Bad Girl, Good Business

Meet the Two-Headed Monster

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Journalism and marketing…

The line has been getting really blurry for quite some time. I just read a great (unsponsored) article in the New Yorker about product placement and sponsored content. I had meetings this week in which I spoke to both the editorial and the advertising sides of a major brand. (They were not only totally separate…they were located in completely different wings of a large office complex.) But that seems to be a rarity these days. Or, perhaps I’m just hanging around more blurry people.

“Pay for play” were viewed as dirty words in the media industry not too long ago. (When I searched for the term, I couldn’t even find a reference to it prior to 2010.) The view was that legitimate journalists would NEVER take payment or be influenced by advertising departments to write about or feature a business or product. The rise of citizen journalism and the overall realities of the media industry have compelled many people (myself included, I suppose) to get off our high horses and embrace the fact that the brands that have money can help subsidize (but hopefully not control) the communications world. The term “Newsonomics” is now on the upswing, as traditional publishers struggle to deal with the realities of free content.

Consumers seem to be wiser. They usually know the difference between editorial content and advertorial content. They recognize that the ads on the top of Google searches have been paid for. They accept the fact that movie or TV characters are drinking Coke rather than Pepsi or they just happen to mention a particular brand in casual conversation.

I’ve also discovered in the time that I’ve been contributing articles and posts to various publications that the companies (both small and large) that are more sophisticated marketers are simply just better sources for articles I’m working on. They understand that if they are able to give me a great quote, in time to meet my deadline, their products/services will be featured in the pieces I’m writing. So, it’s not always about cash…it’s sometimes about media savvy.

Sponsored content and product placement have been around since I was a kid. (See below.)  Perhaps we’re just more aware (and more transparent about it) now. In fact, if anyone wants to sponsor this blog, please hit me up! Every writer has her price!

BGGB.OkeyDokey-fred Before there was American Idol, there was Ted Mack and the Original Amateur Hour!
BGGB_ShakingHands How top publishers handle sponsored content.
BGGB_Thumbs-Down-fred The bad (and the good) in product placement. (Yes, it’s the subject of a website.)
BGGB_Pointer Should journalism worry about content marketing? (according to Columbia University…the icon of all things journalistic!)



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