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Nov 14, 2014 · Leave a Reply

Creating and Launching a Brand Journalism Site

By Ronald Petrovich @ronaldpetrovich

We work at Mayo Clinic where we try to connect with the heart, mind and eye. We’re not neurologists, cardiologists, psychologists or ophthalmologists. What are we? We’re brand journalists and that means telling our story with emotion, credibility and imagery on traditional and social media platforms.

Our Public Affairs team strives to accomplish this (video of our typical day) on the Mayo Clinic News Network by creating content aimed at the media and the public. We have a big staff, but brand journalism is scalable to any organization. Regardless of staff size it’s simply about telling a real story. Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 1.35.51 PM

More media choices for consumers and dwindling resources for journalists have created an unprecedented opportunity to become the news. During this year's Social Media Week, Mayo Clinic media relations manager Karl Oestreich and I presented a case study about successes, challenges and lessons learned from the launch of our brand journalism initiative:

At first we faced challenges with:

  1. Internal buy-in. Our teams were dubious about this new form of content delivery.
  2. Technical breakdowns. Video crashes forced us to move platforms.
  3. Change of workflow. It's a process for a team to learn how to use multimedia every day.

We stressed three keys to success:

  1. Iterate. It will never be perfect. Launch your site and then continually adjust and improve.
  2. Over communicate. Many of stakeholders still haven’t heard about the news network and we need to keep telling our story.
  3. Coordinate. Ninety percent of content can be planned, which will position you for urgent situations.


If you'd like a more in-depth look, Karl and I offered five keys to building a newsroom mentality and outlined our approach to stories in this brand journalism presentation and video.

Tags: brand journalism, Karl, Karl Oestreich, Matthew Clark PhD, Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, Mayo Clinic News Network, Ron Petrovich

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