by Roger Pynn
My hackles went up the minute I saw this headline – Marketers are Today’s Journalists – but you should read this and think through Sam Slaughter’s very thoughtful post at Digiday. For years we’ve trained our team and urged our clients to think in terms of the headline they’d like to see written about them … and then share their stories not as promotions but as articles – stories – written candidly the way journalists would write them.
His point isn’t really that marketers are journalists. It is that they are using the journalistic process … and that is a good thing because the process is built upon facts and truth. Hopefully, journalism will survive and marketers will be stronger for having adopted principles of real journalism.
It isn’t always easy. Slaughter points to Coca-Cola as an example, and I’m sure the folks at Coke find his advice difficult to follow when it comes to “leveling with customers about a brand’s own shortcomings …” Talking about calories and sugar content in a society where both are constantly under attack can’t be easy.
But, if you accept the reality that we live in an age of transparency that is only going to become even more open as the audience drives the conversation, heed Slaughter’s advice in the closing paragraph.