Journalists Telling Brand Stories


Recently I did work for /newsrooms in Toronto, creating a “bucket” of 100 tweets for one of its corporate clients. The tweets weren’t extolling the benefits of the brand but providing content of real interest to potential customers.

Founded by Chris Hogg and Sabaa Quao in 2012, /newsrooms is dedicated to telling brand stories through “continuous content marketing and social media coverage.” The company draws on the combined talents of journalists and marketers to do real-time publishing about brands, in the same way that organizations like CNN, Reuters and BBC World News Service cover the news.

“[/newsroom] is not a pure marketing play where a journalist is being asked to convey a message about a brand,” says Hogg, a graduate of the Ryerson School of Journalism, in a October 2012 interview with Digital Journal. “They’re not being specifically asked to promote or tout something, but instead covering what a brand is doing the way a journalist would cover an event, for example.”

To tell all the brand stories that are fit to post, Hogg and Quo have set up traditional newsroom structures for clients, with editors, correspondents, etc. So honed storytelling skills are paired with new technologies and, in a era where newspapers are pruning staff and resources, some experienced journalists are getting a second life.

‘G’ is for Giffen and ‘E’ is for Earth Voices

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Above we see ‘G’ for Giffen, as created by one of my best friends, Lisa Burroughs. She is an artist who now divides her time with husband Tom between their home in Ohio and property in New Mexico. With its dramatic interplay of light and shadow, and the sculptural effect of the found materials shot on sand, the letter is part of Lisa’s Earth Voices, a 26-image series that takes the letters of the alphabet and imbues them with spiritual significance.

 “The theme of the series is a transformation of symbols, a healing and reclamation, a reminder of the true power available to us through our native symbols – a power that is personal, cultural and spiritual,” explains Lisa. “I was engaged in a tender meditation suggested by the natural world while witnessing the voices appearing in the sculptures. Glimpses of near perfection occurred, some recorded and some not. The sun, rain, wind and trees all had their say in composition, texture and light.”

In her former life, Lisa acted as an award-winning creative photography director at Newsweek and other magazines. She then made the transition from working with photographers to create arresting images, to stepping behind the camera herself and doing her own art work, of which Earth Voices is the most recent expression. (Visit Lisa’s site.)

See the following video of her work, set to trance didjeri music by Inlakesh, in a meditation on symbols, sound and language, and the land:

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Five Myths About Bankruptcy


When facing financial desolation, it’s hard to think straight, you are so gripped by worry. Bankruptcy plays into many people’s doomsday scenarios, imagining that it will be the end of them financially and personally, as family relationships are ripped apart under the strain.

The truth is, bankruptcy and consumer proposals are about getting control back over your life and feeling relief as you take steps towards recovery. As soon as bankruptcy is filed, the calls from creditors begin to stop and an immediate stay of proceedings means that none of your assets can be seized, other than those signed over in security in case of default. . . . Read the full post I did for the Killen Landau blog.