For once in his life, Clark Kent made the headlines (instead of his alter ego) in 2012 when he quit his job at the Daily Planet to become a blogger.
A sign of the times? Maybe. Newspaper readership is down. Newspapers are closing right and left, leaving journalists looking for work and turning to digital media to find it.
But maybe it’s just that journalists make great content marketers.
I came across an article this week in which a bunch of high level content marketers and consultants were asked what makes a good content marketer. Here are some of their answers:
Look for a journalist obsessed with serving their community — leaning on them for story feedback, content ideas and subject matter; someone who has excelled covering the field your brand is in. With that you get familiarity with the subject matter in a profound, objective (and hopefully honest) way. Media live and die by their ability to enable audiences, build communities and have those communities speak to each other. Good journalists (and bloggers and writers) deliver audiences (and unique visitors) as part of their job. They do this by going where their audience is and being more interesting than anyone else in the space. And the best ones yield the influence over audiences interested in their niche, and this usually comes from a unique point of view, standing for something and getting their audience onside with that honesty. Now wouldn’t it be wonderful for your brand to wield such profound connection with your customers? Hire someone with the skills above and you’ll be on your way.
Content marketers need to think like investigative reporters, always looking beyond the obvious and continually asking “why.”
There are two main skills: The need to be solid writers and solid researchers – which is why I’m a big fan of hiring journalist types. Other than that though, you want people that have a very creative mind, that push thought outside of the normal “box” most are encapsulated by, and that are willing to make mistakes in order to achieve big.
Woah. Big props for journalists-cum-bloggers. (Maybe Clark was onto something…)
The other interviewees mentioned other skills that content managers must have—and journalists do have: project management, ability to manage an editorial calendar, creativity, storytelling ability, and—of course—great writing and editing skills.
Having worked as a journalist for years, I understand that journalists aren’t just writers any more than bloggers these days are just writers. There’s a whole cadre of skills one must harness to be successful.
At one job, I was required to manage as many as eight different publications at a time, so organization, project management and understanding editorial calendars was a must. Most recently, I have worked as the food editor of a hyper-local publication, and translated the community I built through print into a vibrant online audience.
It’s no longer enough to be faster than a speeding deadline or able to leap tall orders in a single bound. Today’s blogger needs to be a content marketer as well, and today’s (yesterday’s?) journalists may be best equipped to head the call.
Photo Credit: Fonzie’s cousin via Compfight cc