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Personal 
branding 
in 
journalism: 
theory 
and 
systema5za5on 
of 
a 
recent 
trend 
Julius 
Reimer 
@julius_reimer 
ECC...
Trend: 
personal 
branding 
in 
journalism 
Nov 
13th 
2014 
2
Trend: 
personal 
branding 
in 
journalism 
• Studies 
on 
personal 
branding 
in 
journalism 
are 
rare 
• Personal 
bran...
Theory: 
brands 
& 
(personal 
branding) 
• Brand 
(image) 
of 
an 
organiza5on, 
product, 
or 
individual 
= 
“associa5on...
Theory: 
(personal) 
branding 
in 
journalism 
• In 
contrast 
to 
other 
economic 
sectors, 
journalism 
fulfils 
a 
norm...
Systema6za6on: 
process 
model 
Journalist 
Journalis5c 
communi-­‐ 
ca5on 
of 
a 
certain 
kind 
Target 
group 
image 
So...
Systema6za6on: 
branding 
prac5ces 
• Journalis6c 
performances 
as 
such 
= 
producing 
journalis5c 
communica5on 
offers...
Systema6za6on: 
target 
groups 
& 
ideal 
types 
Ideal 
types 
of 
self-­‐branding 
journalists 
(in 
a 
Weberian 
sense) ...
Systema6za6on: 
dimensions 
of 
differen5a5on 
(Modes 
of 
differen6a6on: 
Specializa5on 
or 
generaliza5on) 
• Distribu5o...
Poten5als 
& 
risks 
• More 
...for 
the 
individual 
journalist 
(micro 
level) 
likely 
to 
be 
chosen 
by 
target 
grou...
Poten5als 
& 
risks 
• Audience 
...for 
news 
organiza6ons 
(meso 
level) 
more 
likely 
to 
develop 
bonds 
with 
indivi...
Poten5als 
& 
risks 
• Increased 
...for 
journalism 
& 
its 
societal 
func6on 
(macro 
level) 
reach, 
trust, 
& 
loyalt...
Thank 
you! 
Julius 
Reimer, 
M. 
A. 
Associate 
researcher 
@ 
Hans-­‐Bredow-­‐Ins5tute 
for 
Media 
Research 
PhD 
stude...
References 
• Aaker, 
David 
A. 
(1996): 
Building 
strong 
brands. 
New 
York. 
• Berkler, 
Simon 
(2008): 
Medien 
als 
...
References 
• Pihl, 
Christofer 
(2013): 
In 
the 
borderland 
between 
personal 
and 
corporate 
brands 
– 
the 
case 
of...
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Julius Reimer (2014) Personal branding in journalism: theory & systematization of a recent trend.

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Presentation held at ECREA's 5th European Communication Conference (ECC), Nov 13th 2014, Lisbon, Portugal.

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Julius Reimer (2014) Personal branding in journalism: theory & systematization of a recent trend.

  1. 1. Personal branding in journalism: theory and systema5za5on of a recent trend Julius Reimer @julius_reimer ECC 2014, Lisbon Nov 13th 2014
  2. 2. Trend: personal branding in journalism Nov 13th 2014 2
  3. 3. Trend: personal branding in journalism • Studies on personal branding in journalism are rare • Personal branding only secondary aspect of most studies (e.g., Canter, 2013; Hedman, 2014; Hedman/Djerf-­‐Pierre, 2013) • Studies confuse self marke5ng via social media with personal branding as a whole (e.g., Hedman, 2014; Hedman/Djerf-­‐Pierre, 2013; Schultz/Sheffer, 2012) – although „the product itself certainly contributes to the brand posi5oning“ (Siegert et al., 2011: 59–60) • Research lacks theore,cal founda,on à need for theory & systema,za,on/heuris,c categories Nov 13th 2014 3
  4. 4. Theory: brands & (personal branding) • Brand (image) of an organiza5on, product, or individual = “associa5ons in the minds of customers and other important cons5tuents [that] differen5ate the brand and establish (to the extent possible) compe55ve superiority” (Keller/Lehmann, 2006: 740; also: Aaker, 1996; Esch, 2002; Meffert/Burmann, 2002) • Branding = prac5ces aiming at crea5ng those associa5ons (e.g., Chan-­‐Olmsted/Cha, 2008) • However, “there is no guarantee that the recipients will perceive the brand as intended” (Siegert et al. 2011: 60) à Branding prac5ces are guided by the branding actor’s expecta6ons towards the target group, i.e. towards their preferences and reac5ons to different branding ac5vi5es • Applies to all business sectors (e. g., Chen, 2013; Pihl, 2013; Shepherd, 2005) Nov 13th 2014 4
  5. 5. Theory: (personal) branding in journalism • In contrast to other economic sectors, journalism fulfils a norma6ve func6on for society: Journalists… …“convey informa5on, create publicity, cri5cize, […] control poli5cs, the economy, and the actors involved in those processes […] and foster public discourses” (Siegert et al. 2011: 53–54) …serve the “societal needs for integra5on or at least synchroniza5on”(Görke/ Scholl 2006: 650) of the different societal systems à Journalists’ branding prac5ces are guided by: the branding actor’s expecta5ons towards the target groups as well as the objec5ves, logics, & norms of two societal systems: economy & journalism (cf. Entman, 2005) à Convergence of marke5ng & journalism Nov 13th 2014 5
  6. 6. Systema6za6on: process model Journalist Journalis5c communi-­‐ ca5on of a certain kind Target group image Societal system of journalism Societal system of economy Target group Brand experience Word-­‐of-­‐ mouth Feed-­‐ back Con-­‐ sump5on (with reference to Aaker, 1996; Esch, 2002; Keller/Lehmann, 2006; Meffert/Burmann, 2000; Wolff, 2006) Observed current image Target brand image Meta-­‐ communi-­‐ ca5on Brand aware-­‐ ness Brand image Previous experience Others’ word-­‐of-­‐ mouth Brand loyalty Brand expecta5ons Branding prac5ces Brand preference Compe5tors’ observed images Brand value
  7. 7. Systema6za6on: branding prac5ces • Journalis6c performances as such = producing journalis5c communica5on offers (ar5cles, etc.) which they expect to evoke the desired brand image in the minds of the target group members • Meta-­‐communica6on = communica5on about one’s journalis5c performances and oneself as their producer (e.g., tweets promo5ng one’s latest story, blog post describing one’s journalis5c aqtude) Nov 13th 2014 7
  8. 8. Systema6za6on: target groups & ideal types Ideal types of self-­‐branding journalists (in a Weberian sense) Ideal type Employed reporters/ editors Freelancers Entrepreneurs Audiences, adver5sers Target groups: Constraints of branding possibili6es (examples) Employer’s brand (cf. Shepherd, 2005) Lack of organiza5onal resources (poten5al)... ...audiences ...employers/clients ...adver5sers ...sources/interview partners/other informants Primary target groups Audiences, superiors Clients Poten5al goal conflicts Nov 13th 2014 8
  9. 9. Systema6za6on: dimensions of differen5a5on (Modes of differen6a6on: Specializa5on or generaliza5on) • Distribu5on media: print, TV, radio, online • Thema5c orienta5on: poli5cs, business, arts, sports, etc. • Geographic orienta5on: local, regional, na5onal, interna5onal • Journalis5c style • Tonality/language: personal-­‐emo5onal/neutral-­‐fact-­‐oriented, etc. • Presenta5on formats: report, feature, interview, etc. • Journalis5c role concep5on: e.g., populist disseminator, detached watchdog, cri5cal change agent, opportunist facilitator, etc. (e. g., Hanitzsch, 2011; Heise et al., 2013) • Socio-­‐poli5cal orienta5on • Outer appearance: physiognomy, facial expressions, gestures, voice, etc. • “Special skills”: management, technology & sotware, design, etc. • Networks & sources Nov 13th 2014 9
  10. 10. Poten5als & risks • More ...for the individual journalist (micro level) likely to be chosen by target groups (brand func5ons: ra5onaliza5on & risk reduc5on) à More & beuer jobs & payment à Beuer sources à beuer stories • More likely to be crowdfunded • Less 5me for “proper” journ. work • Long-­‐term posi5oning conflicts with changing journalism, society, and job market • Less poten5al employers due to conflicts with employers‘ brands • Employer/audience/peers disapprove of personal branding as incompa5ble with journalis5c values (cf. Hedman/Djerf-­‐Pierre, 2013) • Visible & addressable = publicly auackable • Self-­‐presenta5on contradicts personality/journalis5c aqtude Nov 13th 2014 10
  11. 11. Poten5als & risks • Audience ...for news organiza6ons (meso level) more likely to develop bonds with individuals than with anonymous organiza5on à increased audience loyalty • Diversifica5on of content through specialized personal brands meets demands of fragmented audiences with diverse interests • Strengthened or complemented organiza5on brand through “ingredient branding” • Increased reach through personal brands’ (social media) audiences • If personal brands leave the organiza5on, so do their audiences • Personal brand conflicts with/ “outshines” organiza5on brand • Higher salaries for personal brands • Personal branding during working hours à less 5me for “proper” journalis5c work Nov 13th 2014 11
  12. 12. Poten5als & risks • Increased ...for journalism & its societal func6on (macro level) reach, trust, & loyalty strengthens performance of journalism system as a whole • Need for differen5a5on à increase of diversity in topics & opinions, coverage of previously neglected, but relevant topics • Convergence of marke5ng & journalis5c communica5on; emo5onaliza5on, personaliza5on, & opinionated news; audience orienta5on; focus on famous/elite sources; self-­‐censorship for branding reasons; more entrepreneurs à less inves5ga5ve research; less coopera5on; mutual dis5nc5on; special interest repor5ng; personalized repor5ng & recep5on (“echo chambers” & “filter bubbles”) à Decrease of neutral, fact-­‐based, & relevant informa5on & topics + Threat for synchronisa5on func5on Nov 13th 2014 12
  13. 13. Thank you! Julius Reimer, M. A. Associate researcher @ Hans-­‐Bredow-­‐Ins5tute for Media Research PhD student @ TU Dortmund University www.hans-­‐bredow-­‐ins5tut.de/de/node/4346 julius.reimer@hans-­‐bredow-­‐ins5tut.de @julius_reimer Nov 13th 2014 13
  14. 14. References • Aaker, David A. (1996): Building strong brands. New York. • Berkler, Simon (2008): Medien als Marken? Wirkungen von Medienmarken aus medienökonomischer Perspek6ve. Konstanz. • Canter, Lily (2011): The interac5ve spectrum: the use of social media in UK regional newspapers. In: Convergence, 19(4), pp. 472–495. • Chan-­‐Olmsted, Sylvia M.; Cha, Jiyoung (2008): Exploring the antecedents and effects of brand images for television news: an applica5on of brand personality construct in a mul5channel news environment. In: Interna6onal Journal on Media Management, 10(1), pp. 32–45. • Chen, Chih-­‐Ping (2011): Exploring personal branding on YouTube. In: Journal of Internet Commerce, 12(4), pp. 332-­‐347. • Entman, Robert M. (2005): The nature and sources of news. In: Overholser, Geneva; Hall Jamieson, Kathleen (Eds.): The Ins6tu6ons of American democracy: The press. New York, pp. 48–65. • Esch, Franz-­‐Rudolf (2002): Strategie und Technik der Markenführung. Wiesbaden. • Görke, Alexander; Scholl, Armin (2006): Niklas Luhmann’s theory of social systems and journalism research. In: Journalism Studies, 7(4), pp. 644–655. • Hanitzsch, Thomas (2011): Populist disseminators, detached watchdogs, cri5cal change agents and opportunist facilitators: professional milieus, the journalis5c field and autonomy in 18 countries. In: Interna6onal Communica6on GazeQe, 73 (6): pp. 477–494. • Hedman, Ulrika; Djerf-­‐Pierre, Monika (2013): The social journalist. Embracing the social media life or crea5ng a new digital divide? In: Digital Journalism, 1(3), pp. 368–385. • Heise, Nele; Loosen, Wiebke; Reimer, Julius; Schmidt, Jan-­‐Hinrik (2013): Including the audience. Comparing aqtudes and expecta5ons of journalists and users towards par5cipa5on in German TV news journalism. In: Journalism Studies (online first). DOI: 10.1080/1461670X.2013.831232 • Keller, Kevin Lane; Lehmann, Donald R. (2006): Brands and branding: research findings and future priori5es. In: Marke6ng Science, (6), pp. 740–759. • Meffert, Heribert; Burmann, Christoph (2002): Managementkonzept der iden5tätsorien5erten Markenführung. In: Meffert, Heribert; Burmann, Christoph; Koers, Mar5n (Eds.): Markenmanagement. Wiesbaden, pp. 73–97. Nov 13th 2014 14
  15. 15. References • Pihl, Christofer (2013): In the borderland between personal and corporate brands – the case of professional bloggers. In: Journal of Global Fashion Marke6ng, 4(2), pp. 112–127. • Schultz, Brad; Sheffer, Mary Lou (2012): Name brand: the rise of the independent reporter through social media. In: Online Journal of Communica6on and Media Technologies, 2(3), pp. 93–112. • Shepherd, Ifan D. (2005): From caule and Coke to Charlie: mee5ng the challenge of self marke5ng and personal branding. In: Journal of Marke6ng Management, 21(5–6), pp. 589–606. • Siegert, Gabriele; Gerth, Mauhias A.; Rademacher, Patrick (2011): Brand iden5ty-­‐driven decision making by journalists and media managers – the MBAC model as a theore5cal framework. In: Interna6onal Journal on Media Management, 13(1), pp. 53–70. • Wolff, Per-­‐Erik (2006): TV MarkenManagement. Strategische und opera6ve Markenführung. Mit Sender-­‐Fallstudien. München. Screenshots • hup://de.slideshare.net/mandyjenkins/social-­‐media-­‐for-­‐branding-­‐journalism • hup://www.poynter.org/how-­‐tos/career-­‐development/ask-­‐the-­‐recruiter/224697/live-­‐chat-­‐1023-­‐how-­‐journalists-­‐can-­‐build-­‐ their-­‐own-­‐powerful-­‐brands/ • hup://newstex.com/2013/10/02/do-­‐you-­‐need-­‐a-­‐journalist-­‐brand/ • hups://www.journalism.co.uk/news/5-­‐5ps-­‐for-­‐personal-­‐branding-­‐on-­‐na5onal-­‐freelancers-­‐day/s2/a555177/ • hup://storyful.com/stories/23768 • hup://buzzmachine.com/2006/10/13/independent-­‐journalist-­‐as-­‐brand/ • hups://gigaom.com/2013/07/22/nate-­‐silver-­‐and-­‐the-­‐nyt-­‐media-­‐plaorms-­‐s5ll-­‐have-­‐power-­‐just-­‐not-­‐as-­‐much/ • hup://blog.spundge.com/journalists-­‐benefit-­‐from-­‐cul5va5ng-­‐their-­‐personal-­‐brands/ • hup://belowthefold.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/03/unbundled_journ.html • hup://thegentlemanjournalist.com/2013/02/02/the-­‐double-­‐edged-­‐sword-­‐of-­‐personal-­‐brands-­‐in-­‐journalism/ • hup://mindymcadams.com/tojou/2009/journalists-­‐must-­‐build-­‐a-­‐personal-­‐brand-­‐10-­‐5ps/ Nov 13th 2014 15

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