This paper examines the way in which the strategies of brand management use the symbolic power of the media to shape brand image in the public domain. It argues that the spread of ‘interested’ information is transforming the public sphere role of journalism as organisations focus resources on strategising media relations as a crucial aspect of their marketing work. The phenomenon of promotional material penetrating the space of editorial can be viewed as a form of privatisation of the symbolic domain of journalistic production; it is the very ‘publicness’ of this space that makes it so desirable for those organisations seeking to shape their image through proactive interventions in the media.
The paper examines ‘contract publishing’, a media form that blurs the boundaries between ‘journalism’ and ‘promotion’ by using the power and authority of editorial to achieve the brand management of objectives of clients. Contract publishers produce a publication targeted at the client brand’s ‘ideal customer’. The paper uses content analysis to show how customer magazines mimic the format and content of ‘glossies’ in order to position a particular brand in relation to a specifically targeted readership.
The paper develops an important argument about brand management and publicity strategies in relation to journalism and ‘content production’. It analyses the way that some media forms have come to function as an ‘image bank’ from which individuals learn how to adopt specific cultural attributes enacted by brands, according to lifestyle and taste. Through the focus on contract publishing the article evaluates the status of editorial for marketers, arguing that its purity (precisely because it is not advertising) derives from its aura of authority and neutrality. These qualities are crucially important for those seeking to legitimate their products and services within a representational sphere that appears to have a relationship to the ‘truth’.
|Type of Research:||Article|
|Your affiliations with UAL:||Colleges > London College of Communication|
|Date:||01 August 2007|
|Digital Object Identifier:||10.1080/14616700701412159|
|Deposited By:||INVALID USER|
|Deposited On:||04 Dec 2009 12:29|
|Last Modified:||14 Sep 2010 15:26|