For years, Weber Shandwick has stressed storytelling as a critical component of any client’s communications strategy. And in today’s age of long form blogging and short form social media updates, it’s a huge opportunity to quickly (and accurately) share your message.

Today, companies are spending a lot more money on creating their own content. In fact, according to facts shared during a panel on Brand Journalism at SxSW, 60 percent of companies surveyed spent more money on content creation over the last 12 months than the previous 12.

The theme “Brand Journalism” has many definitions. Karen Wickre, editorial director at Twitter calls Brand Journalism “a part of corporate communications. I think a good corporate communications team understands the need.”

But if you’re a company looking to bring on former journalists to tell your story, there are some things to think about before jumping in headfirst.

When asked if every company should immediate engage in a Brand Journalism strategy, panelists emphasized caution. Said Jesse Noyes, former journalist and today is a corporate reporter at Eloqua, “If a brand isn’t comfortable with someone who wants to TELL the message without public relations restrictions, don’t pursue. “

Noyes also said, “My company realized the best person to tell the company story was not a marketer. It needed someone more removed who can talk trends in the space.”

Before a pulled fire alarm cut the panel short 10 minutes, I wanted to ask their thoughts on how their departments resembled a traditional news bureau. I suspect that resources are not quite what’s in a traditional news bureau, but companies are more and more looking to identify ways to build out a proper editorial creation and review process.

Are you a brand journalist or marketer with an editorial department in your company? What tips do you have in creating a solid strategy?

Image courtesy of Repórter do Futuro.

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