Content Marketing: Hire a Journalist for Ad Agency New Business

journalists for ad agency new business content marketing

Making the case for hiring a journalist to help create your agency’s content.

Business development for agencies has gone through a significant paradigm shift.  In the past, agencies relied on outbound or interruption type marketing tactics that pushed their message through email blasts to purchased lists, cold calls, outsourced telemarketing, and direct mail. Outbound marketing has become much less effective in reaching prospects due in large part to social media.

It’s now more important for prospects to “find” your agency online.  In order to do this, you need to consistently develop appealing content that attracts prospects through search engines, the blogs, and social media. Your content is appealing because it is beneficial to your target audience instead of self-promotional agency propaganda.

Creating original content is a powerful tool to differentiate your agency and create new business opportunities but it is also a big challenge.

I’ve helped 150+ advertising, digital, media and PR agencies develop their social media strategy,with content marketing as its  hub, to create a strong point of differentiation and positioning of expertise. I can tell you from experience that creating compelling content is always their biggest challenge.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, it surveyed 1,000 B2B marketers in 2012, and 41% said their biggest challenge was creating content engaging to customers and 62% of them now use a mix of insourced and outsourced content.

To consistently create content for new business, a lot of agencies, large and small, will need additional help. I’ve recommended to my clients that they consider hiring or contracting a journalist.

Here are 8 reasons why I recommend hiring  journalists for agency new business:

  1. They have a refined process for delivering quality content consistently.
  2. They have acquired the skill set of crafting compelling stories using words, images and videos. “Good content isn’t about storytelling; it’s about telling a true story well.” – Ann Handley
  3. They know how to create appealing content by keeping the reader’s needs first. Whereas agencies tend to be to self-promotional because they are mostly interested in selling their services.
  4. Their writing dependably resonates with their readers because they communicate in a way that is completely and utterly on the level of their audience.
  5. Trained in backing up opinions with facts, research and provide proper attribution.
  6. Experienced in creating both original and curated or re-sourced content.
  7. Know how to use the inverted pyramid style of writing, with the most important information at the top of the article to deal with fleeting attention spans. This style is particularly well suited for online content.
  8. With the newspaper industry in decline there are many journalists ready, willing and able to assist. Four Advance Publications newspapers laid off over 600 persons in a single day in New Orleans and Alabama.

Unless your agency has the resources and focus to get content created, it will always be difficult to accomplish content marketing goals.

Inspiration for this article came from Ann Handley’s article, “Seven Reasons Your Content Marketing Needs a Brand Journalist”. Ann is the Chief Content Officer for MarketingProfs.

Additional content marketing for new business resources:

photo credit: PIX-JOCKEY via photo pin cc

About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. You make great points why to hire an outside agency to create content. It is becoming more and more popular for businesses to use crowdsourcing for their content. It is very efficient and inexpensive and it makes sense when they have little time to create their own content. Check out my post on crowdsourcing and how it is improving content marketing:

  2. Hadassah Hannah says:

    Thank you for this! I am a multiple-award-winning former journalist with significant experience in marketing, actively looking for work (and currently based in Boston) and I hope that articles such as this will persuade people to give me a try!

  3. Michael Gass says:

    You are very welcome. I hope it helps as well. Please feel free to share your contact information. If you have a blog or website you can share that as well.

  4. Michael Gass says:

    Agencies are struggling with content development. Thanks for sharing your article.

  5. Our biggest request over the last 6 months has been video content creation. We never used to get this request 5 years ago but now everyone is needing more content and journalists are the best at it.

    Great article.

  6. Michael Gass says:

    Thanks for sharing Chris.

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