Journalists aren’t like normal people. We are trained to be cynical, skeptical, and critical. We resist collaboration and detest team-building exercises. In our world, conflict and controversy are good things.
Imagine what happens when a journalist goes to work in a corporation, where collaboration and consensus are prized. For a journalist, getting dropped into a corporate setting can be like landing on a different planet -- one where, sometimes, it feels like there’s not enough oxygen.
You want to hire a journalist who has shown a knack for creating new initiatives and ideas, and someone who relishes change. Has the reporter ever created her own blog? Does she understand the business model of the publications where she has worked? Does she understand the business model of your company, and how the work she does will fit with the overall goals of the company?
The biggest hurdle you will face as you try to build a corporate publishing operation will be establishing trust with readers. People are naturally skeptical of anything that comes from a brand. Hiring real journalists is one step you can take toward establishing credibility. Letting those journalists behave like real journalists is the next one.
This may mean giving up a little bit of control. And this may be scary. But if you have the right people involved, and they’re doing great work, a corporate newsroom can become an enormous asset to your business.