Journalism basicsAnyone who has done any kind of journalism training will have been introduced to the concept of the five Ws of journalism. These are five basic questions that any great story should answer:
- Who: Who are you writing about and why do they matter? How can your audience identify with them?
- What: What’s going on that makes this a story? What are the key characters doing?
- When: You may pose this question as: “why this, why now?” Timely content with a relevant hook is essential.
- Where: Is the location important and if so, have you given it enough emphasis? How can you make the setting come alive?
- Why: Why does your story matter? Why should people take the time to read it?
What does this mean for brand journalism?We’ve covered some journalism fundamentals so let’s look at how we can apply these to brand journalism. When compelling writing and strong journalism techniques come together to help marketers engage with their customers, the results can be powerful. Let’s first be clear on the kind of thing we’re NOT talking about:
- Listicles showcasing the top ten of whatever but providing no real insight
- Stale content that offers nothing new compared to the countless other websites your reader has already looked at for the same search term
- Lifeless case studies that don’t do credit to your brand, your clients, your customers or your staff
- Content that’s been pushed out for the sake of ticking a box on a publication schedule rather than planned to deliver real value
- Articles that lack a clear and consistent brand voice and message
- Parents looking for school holiday activities for their kids that won’t break the bank
- Retirees with a lot of time on their hands
- A young professional with limited time and apartment space
- School teachers or representatives looking for teaching opportunities
- Creative planting ideas and ways to encourage kids to ‘grow their own’ at home and develop good attitudes towards food waste
- In-depth articles that educate those who have just taken up the hobby on plant types, garden maintenance tips and seasonal garden ideas
- Information about how to care for indoor plants or create a space-saving herb garden
- Free educational visits and ideas for vegetable gardens; case studies of success stories with other local schools