How does journalism extend beyond the newsroom?
From the beginning, journalists have learned to cover natural disasters, analyze census data, and communicate with target audiences. Neil Chase takes these skills to the marketing world.
The main question: How do we take what we know about journalism and apply it to marketing…without turning readers off? Chase’s answer: Content Marketing.
“Nobody likes the C word.” Chase says, “But it is necessary.”
Neil Chase consults for news organizations and marketers on projects ranging from new publications to content-marketing and ad sales. As a former editor at SF Examiner, Arizona Republic, CBS MarketWatch, and New York Times, Chase knows exactly what and how journalism works, and how it can help marketing and advertising.
“If you serve people what they want, it’ll make a big difference,” Chase said. To get consumers to read, companies have to talk to them about what they are interested in as opposed to giving and comparing product services.
The first case of service journalism began with Betty Crocker in 1922. With the introduction of the gas stove, Washburn Flour introduced Betty Crocker to advise confused consumers on how to cook with the new appliance.
Red Bull is not going to focus their marketing on their unhealthy drink. Instead, they have created marketing campaign targeted at extreme sports enthusiasts. Their magazine, The Bulletin, takes advantage of journalists’ ability to find and tell stories to build a media company around their brand.
CHASE bank originally had 40 million users but no content on their website. Neil Chase was hired to be managing editor for the News and Stories section on the site. Today, the entire bank is working on service journalism to give people what they are interested in.
“Content marketing can be compared to a dinner party,” Chase said, “If you are a brand and want people talking to you and about you, you have to sit there and listen, and then get invited in.”
Neil Chase’s examples of service journalism in content marketing:
- Microsoft brought in journalists to find and tell their stories
- BP used VOX’s creative team to improve their image after the Mexico oil spill
- Hotel chains have journalists develop content for their websites as opposed to only showing services
- DELL hired an LA Times journalist to build Tech Page 1, a technology section aimed at IT people that are going to buy Dell’s products for their businesses
- Journalists know how to advertise information in different, more interesting ways. They are the problem solvers.
As Chase said, “Journalists do it better.”