With the school year around the corner, now is a good time to ask this question:
What’s a better route to becoming a content marketer? Business school or journalism school?
Content marketing as a function is a relatively new profession. When I was in high school in the early aughts, content marketing as we know it didn’t exist.
The need for businesses to compete in an online landscape by telling their stories and by connecting to audiences through engaging narratives wasn’t something many were paying attention to.
Today, however, inbound leads and online engagement through content are a necessity for businesses that want to scale.
And content marketing is where the business acumen and storytelling skills come together.
Reality is, some of the most astute content marketers carry business degrees, which teach you how content connects to the bottom line.
It’s one thing to write a pretty story, it’s quite another to measure its worth through metrics—including leads—and understand how your content is helping your business grow.
Advocates of journalism school, meanwhile, assert that the heart of successful marketing lies in the skill of storytelling. They argue that mastering the art of crafting engaging narratives is pivotal for establishing strong connections with audiences.
In journalism school, students are immersed in the principles of unbiased reporting, ethical considerations, and the construction of compelling stories. This foundation equips them to create marketing content that is not merely informative, but emotionally resonant.
And that’s especially important in the technical B2B space where humanizing the business is key.
But again, champions of business school emphasize the significance of strategic insights. They contend that effective marketing hinges on a comprehensive understanding of market dynamics, consumer behaviour, and data analysis.
Business schools cover subjects like market research, marketing strategy, and brand management. Armed with this knowledge, graduates can discern consumer preferences, identify emerging trends, and design campaigns that yield measurable outcomes.
However, in an era where conventional marketing strategies are evolving amid technological advancements, a consensus is emerging: the demarcation between journalism school and business school is no longer rigid.
In today’s marketing, professionals require a hybrid skill set that amalgamates storytelling finesse with a data-driven mindset. The ever-changing landscape of content marketing demands a nuanced grasp of both disciplines.
That said, to create compelling copy that connects to readers, content marketers must be skilled writers, and they need to churn out copy under quick deadlines.
Having gone to both journalism school and business school, I can say from experience that learning to write relatively well takes much longer than learning business strategy.
So if you’re looking to become a content marketer, but you’re starting off in business school, I’d recommend taking a few print reporting courses, or even writing for your college newspaper.
And if you’re in journalism school considering a career in content marketing, I’d recommend taking a few courses in strategy, or reading up on cases studies that give you examples of real-life business challenges facing companies as they look to scale.
I believe the finest marketers are those who navigate the junction of journalism and business. By harmonizing the strengths of both disciplines, you’ll craft impactful, effective, and evocative campaigns that resonate deeply with target audiences, while ushering in leads.
I help companies grow by telling their stories.