This week in brand publishing:
- New and notable jobs in brand publishing: An increasing number of brands are looking to hire editors-in-chief and editorial directors to run their publications.
- If journalists are missing the climate change story due to an outsized focus on what’s “new,” could brands own the topic?
- The growth of brand publishing may diminish the role of PR.
Notable jobs in brand publishing
Brands are getting more serious about their publishing efforts, borrowing approaches from journalism to stand up fully-fledged editorial teams, put in place processes for pitching and reporting, and figure out how to create compelling content.
But any publication is only as good as its people. Successful brand publishers understand that editorial talent with strong writing, reporting and editing skills is essential for building legitimate audiences, and have raided the ranks at media companies to offer staffers an opportunity to build something new – often in exchange for higher salaries and greater stability.
At Toolkits, we’ve spent a lot of time consulting and advising these brands, offering them the practical guidance and resources they need in order to build effective brand publishing operations. And once initial strategies are put in place, we’ve partnered with a network of recruiters to help them staff their teams.
We’re now also curating new and notable jobs in brand publishing, at companies in industries as diverse as finance, technology, non-profits and consultancies. Featured this week is an editorial director role at Netflix, focused on genre audiences, and an editor-in-chief role at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, working on building a new content strategy. Check out the jobs here. And if you have a job you’d like us to include, contact us.
Could brands own the climate story?
Nieman Lab ran a piece last week by environmental activist Bill McKibbel about why journalists struggle to cover climate change. Arguably one of the biggest stories of our times, climate change has proven difficult to cover. McKibbels argues one of the big reasons is that it doesn’t quite fit journalists’ definition of news because it is simultaneously happening slowly as well as quickly.
It’s an interesting argument, and one I agree with. Anyone who has spent any time in news has been told to prize the “new” part most, an impetus that leads, in many cases, to ignoring big stories because it is too difficult to figure out what to say that will qualify as bringing something new to the table.
In this context, companies creating content may be in a place not only to win, but to potentially create truly differentiated stories about the climate crisis and its effects. While a touchy subject for brands in the energy, oil and gas industries, for others climate may be a topic they can speak authoritatively about. For companies building sustainable manufacturing; or those investing in green companies, or even consultancies who can write authoritatively about the varied facets of climate change and its effects, the topic could be a particularly good one to sink their teeth into.
Brand publishing is eating into PR budgets
The growth of brand publishing may end up forcing a diminished role for PR, both in terms of money and strategic focus, as the levers of traditional PR no longer work as well as they used to.
The relationship between PR and brand publishing is an evolving one. Companies have for years spent money on PR in an effort to, to borrow a term, “earn” media. But the reality was few were ever able to rightfully earn that attention beyond a certain point anyway. Journalists, after all, gravitate instinctively to whatever topics or issues have cultural relevance, or feed into the zeitgeist at any given moment.
For PR in general, it’s always been a race, a dash to get to the finish line and get someone’s attention while fighting a veritable tsunami of competition. There is so much “news” – launches and announcements abound – that media simply can’t and won’t cover it. This context was a foundation for the rise in interest for brand-funded content – if media won’t cover us, we’ll cover ourselves. And owning a direct relationship with an audience is a customer acquisition play, a way to acquire customers and retain them much more cheaply and for longer. Read more.