Textual & Visual Media

Revista de la Sociedad española de periodistica

Spanish journalistic society journal

Brand journalism in Spain. Profiling the brand journalist

Sumario

1. Introduction

Businesses play an important social role nowadays, underscored by the growth in information and communication technologies and the web 2.0. The line that once separated the brand name from the public has become increasingly blurred, replacing the need for publicity with that of connectivity. This means brands are becoming more human and look to befriend the consumers, forging a commitment where concepts such as honesty, sincerity, coherence and emotions take on deeper meaning.
Brand names have moved from an era of transactional marketing to one of relationalmarketing, where clients are now seen as people. Without doubt, the thesesbehind the Cluetrain Manifesto (Levine, Locke, Searls and Weinberger, 1999)  have now come into their own. It is worth noting that this Manifesto began by asserting that «market places are conversations», followed by the statement «market places are made up of human beings, not demographic sectors». This brilliant proposal explaining the new concept of brand-customer relationships, orientated towards developing engagement, underlines the importance of recognising and understanding human beings in order to recognise and understand the consumer. In this context, brand names have deployed new methods to connect to and to consolidate the relationship with their public. The object of these strategies is not to sell, because sales would be the natural response and consequence of a job well done (Lang, 2015). Instead, they aim to offer their public an added value something truly relevant and appropriate that strengthens the company´s valuesand philosophy and improves their reputation both on and offline.
So, for some time now, brands have been developing techniques in their digital communication strategies such as branded content or content marketing based on the slogan «content is king», an idea that Bill Gates already defended in 1966. Or more recently, brand journalism, a reality that is slowly becoming popular and more established in countries like the United States -although for now- with a less relevant presence in our own country. However, it is a sought after employment option with an optimistic future projection, which makes it more interesting within the ecosystem of present day media. For this reason, in this article we will focus on the analysis of this latest communicative tendency.sustancial.

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