Every Company Can Be A Media Company: How To Be The Media, Melanie Deziel, TBJApodcast 178
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EC = MC or Every Company Equals a Media Company.

Melanie Deziel is the Director of Creative Strategy for Time Inc. Hear how she’s helping brands create branded content that’s featured in major media traditional publications. We explore why your company must learn to BE the Media and how to get started. Plus how to define your audience and create content that resonates with the audience.

Melanie Deziel as the Director of Creative Strategy for Time Inc., she leads ideation for sponsored content programs that span the Time Inc. portfolio of more than 30 U.S.-based publications, from TIME, Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly, to People, Food+Wine, Essence, and more.

Melanie is also the founder of The Overlap League, the native advertising industry newsletter. She has won multiple awards for branded content, and has served as an executive judge for the Digiday Content Marketing Awards. Prior to coming to Time, Melanie worked in a similar capacity at The New York Times and Huffington Post. She travels the country speaking about branded content at conferences and on panels.

Think Like A Journalist Quote

Inside brands, we’re actually able to do the kind of journalism that mainstream journalists used to do. –Dan Lyons, Marketing Fellow, Hubspot

Success Tip

Before you publish your content think like a reader and figure out what the audience will be most interested in. Don’t be absorbed by getting lost in your own self-importance.

Career HighlightTBrandStudio_OrangeIsNewBlack


Hear about the brand journalism content that Melanie and her team worked on for Netflix and the show Orange Is The New Black. The New York Times piece won several awards but interestingly it only mentioned the actual product once. Find out why this campaign was so successful and how your brand can create content like this.

See the content, click here in the New York Times from TBrandStudio.




Cole-Haan piece by TBrandStudio on what it takes to master ballet: Grit & Grace, click here to see it.

When It Didn’t Work

Melanie shares a story about how using more product in a content marketing piece backfired for the company. Find out what went wrong and what could have worked better.

Every Company Can Be A Media Company: How To Be The Media

  1. Find that one different thing. Have a unique perspective and share it to your audience.
  2. Look to hire journalists who are already writing on your niche.
  3. Always consider the story first.
  4. Don’t promote your product.
  5. Talk about what your audience is interested in to draw them in.
  6. Embrace and network with your community.

If you’re a journalist wanting to transition into the brand journalism space but are struggling with the idea that this is advertising, Melanie says it’s merely a different route to the same destination–storytelling for an audience.

“I like to remind myself that someone is going to do [brand journalism] either way. I’d like it to be someone who has journalistic experience (their morality, their inclination to put the reader first). I’d rather have those kinds of people creating this content,” says Melanie Deziel.

Brand journalism is about storytelling. Informing and engaging with readers.

“If you’re selective and you stick to your guns about the kind of partners and content you create… it’s certainly not career-ending for a lot of the journalists or brand journalists I know in the industry,” says Melanie.

“I know a lot of folks who go back and forth between editorial and brand journalism or who have done brand journalism and now go back to brand journalism.

Multimedia Resource

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Ask Gary Vee

Mentioned In This Episode

TBJA 013 Mitchell Stephens: The Changing World Of Journalism 


Melanie Deziel Website

Twitter @MDeziel

The Overlap League Newsletter

Another Episode You Might Like

TBJA 077: Every Company Needs To Know Multimedia Storytelling, Carla Yarbrough

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Phoebe Chongchua
Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is a multimedia Brand Journalist, Brand Consultant & Marketing Strategist who is revolutionizing brand communication with consumers. She makes companies remarkable using brand journalism storytelling to grow their online presence, build a community, and gain greater market share. Phoebe is a former TV News journalist who helps brands gain a competitive advantage by learning to "Be the Media". Phoebe is the host of "The Brand Journalism Advantage" podcast and a "Top 50 Podcaster To Follow". Listen in iTunes or at ThinkLikeAJournalist.com

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