Textual & Visual Media

Revista de la Sociedad española de periodistica

Spanish journalistic society journal

Brand journalism in Spain. Profiling the brand journalist


2. Methodology

Brand journalism is not a new phenomenon although it is a relatively recent one and scarcely considered in the academic field. We have yet to discover any widely reaching or profound studies analysed from the prism of scientific rigour that take into account the characteristics, consequences and distinctive features of this tendency within the world of communication where disciplines such as publishing, newspapers and marketing, among others, intermingle. For this reason we have chosen as our first and most basic objective, that of investigating a theoretical approximation regarding the origin and concept of brand journalism as well as its development and evolution from the United States to Europe, and especially, in Spain.  

Secondly, a meticulous analysis of the figure of this new communication professional, the brand journalist, with its corresponding educational profile, abilities and aptitudes, is crucial. As well, we will consider the possible advantages of integrating specific teaching into the academic curriculum of Communication and Information Sciences, which would respond to a growing demand for labour in the current market. So, we find ourselves with the challenge of studying a phenomenon found in an area that has gone mainly unnoticed by science, is contemporary and is ever-changing. For this reason, we must adopt an open approach which will allow us to understand the reference framework through methodological integration.  

We have opted for qualitative methodological triangulation combining diverse methods, in this way minimising the biases and inherent methodological flaws associated with each strategy to be able to visualise the problem from different angles and in this manner, enhance the validity and consistency of the findings (Okuda Benavides and Gómez-Restrepo, 2005). Firstly, we proceeded from the necessity of using the methodology for the literature review through a search for information, followed by an organization and analysis of our findings. On the basis of Yin´s definition, we adapted the study to cases that formed «empirical research that studies a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context, especially when the limits between the phenomenon and its context are not clearly evident» (1994: 13). We will focus on the profound and exhaustive study of multiple cases of successful brand journalism in Spain using a descriptive, explicative and evaluative perspective, attempting to answer questions such as ‘how ’ and ‘why?’, in a specific context. Meanwhile, to answer exploratory questions such as ‘what?’ we have resorted to the use of an open-ended question survey (table 1) and a flexible pre-code which is a sampling from three communication professionals that work in corporations that implement brand journalism in our country: Coca-Cola, Eroski and BBVA.

Table 1. Open-ended question survey.

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