Chapter 13: Producing Your Own News

Many companies practice “brand journalism” or “corporate journalism” by creating and publishing their own newsworthy content. Readers can find the content directly, and it often results in coverage by other media as well because the information has news value. Like many organizations, OhioHealth has many stories to tell and not enough journalists to tell them. There were nearly five public relations specialists for every reporter in 2013, according to the Pew Research Center.

The OhioHealth newsroom now shares media coverage of OhioHealth as well as self-published content such as a video package about how Ohio prepares for mass casualty disasters. This video allowed the health system to control messaging, protect patient information and review the final product – things that can be tricky or impossible when working with media.
As editor for OhioHealth’s blog, Gleason creates an editorial calendar and looks ahead to OhioHealth events as well as recognitions like Colon Cancer Month or National Donut Day to consider content that will help readers. (The result: A blog post on the healthiest choices for a Krispie Kreme run)
OhioHealth blog
OhioHealth uses a blog to publish content directly in addition to working with media outlets on other newsworthy story ideas.
News values still apply. The best performing blog post for OhioHealth was written by a breast cancer surgeon who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She shared what she wished she would have known before she was diagnosed with breast cancer about what she would face and what would surprise her.
OhioHealth blog
A top performing post for the OhioHealth blog was written by Dr. Deepa Halaharvi, a breast surgeon who faced her own breast cancer diagnosis.

Gleason brought over the following skills from her years as a journalist that help her tell compelling stories on behalf of OhioHealth:

  • Digging for a story
  • Asking the right questions
  • Helping somebody who doesn’t do this job on a daily basis understand what your mission is and what you’re helping them accomplish.
  • Being objective
  • Looking at everything from the audience’s point of view

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Chapter 13: Producing Your Own News by Mary Sterenberg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.