The concept of journalism branding has developed with the explosion of social networks on the internet and with the audience’s shift towards the online medium. Journalists must now know themselves better in order to deliver and promote their brand.
I must admit this is new territory for me. Being in my fourth week of studying Journalism as a postgraduate student means I am still a rookie. But after researching into the matter, the idea of branding my own journalism seems vital today.
When creating a brand around yourself, you have the chance of using your skills to improve not only your own value but also the value of the organizations you work for. According to Kurt Greenbaum “journalism isn’t a one-way street anymore (if it ever was). Build a network and be consistent with your content and your identity. That’s a brand.”
In my view, the key word is “identity”. According to Jennifer Gaie Hellum, it’s impossible knowing your brand without knowing yourself. Many aspects have to be taken into account and the list is quite complex. Your personality types, aptitudes, talents, skills or knowledge and life experience and interest can shape the brand.
An efficient and strong brand should be based on good quality journalism. The ability of coming up with good writing should be the foundation of the brand. In a blog post from The Buttry Diary, Steve Buttry says that branding is the opposite of generic and journalists need to understand that. Branding is useless unless backed-up with solid writing.
Once you know who you are and what you got it’s time to focus on a niche. This is important as it links your work to how it can be applied in the industry. Journalism covers an immense range of areas and subjects. The best thing to do is finding and understanding what is better suited for one’s brand. “You have to be the best first. It can be a narrow niche but you have to dominate the category” says Joe Grimm. Once the niche is owned it’s only a matter of staying on top. In an article on Jobs Page, Grimm says that authenticity, value, consistency and sharing are essential ingredients. Mix them and the result is a brand.
Social networks play a massive role in delivering and promoting a brand. Mediums such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn should be exploited to their full potential. These social networks target a wide audience and are ideal for brand development.