Learn from these Ragan & PR Daily Content Marketing Award winners

Lessons from top-flight storytellers.

Every communicator is a storyteller at their core. The winners of Ragan & PR Daily Content Marketing Awards exemplify these traits, using their skills to spread the word about their brand through innovative brand journalism, content and executive thought leadership efforts.

We’ve highlighted a few inspiring winners from the 2023 awards to hone in on their winning, tactics, methods and solutions. Be sure to apply for this year’s awards before submissions close on February 23.

Best Brand Journalism/Online Newsroom: Walgreens Corporate Storytelling team


The challenge: During a period of major growth, Walgreens sought to tell stories that portrayed the healthcare company as a customer-first organization, with a focus on innovation, community impact and stories about customers.

The solution: Walgreens built out its in-house newsroom, the Walgreens Corporate Storytelling team. The group uses both internal sources and agency partnerships to spread stories with an angle on making healthcare more equitable. In addition, by employing people-first tactics in its storytelling approach, the team sought to build connections with its audience.

Among the team’s wins was a piece published in February 2023, “Black representation in clinical trials is better for Black people—and frankly everyone”, which covered an internal event with the African American Leadership business resource group and drew attention to the racial inequities in clinical trials. The piece drew in 6,031 readers, with 88% of readers new to the newsroom.

The team consistently partnered with LinkedIn to promote the newsroom’s efforts. The work paid off, with the top-performing ads in terms of engagement relating to U.S. healthcare.

The takeaway: When internal communicators think like journalists and marketers, they’re empowered with the means to promote the brand in unprecedented ways.

Read more here.

Best Branded Content Series (Print or Digital) – B2B: Salesforce and Fortune Brand Studio


The challenge: Sustainability is a big deal at Salesforce, while Fortune places a major emphasis on entrepreneurship. Both parties wanted to make an impact and tell stories about climate change to an audience outside of the B2B world.

The solution: The answer was in collaboration. The partnership between these two organizations birthed  in “The Ecopreneurs”, a documentary film series that celebrates the achievements of the titular “ecopreneurs” and seeks to inspire future leaders to solve the greatest challenges of the climate crisis. Episodes included underwater visuals depicting revitalized seascapes and drone shots of the top of the Andes, bringing viewers to rare landscapes threatened by climate change.

The studio created a content hub for each episode of the series, providing supplementary written and visual material to accompany the videos. These include behind-the-scenes content, Q&As with the filmmakers, and more. This content was pushed out via Fortune’s social channels.

The metrics backed up the ambitions of the filmmakers. The series held both the first and second-most watched video honors on Salesforce+, and Episode 1 of the series, “SeaTrees”, garnered more than 3.3 million views on YouTube.

The takeaway: Collaborating with the right partner can help you take a step back with your goal in mind and produce stories that engage employees across mediums and touchpoints.

Read more here.

Best Executive Visibility – Clyde and Rosslyn BID


The challenge: Mary-Clair Burick, the president of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, understood that the most important part of her role is building relationships with stakeholders in her community. To figure out how she could do so in a better way, Burick, the BID and the Clyde Group collaborated to help raise her executive profile.

The solution: The parties worked together to leverage Burick’s LinkedIn presence, placing an emphasis on community engagement. They organized content into buckets, including organizational development and employee issues, BID management, and workplace culture/employee development, to name a few. By focusing her posts on the local community, Burick offered a relatable perspective that tied back to the people and places she works closely with.

The strategy, which involves Burick posting twice a week, has paid off. Her engagement rate is above the LinkedIn industry standard and her posts have also been featured on LinkedIn News. In addition, Mary-Claire was named as one of the Washington Business Journal’s Power 100, a group of business leaders honored for their contributions to their communities.

The takeaway: Cater your content to the desires of your audience first — not just your leadership’s whims — and you’ll put the conditions in place that nurture lasting, impactful relationships through storytelling.

Read more here.

Sean Devlin is an editor at Ragan Communications. In his spare time he enjoys Philly sports, a good pint and ’90s trivia night.


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