Coca-Cola launches brand journalism website

The company recast its employee magazine as a consumer-facing website that is a highpoint for brand journalism.

Coca-Cola on Monday unveiled a website redesign on Monday that fashions its corporate website after the company’s former internal magazine for employees. The New York Times covered the big debut in a piece that documents the rise of brand journalism. Coke executives described the new website—which isn’t Coca-Cola.com, but instead its corporate site Coca-ColaCompany.com, as “the most ambitious digital project they have undertaken.” According to the Times’ Stuart Elliott:

“The reorganized website will offer articles on subjects like entertainment, the environment, health and sports, including longer pieces given prominence in the same way that magazines play up cover pieces. Interviews, opinion columns, video and audio clips, photo galleries and blogs also will be featured. “The main business-oriented content of the website—material like biographies of executives, investor information, job postings and news releases—will remain after the revamping.”

The new site is called Coca-Cola Journey, which takes its name from “Journey,” a magazine for Coke employees published from 1987 to 1997. In detailing the re-launch, the Times focuses on brand journalism’s significance in the marketing and PR world. Brand journalism, also known as content marketing, is the practice of companies forming their own media outlets. Companies such as Dell and IBM are creating what looks like—and in many ways is—a journalistic product. An executive at Coke told Elliott that the company’s digital and social media teams have been “re-formed in the last year to look more like an editorial team at a long-lead magazine … with a production schedule and an editorial calendar.” According to Elliott, Coke has four full-time employees working on the website, with 40 freelancers helping create content, along with “people throughout the Coke system, in marketing and public relations.” RELATED: A 5-step guide to starting a brand journalism program Michael Sebastian is the managing editor of PRDaily.com.

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