DIY: The rise of brand journalism

Getting rid of the journalists and creating your own content can feel liberating, but may not always be the best option. Alex Blyth reports

Marketers have always found journalists irritatingly useful: useful because they can help get company stories and messages out to potential customers; irritating because they ask awkward questions, refuse to unquestioningly accept marketing messages, and have an infuriating tendency to write what they like without gaining copy approval. It has long been a knotty problem for the B2B marketer.

A few years ago, however, some clever marketers came up with the perfect solution to the conundrum: produce their own content, post it on their own websites and blogs, and use social media to tell everyone about it. It is a simple but brilliant solution many B2B marketers from tech companies such as Cisco, EMC and Gemalto, through to engineering firm Siemens and drinks giant Diageo, are enthusiastically embracing.