Our generation is either blessed or cursed (depending on your perspective) with a nearly constant presence of the Internet. We are online all the time to keep up with our friends, the news, our work, and to be entertained. So it is no surprise that corporate media has found a home on the Internet.
I, for one, don't think it is necessarily a bad thing that it has.
|Image courtesy of Cisco:|
The respected field of professional journalism has had to change its game a significant amount due to the prevalence of the Internet. Every major publication has an online presence, because that's where people want to read. Every major broadcast station has an online streaming feature and libraries of their airings available, because that's the viewing platform that is most comfortable and convenient to their audiences now. So corporations and brands have found their way into the mix as well, and are doing a fairly good job at making the medium work for them. In fact, they're connecting with audiences more effectively than ever before.
When practiced ethically and responsibly, corporate journalism contributes interesting, insightful, and entertaining content to the world of media.
YouTube is a popular and effective channel for brands to utilize multimedia communication. The video below was made by the brand Nike and can be found on the Nike Training YouTube channel. It is an interesting hybrid between advertisement and multimedia journalism. It is obvious in its promotion of the brand Nike, but it's more than just an advertisement. It has characteristics of a sports feature article in a magazine, giving insight into Cristiano Ronaldo's training philosophy and inspiring others to lead a lifestyle of fitness. It obtains views in the popular medium of YouTube, provides information and inspiration in the form of an aesthetically appealing visual package, and subliminally advertises Nike by leaving viewers with a positive feeling toward the brand.
As is expressed in this article from HubSpot, "Some companies find themselves compelled to cover the news about their industry simply because the mainstream media does a poor job (or no job at all) of covering them." Therefore, blogging is another platform commonly and effectively used by corporate journalists. For example, make-up company Maybelline's blog merges the process of advertising products with building a bond with consumers. They provide make-up tutorials and stories of self-confidence. They also integrate social media with their hashtag tab, which displays recent updates and photos from their followers on Twitter and Instagram. Their accessible and fun blog creates a relationship between company and customer deeper than an advertisement.
I'm hopeful for the future of corporate journalism. Brands want to have personality; they want to connect with consumers on a deeper level that a 30-second television spot or a billboard could ever hope to achieve. And since corporations are inevitably going to use the powerful tool of online communication to do this, it excites me that this growing field will be populated by students like us- students who are being taught in journalism classrooms all over the country to be responsible distributors of information and tellers of stories.