Point-of-view journalism is a phrase I heard from a recruiter in the communications field. For me, it offers a definition for skilled content writers who work with companies that are advancing their industries, innovating, stimulating action, and building relationships through their products and services.
Point of view refers to who is telling the story and how it is told. Journalism is a craft based on gathering and portraying facts for an audience. Combine these two and B2B companies can produce thoughtful and well positioned communications that get their customers talking and referring, while providing value in the media landscape.
Content writers at the Mayo Clinic address multiple audiences including patients, medical professionals, researchers, students and those seeking credible health information about symptoms, drugs or health-related lifestyle issues. This is information with a point of view developed using guidelines of the Mayo Clinic, yet it is credible and fact filled. From the Clinic’s Health Information menu a viewer can find out about Nutrition Basics with loads of links to specific topics relating to eating well. A free health topics E-newsletter is also offered. The Clinic leverages its medical expertise with blogs such as this one on the Mayo Clinic Diet. The blogs are written by subject matter experts who act as point-of-view journalists.
GE’s new electric vehicle charger, the GE WattStation™ is featured as one of their Innovation Stories, a collection of brief stories on why the products were developed. Facts about conditions, issues, and solutions proposed by the company are included.
Often times, content writers do more than write. They act as interpreters between the subject matter experts and audience. They evaluate newsworthiness, usability, shareability and audience receptiveness.
I am guided by the following thoughts when I undertake a point-of-view journalism project:
- Ask and answer the important questions. Viewers feel under served when questions are not asked.
- Be transparent. Allow the real issues to surface. Facts are your friend.
- Thoughtful communication can in itself be a call to action.
- Include research from neutral sources. Interpret.
- Investigate and show intent.
- It may take courage. New and better information may cause a paradigm shift but when integrated into a knowledge network it is often beneficial.
Developing factual content that shares a point of view is a B2B benefit that pays off in multiple ways: increased word of mouth, social network sharing, trust building, and industry influence to name a few. Winning in the marketplace may well be a matter of communicating what you know to be true.