The past few years have seen an explosion in true brand journalism - companies not seen as “traditional publishers” hiring journalists, doing the work, and producing epic coverage about their industry. Sometimes this comes in the form of data journalism - whether from their own proprietary data or publicly available datasets, and at other times in the form of service journalism - but at its best, it leverages a brands actual subject matter expertise, providing real value to readers and helping establish the organization as an expert in the space through unique coverage that doesn’t just repurpose what's out there, but truly adds to the conversation.
Companies large and small are leaning into content as a way to own their story + their audience, and we get a lot of questions about “what does well.” In operating the world’s largest newswire for 3rd party content, we see a lot of brand journalism - some phenomenal, some not so much. And in distributing thousands of stories to news outlets, we see a lot of data about what works well for driving earned coverage.
In this post, we’ll dissect the strategies of three brands that we think have mastered the art of brand journalism, creating content that not only tells their story but is eagerly picked up by journalists - and offer actionable insights that can be woven into your own playbook.
1. ZipRecruiter: Mastering Data Visualization and Storytelling
ZipRecruiter’s blog is a masterclass in using data journalism to add to the conversation, inform readers, and establish credibility. Their coverage blends original polling and public data, woven into compelling narratives complemented by striking data visualizations. They’ve mastered the art of telling stories with numbers, making complex data digestible and engaging. For content creators aiming to elevate their brand storytelling, focusing on data visualization and unique story angles, as exemplified by ZipRecruiter, can significantly enhance content engagement and shareability.
Takeaway: Invest in data visualization tools and skills. Consider conducting original polls to gather unique data, and focus on transforming these data points into visual stories that resonate with both your target audience and journalists.
2. Policygenius: News You Can Use
Policygenius takes a completely different, yet equally effective approach. By latching onto current events and seasonality, Policygenius regularly produces ‘news you can use’ - service journalism that is not only informative but immediately applicable. In a world where content’s shelf life can be ephemeral, Policygenius ensures their content is always in the moment, addressing the immediate needs and curiosities of their audience.
Takeaway: Develop a content calendar that aligns with current events and seasonal trends. Utilize tools and platforms that provide real-time insights into trending topics to ensure your content is always a part of the ongoing conversation.
3. GoodRx: Research-Driven, Accessible Healthcare Insights
GoodRx’s Research stands as a gold standard for in-depth, research-driven content that news outlets would love. In an industry often mired in complexity, GoodRx simplifies intricate topics, offering readers accessible insights rooted in comprehensive research. Their content doesn’t just inform; it empowers, making healthcare insights accessible to the lay reader while retaining the depth to engage professionals.
Invest in research to uncover insights that aren’t just topical but have depth. Focus on simplifying complex topics, making your content a bridge that connects expertise with accessibility.
Weaving It All Together
As more and more organizations invest in content, distribution is the next major challenge - and the greatest PR firms in the world can’t land coverage for subpar content.
At Stacker, we understand the dual challenge of creating quality content and ensuring it finds its audience, and are laser focused on bridging this gap.
As you draw inspiration from these brands, remember, their is no one right way to do this. But focusing on some of these foundational aspects can certainly help amplify your reach, ensuring your stories don’t just exist but thrive in the crowded digital space.