Every Company Is A Media Company, But Not Everybody Who Works At The Company Is A Writer, Photographer or Videographer

Content marketing in a B2B context isn’t as sexy as launching a new show on cable, making a glossy magazine, or cutting a record, but it can be entertaining and informative to a broad audience, nevertheless.

Take the Free Press online newsroom from Intel. Social Media Today calls it a “leading example of not only how to integrate social media but also how to create content aimed at more than just journalists.”

For the audience’s convenience, Intel’s content is available on a destination site, but it also plays out on Google+, YouTube, Tumblr and Flickr.

It seems Intel adopted a DIY content strategy for their online newsroom, which is fine for a bootstrapped startup. But Intel can well afford to tell better stories by employing the help of professional content creators.

Brands are asking customers, investors and journalists to pay attention. The obvious thing to do is earn that attention by providing consistently compelling stories that follow a classic story arc.

In the videos above, Intel says it wants to be active in emerging markets like Turkey. And that most people don’t know what an “Ultrabook” is. That’s good information to know, but the presentation is flat.

So, why don’t more brands build some tension and resolution into their content offerings (and place an emphasis on production values)?

Previously on AdPulp: Heard Over Lunch: Spruce Up Your Online Newsroom (Unless You Want To Be Invisible and/or Boring)

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Brands don’t build tension (on their own) because 1) Telling stories is secondary to whatever business they’re really in, and 2) Because they want to create the least resistant path to purchase, and that doesn’t include using tension to raise concerns and doubts in an audience’s mind, even if there’s a resolution in the end. 

    I’ve always agreed with Luke Sullivan and others who say the best advertising contains some amount of tension. But that’s partially because advertising has attention deficits and customer objections to overcome. Brands, if they’re trying to “create content” or get into the pseudo-journalism business, are following PR sensibilities more than advertising sensibilities. And they put the happiest face on whatever it is they’re talking about. 

    • Brands trying to get into the “pseudo-journalism business” is a harsh assessment of the possibilities in content marketing. 

      As for using structural story guidelines, many 30-second commercials already do this. One of my favorite campaigns right now, Messin’ with Sasquatch from Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, uses conflict/resolution, as does DirectTV. Which makes sense, given how much these commercials cost the brand to make and run. 

      What I’m asking is why not elevate the concept and production values for brand-sponsored online content? It’s an important part of the overall mix, so let’s give it its due.

      • The examples you provided from Intel are part of their “online newsroom.” But it’s not news. It’s advertising disguised as pseudo-journalism. Sure, they could take it further, but they’re not. You want to wrap it in a bow and call it “content marketing,” fine. 

        If you want more concept, the people who make it are going to need to take some dramatic license and invent the story, which is what commercials like Jack Link’s and DirecTV do. Or go all out and produce something documentary-style, ignoring the reality that many documentaries these days aren’t very compelling, either.
        Of course, I wrote something about this a while back: http://www.talentzoo.com/news/News-You-Might-Not-Want-to-Use/7870.html

        • I don’t want to put a bow on this or anything else, but I will call it content marketing. An “online newsroom” is a PR construct. We’re in a struggle, Dan. Who is best suited to social media and content marketing, which are tightly intertwined. Some say PR is best suited, others say no. To me, content marketing is the middle ground between PR and Advertising. But you’re right, whatever labels we slap on something, it’s either a good story worth telling and worth listening to, or it isn’t.