About a year ago I asked Is Brand Journalism something new or just business as usual?
So when Communications Director was researching an in-depth feature on this subject, my blog prompted a few questions from editor Dafydd Phillips. Communications Director is the quarterly magazine of the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD).
First up, Dafydd asked me about the importance of stories being subjected to the normal checks and balances provided by critical, independent media. In my opinion this remains essential but the rise in social media use, and the interaction between old and new media, acts as a potent discouragement to over-claiming by companies; they’ll get called out if their audiences encounter what they see as propaganda or half-truths. And that, in turn, will create a reputation risk not worth taking.
Dafydd’s next question was about new ethical issues arising from brand journalism. In my view, there aren’t any new ethical issues but I can see organisational and cultural issues fast arising for organisations that have a long history under the old media regime; and that’s just about every organisation more than a decade old. In other words, the vast majority. This culture shift and loss of rigid communications control are two factors most organisations aren’t currently very well-equipped to manage.
To read the whole Q&A, hop over to Communications Director magazine’s website here. There’s plenty of other great content – but you need to be a member of EACD to access the full extent of it.