Reuters CRO Daniel Mandell conceded “there is nothing particularly new about launching a content marketing studio in 2017. For us, entering into this space is more of an evolution, since we’ve been practicing content marketing behind the scenes for around four to five years now, through quite a gamut of different brand partners.”
According to Mandell, the move to formalize Reuters’ branded content services was prompted, in part, by the continuing controversy over fake news. It has not only focused marketers’ attention on premium publishers as producers of high-quality content, but prompted brands to rethink their own approach as well.
“Marketers are at a moment where the have to think seriously about how they are able to tell credible, compelling stories in the world today,” Mandell asserted. “Reuters Plus is about helping brands leverage Reuters storytelling, which we’ve been doing for the past 160 years, to help them tell their stories in a very credible way… This is about authenticity, and that’s a key differentiator for our brand clients. The expectation is always for consumers to get and understand the truth.
Balance and objectivity are touchstones for Reuters, and these qualities can benefit brand marketers as well.
Mandell added: “Consumers are becoming smarter and smarter, and when brands are trying to fool them, they’ll know.”
On that note, Reuters Plus has already produced branded content campaigns for a number of major clients, including Canon, Samsung, SAP, ANA, and Excedrin. In the later case, Reuters Plus helped highlight Excedrin’s efficacy for migraine headaches with a larger series of pieces exploring – and quantifying – the impact of migraines on workplace productivity.
Like most other branded content studios at this juncture, Reuters Plus has its own team (many with previous editorial experience) who operate independently of its large editorial division. Unlike some other studios, Reuters Plus content isn’t limited to Reuters’ own properties and is intended for distribution on other channels, keeping with Reuters’ traditions as a news agency.
“When we create branded content, it’s not tied to the distribution of our editorial content, if the brand wants to use it somewhere else… Often our content ends up on other, competitive platforms, which is a great thing,” Mandell noted.