It is also embedded below

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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

iPad app creation for non-coders and non-designers: Previewing Masterclass 60 at Multimedia Journalism

News consumption on tablet computers is growing fast

Not all news organisations feel the need to create a dedicated iPad and Android-friendly app 

Many take the view that standard websites can easily be read on such devices
Which is true, but which ignores the particular look and feel of such tablets. They are particularly good at creating an electronic equivalent of the pleasure of consuming a glossy magazine on paper, for example. 
What's held many individual journalists back is the fact that, to create an iPad app has generally required a knowledge of coding, or hiring an app developer at some cost.
So when I noticed that Google Campus London was welcoming a new startup called Fliplet, which promised "an app-building platform that lets users create a professional-looking app without needing technical or design skills" I decided to check it out. 
Fliplet proved very straightforward to use - I could create an app as easily as I might plan, design, structure and build a Wordpress site, and there’s a free trial while Fliplet is in beta.
The Getting Started blog post from Fliplet is the place to go first
The advice you get there can be summarised as:
  • Decide what your app is for
  • Gather your content: "You can upload text, images and videos into Fliplet as well as link to external websites."
  • Build your first screens: "Fliplet already has a variety of layouts preloaded to make life easy."
  • Preview your app on the iPad
  • Go through the Apple app publishing process (they help you)
For the purposes of this exercise i'm taking content I already have, for a website that is the companion to my textbook Brand Journalism.

Key question - what will it cost?

It’s going to be a minimum of $74 per month and can be up to 10 times that, but they say: "During Fliplet’s beta you can build your app on the starter plan with unlimited users and storage. 30 days notice will be given before the beta ends and this offer expires."
We'll look at actually building your app in the next screen. First, just to make sure you know exactly what is involved, we'll go through what you need to do to get it published.
Once you have created your app you can preview it on an iPad, but to get it published you must go through the process Apple requires.
But it's complex. It takes 5 weeks to get approval if you are starting out, and costs $99.
But you can review the apps you create without submitting them to the app store

Next: Building an iPad app on Fliplet

Thursday, 29 August 2013

If you REALLY want to be a journalist - you need the answers to these 10 questions

Usually on the Multimedia Journalism site we concentrate on how to do journalism

How to be a better reporter, video editor, podcaster or whatever

This time I want to look at something different.
Something that comes before all of the 'how to do it'.
It's the 'do you really want to do it?'
It's about the state of journalism today.
So I'm posing and answering 10 key questions.
The answers are designed to fully inform you about the state of the journalism trade today in the US and the UK.
I'll lay my cards on the table right now - I think we are at the start of a golden age of journalism.
I say that because it's never been easier to do journalism: to create and publish high-quality multimedia content.
Getting good at it is the hard part, and is what the MMJ course of learning is all about.
But there are also some stark facts that anyone considering spending a lot of time and money studying journalism ought to know about before they commit themselves.
For example: there are between 40,000 and 60,000 journalists working in the UK, depending on whose figures you believe (more on that here)
Yet, each year, around 15,000 students begin journalism degrees.
In the USA, the ratio of fresh graduates to working journalists is similarly scary.
So, no pressure there then.
This doesn't mean you'll never get a job in journalism, although in the UK, applications for journalism degrees plunged by 20 per cent in 2012, and only recovered by 1.4 per cent in 2013. 
What the tough employment market does mean is that you need to be really well trained, qualified and prepared if you are to stand a chance.
You need to be well-informed about where the jobs are, and how to equip yourself for a career in journalism.
So in this masterclass we look at these things:
  • How many jobs there are and what percentage of journalism students get one
  • Where those jobs are in the various branches of the media - newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, online and in brand journalism
  • The qualifications and experience you need to be a serious candidate
and other key questions.
Along the way we'll link to further information and resources - so, for example, in the module on what experience you need we link to a rich resource of advice on getting work experience and internships and on building up an impressive portfolio of published and/or broadcast work.

Next: How many jobs are there? How hard is it to get one?

Friday, 9 August 2013

8 things every new journalism student must learn to do before they start their course

T-shirt: customised at zazzle

You’ve probably got a pretty daunting reading list that you know you ought to plough your way through

But nobody does that. And you don’t need to.

What you do need to do now, if you want to be ahead of the game when your course starts, is learn some essentials.
Here are eight things that, if you tackle them now, mean you’ll find the first few weeks of your course plain sailing.
You’ll find a short explanation of each item on this screen, plus links so you can find out more.
The links go either to further screens in this masterclasses, or out to other resources in the MMJ project.
Some are outside the paywall, for others you’ll need to become a registered user to gain access. To do that, you need to buy the book in print or ebook form. You can do that here for the USA, here for the UK.

1 Learn to write a news story following the inverted triangle method

That means, knowing that every story must answer these six essential questions about the event you are reporting on:
Who   What   When
Where   Why   How
And these questions need to be answered in a structure we call the inverted triangle or pyramid, which has these four elements within it:

You’ll find a detailed demonstration of how such a story is written in this masterclasses, on the screen called Learn to write a news story following the inverted triangle method
Plus there are loads of real-life examples of how news stories are written in Chapter 1 of the print/ebook versios of Multimedia Journalism, with supporting links and material on the immersive website here.

2 Develop a beat or specialism

The days of the generalist are over. Being a bog-standard news reporter is a dead end job when so much general news is available, and when such a low price is put on it.
To offer value, and material that people are prepared to pay for, you need to become an expert in a particular field - to cover what we call a beat, or specialism.
That might be movies, music or fashion. It could be health, education or politics.
Maybe you have no idea what specialism to choose.
If so, just pick a subject – ideally something you are passionate about – and make covering that area your way of learning to be a good journalist.
We’ve covered 12 specialisms in depth in previous MMJ masterclasses. You’ll find an introduction to them, plus advice on how to choose a specialism and how to begin covering it here.

3 Begin to develop your personal brand

There has been a fundamental shift in the way journalists establish themselves as reliable, authoritative reporters and commentators.
In Post Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present, Clay Shirky, Emily Bell and CW Anderson said this:
“[There is] a new reality for journalism school grads in which the first step in their careers will not be to tie their reputation to an established media institution, as they might have in the past, but to create their own reputation.
“Already, journalism schools are more like film schools than law schools, which is to say that the relative success or failure of a J-School grad is going to be far more variable than it used to be
“There are fewer entry-level jobs than there used to be.
“Like film school graduates, they will have to go out into the world and create a name for themselves. It's a far less predictable environment and the career paths are less clear.’”
We take a look at doing that in this masterclasses on How to build your personal brand.

Read the other 5 essentials here: Multimedia Journalism Masterclass 58

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Escaping the Catch 22 every wannabe journalist faces: how to get your journalism published - even though you have no track record

Here’s is the Catch 22 every wannabe journalist faces...

You need bylines on published articles before potential employers will take you seriously.

But it’s virtually impossible to get the commissions that will win you bylines unless you already have a track record of published articles.

How do you square the circle?

We aim to offer some answers to that question. We'll be suggesting...

Three places where you can get published right now – and one where you can pitch your ideas direct to editors

What you need is the ability to get your first bylines without having any evidence to show you can write.

Of course you can start your own blog – and you should. But it should be a beat blog, filled with content that demonstrates you have mastered a specialism of some kind. 

If you are on a journalism course, the college will have a website or magazine on which you’ll get published.

On work experience you can ought to get a byline or two, and on an internship you ought to get loads.

That’s all great as far as it goes, but you need more.

So here are three places where you can get published right now.

And one where you can pitch your ideas direct to editors.
We'll take a look at:

  • HubPages
  • Jurnid
  • MoonProject
  • Newsmodo

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

How to create an iPad magazine with Glossi

by Andy Bull

Up until now it's been pretty difficult for the non-coder to create a magazine for the iPad and other tablets

What simple platforms there were for building mobile phone and tablet apps often charged a hefty fee to host

But now there's a platform that lets you create and publish digital magazines for free.
It's called Glossi, and it makes publishing for tablets, smartphones and computer easy.
It’s a very simple interface to get used to, and you can create a professional-looking magazine without any formal website-building, app-creating or other technical ability.
It's currently in public beta, so you need to apply to join here.

What Glossi teaches

Glossi may be simple to use but that's not to say its magazines design themselves, or that anyone can create something that looks great on the platform.
What it does do is enable those with magazine skills, or who are learning them, to create online publications that demonstrate what they can do.
Because you don’t have to worry about learning InDesign or whatever, you can concentrate on presenting good content effectively.
Glossi enables you to practise and demonstrate the full range of magazine editing skills:
  • commissioning copy,
  • editing it and presenting it,
  • headline writing,
  • picture selection and presentation,
  • planning the book,
  • front page image selection and
  • cover-line writing.
It’s such a simple platform that it has great potential for journalism courses.
It also has a very comprehensive series of tutorials on the site.
So, rather than go over what Glossi's team have already done, I’ll curate some of Glossi's key tutorials here, and then show you a simple magazine I made as I got used to working on the Glossi platform.

Next: Introduction to Glossi, and some magazine examples

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Journalists: how to build your personal brand

Image credit

Your brand is who you are, what you are known for, what you specialise in.

If you don’t like the idea of brand, substitute reputation.

In Masterclass 55 at Multimedia Journalism we are looking at how to build your brand - or reputation - online.

First, a bit of context.

In old print media, the closest a reporter or writer could get to personal branding was their byline on a story. A broadcast journalist got their name superimposed at the start of their report.

Journalists who were employed to do something other than write or appear on-screen – sub-edit, run a department, edit the title, edit the programme – often got little opportunity to get their name out.

On a magazine, if they were lucky, they got included in a flannel panel, where all staff names were listed. In TV, their name might whizz past in the closing credits.

Of course, some reporters and writers became big names. Some columnists, TV reporters and others had the power to bring large numbers of readers to a publication, or viewers to a news programme.

Their names might become as well known as the title or programme they worked for. They were stars.

But, for most journalists, that never happened. They remained more or less anonymous. A specialist reporter would gain the respect of those in the profession or area they covered, and be known to them, but that was about as much branding as the average journalist got.

Today, any journalist can build their personal brand online.

Now there are many ways in which a reporter can build their reputation – their brand – often independently of the title or programme they work on.

Many journalists are now as well known – or even better known – that the titles or programmes they work for. They often have a greater reputation - at least among the specialist audience that is most interested in what they do -  than that of the place their work appears.

How has that happened?

Social media is one hugely valuable tool. So are blogs and personal websites. All offer great opportunities to show what you can do, and get your name known.

Now, any journalist can build their own brand.

So can student journalists or those who are struggling to establish themselves in their craft.

So here's what we'll look at in the masterclass. Follow the link at the bottom of this post to go to the first of them:
  • Why good branding must start with good journalism
  • The goals of your branding, and how to measure your success
  • The places to build your brand: websites, blogs, on social media and on cv/resume/portfolio sites
  • Why you need a Google profile and to be recognised by Google as an author
  • Building your personal brand on Twitter
  • Building you brand on Facebook
  • Branding on LinkedIn
  • And where else you should consider brand-building

Next: Good Branding starts with good journalism