Wednesday, 8 June 2016
Masterclass 6: Road-testing Prowly - a new publishing platform for brand (and traditional) journalism
Prowly is a publishing platform that combines a very simple set-up, design and publishing process with a good deal of guidance and tuition in how to optimise your content's appeal to your target audience.
Prowly was conceived as a brand journalism platform, but to my mind it works just as well for a traditional publisher.
As with all these masterclasses, what follows is designed to supplement and update the detailed tuition included in my Multimedia Journalism and Brand Journalism textbooks.
I'll link from material here to relevant points on the two textbook websites, where you can find context, background and further tuition in what we cover.
Here's Prowly's MO:
Because it is targeted at brands which are not traditional publishers, and for which content creation of high journalistic standards is a new challenge, it is very informative for beginners in journalism, including students.
Who publishes on Prowly?
Let's take a quick look at three companies that publish on the platform. Prowly hails from Poland, so the examples here are in Polish.
If you browse them on Google Chrome you can click the translate button to render content into English.
Among their clients is the journalism brand National Geographic:
National Geographic publishes articles about forthcoming programmes on the schedule, and additional content such as an invitation to pitch ideas for TV shows.
Non-journalistic clients include: Spotify
The music streaming service runs brand journalism about its content, for example on the popularity
of the Beatles on the service,
using text and info graphics...
... and surrounding the Eurovision Song Contest, integrating playlists into the articles it posts on its Prowly site:
As far as I can tell, Spotify does not offer such content to its UK or American users, which is a shame, because the one flaw I find with the service is that it does not do anything like enough, through brand journalism, to help us find music that might interest us.
I believe Spotify would be substantially improved if it included music journalism of Rolling Stone quality alongside its access to millions of songs, because such abundance is hard to navigate without the guide, filter and recommendation engine that informed, authoritative journalism can provide.
As an aside, Spotify allows brands to use its content to create closer relationship with customers. BMW did it in the US to promote a new model, offering purchasers the chance to go to a map to create playlists related to classic road trips:
Hill and Knowlton The PR agency includes case studies and news:
Prowly's tuition for brands and brand journalists
Integrated within the publishing platform are resources to help you understanding your audience and learn to pitch to them more effectively, and to make "Brand journalism a centrepiece for your communication".
That's a topic we cover in great depth in the Brand Journalism textbook pages 21-34 and on the companion website here.
For brands that want to get into journalism, Prowly provides a magazine with guides to content creation for particular groups.
For example young mums:
There is an academy with tuition on brand journalism and content creation:
Why Prowly is worth a closer look
Prowly combines the ease and elegance of publishing I like about Scoop.it, with the ability to target a campaign to a given audience provided by Mailchimp.
We cover these platforms in the Multimedia Journalism textbook: Spotify on page 211 in the book/ebook and on the companion website here, Mailchimp on page 278-282 and on the companion website here.
NEXT: How to publish on Prowly