Marketing vs. Editorial: Why these Publishing Teams often Disagree (and How to Stop Them)

3 minute read

Team Adestra

Just because editorial and marketing have never got along it doesn’t mean things have to stay that way – follow our tips to bring them together.

Every publisher faces the same problem – the editorial and marketing teams just don’t, or won’t, get along. In fact it’s such an entrenched industry issue that Knowledge Marketing believed it should have been one of the subjects that it covered in its Top 5 Publisher Initiatives for 2013 webinar at the start of the year, and the title that they gave it hits the nail on the head of where the problems stem from: balancing advertorial vs. editorial. Because they do indeed have very different needs.

The publishing industry is going through a time of huge change with the advent of the digital revolution, which if anything has probably exacerbated the problem. No longer do publishers have to fund just print editions; they now have to run multimedia websites that are completely up-to-date. They need advertising pounds to fund both, and as commercial pressures grow, so do the pressures to align editorial content with commercial interests.

Can it really work?

Well the bottom line is, in a changing world, it will have to – and this was hammered home by the fact that Associated Press (AP) controversially sold sponsored tweets to Samsung to be sent during the Consumer Electronics show.

Has it damaged its reputation as “the most trusted source of independent news and information”? It caused a bit of a stir at the time but ultimately, it seems the answer is no, if its ever-growing number of Twitter followers is anything to go by.

  • Its followers have increased by more than 700,000 since the sponsored tweets were revealed.
  • it’s likely that not many of those readers, watchers and fans will remember that it happened.

But it did raise the question of whether AP journalists would still be so quick to expose Samsung for any wrongdoings. The conclusion from Clarity PR was – it’s no different than newspaper advertising.

A balancing act

In order to manage the problem, The Media Briefing came up with tips on how you can do this and get the marketing and editorial teams working in harmony to produce the best publications they can while keeping their journalistic integrity, hitting email marketing targets and keeping advertisers and readers happy:

  • Develop a code of practice for both teams to work to about what offers can be tied together.
  • Don’t have journalists involved with commercial content about the companies they cover.
  • Don’t let marketing promise things they can’t deliver in their email marketing campaigns.
  • Don’t let commercial pressures impinge on the quality of the editorial produced.
  • Employ commercial journalists to work on that content alone.
  • Traditional journalists, commercial journalists and marketing professionals should work cooperatively while still keeping firewalls in place.

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