Investigative journalism – the future of brand content?

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A new article published in the Content Strategist explores the notion that investigative journalism is the new way for brands to stand out. As Speak Media’s editorial director George Wright-Theohari – one of the industry experts quoted in the piece – says, “If you really want to be forward-thinking and progressive, you need to do something bordering on the sublime to even get noticed.”

Prime examples

But how does a brand capture the essence of the “sublime”? In March Amazon Prime chose to sponsor non-fiction article series, “How to Solve a Murder”, as a means of promoting their not-so-non-fictional detective drama Bosch. The articles were produced with Guardian Labs, marking a neat marriage between brand and publisher.

A parallel partnership formed between Kenco and the Telegraph with the coffee company spreading word of its charitable farming project via a collection of stories on the Honduran drug trade called “Coffee vs. Gangs”.

Undeniably entertaining stuff – but is this really investigative journalism, or simply well-disguised advertorial? What happens when brands get it right? Who benefits from these partnerships? How do you manage conflicts of interest, and what are the risks? Read the full article, by Laura Smith, here.

Photo credit: The Guardian

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