Do journalists and content marketing mix? Perhaps not

Tony Hallett

Tony Hallett

Managing Director

October 5, 2012 10:29 am

Poynter publishes some of the best content around on journalism and content in general. The piece What journailsts need to know about ‘content marketing’ – replete with scepticism about the CM moniker (love it!) – has been liberally shared this week.

And with good reason. It’s one of the best pieces you’ll read all month, let alone all week. And it’s certainly not only relevant to journalists.

At Collective Content we spend a lot of time talking about content marketing. Of late, it is clear to us that while content marketing is an opportunity to businesses big and small, media owners, with so much content expertise, should also see it as an opportunity.

We have talked about this, what we term content services, using an analogy of IT shops spinning off back office functions as IT services companies.
The point with the Poynter piece is that journalists need to be careful. We’d take it further. It is hard to be a working journalist and take part in content marketing programmes at the same time.

For publishers, part of the appeal should be that resources such as design, tech, sales and more can double up, working on content marketing programmes for clients (clients who might be advertising less and less in many cases).

But for print, online and broadcast reporters and editors it’s slightly different.

How can you have someone on the team working on a content marketing feature one day, aligned very closely with a single client, then the next sent off to a press conference to ask hard questions of an exec from the same client? It is possible but very hard.

What I’m saying doesn’t stop publishers doing content marketing for clients. It just means dividing the labour force or using external content creators. We think it’s an easy dilemma to overcome. Only no one is talking about it.

* photo credit: Andreas. via photopin cc

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