Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

[PR] … Can journalism skills be transferred directly to the content marketing world?

Some journalism skills can be transferred directly to the content marketing world. Let’s take them one by one.

Meeting deadlines Journalists are constantly faced with deadlines in a near 24/7 news cycle. A deadline is a deadline. If it’s missed, the TV newscast might be short a story or the newspaper article didn’t get edited. Deadlines mean something and are met. When they aren’t, chances are the journalism career won’t last long. In content marketing, deadlines are also important and when they are met it can set teams apart from those who see deadlines as suggestions.

Exclusive comment by Ian McCawley, MD Acuity PR

“Journalists certainly have many of the requisite skills to make the leap to content marketing. However, as with many aspects of professional life, the rule is ‘it takes all kinds’. The great thing about content marketing is that it can draw on such a wide range of experience and expertise.

I’ve recently begun investigating our own agency’s content capabilities and I’m keen to create a roster of copywriters. It’s fascinating to meet people from publishing and marketing backgrounds – and beyond – who can all bring something different to the party.

With a keen eye on securing media coverage but also a cannon of work for inbound marketing and lead generation, covering all bases will be crucial when it comes to building a team that can deliver relevant, engaging and timely content.”


Article posted by Christoph

Great interview questions

As much as I say that it’s nearly impossible to report without any kind of bias, great journalists do try hard to check their bias at the door – as hard  as that is. Either way, great journalists ask questions that look for details to share the story correctly.

Not so great journalists, by the way, ask questions like this:

They make a statement. (Correct, that’s not even a question. Ha.)

Then ask a question.

Even worse are the ones that make a statement and then ask an unrelated question, but later report the answer like it was related to the statement. That’s not the kind of questioning or interviewing I’m talking about.

They get to the point

Great journalists – even in the age of unlimited digital space – get to the point with their stories. They don’t waste our time with unneeded facts.

They care about the story

I’m not saying that others don’t care about the story, but journalists often care about it more. They don’t ask:

What’s our message


What are we marketing

They ask:

Tell me what happened.

That’s how you get authentic stories.

Storytelling production skills

Writing, video editing and other story production skills learned and done in journalism can all be used in the content marketing field.

Writing for a sixth grader

Online, and even offline anymore, written stories should be written to the reading level of a sixth grader. If sixth grader doesn’t give you the visual – think 12-year-old nephew. That way everyone can understand what is being talked about. And many highly educated people are reading casually online. Writing simply will make sure the story is understood.

But, what skills do not transfer?

Certainly some things are different in different industries, but being great in these areas, will give journalists a leg up when they make the jump from more traditional journalism to content marketing journalism.

They may have to make an effort to change from the traditional third-person style of news writing to more first person (even though it’s it’s not their first-person voice).

Some news writing can be conversational but content marketing writing should always be truly conversational.

Others might include having to deal with more organizational politics and processes from approval hell. My hope is that organizations move through these stages at some point here and more and more great journalists make the jump to content marketing.

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