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  • Writer's pictureJulia Campbell

The powerful revenue potential of combining content and sales

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Why is the intersection of “church and state” so effective?

It’s natural for there to be an us-versus-them mentality between editorial and sales departments within a news organization. But ultimately everyone involved has the same goal: to grow a successful business. When it comes to branded content, it’s crucial that both sides of the building come together to create a campaign that puts audiences first while leading to increased revenue.

Now, does this mean we recommend using your newsroom for writing and building branded content campaigns? Absolutely not! But we know that collaborating on concepts and hiring producers and writers with journalism experience maintains the editorial guidelines and content best practices for your content marketing campaigns. Those creators focus on content built to engage your audience while benefiting your advertiser.

Peter Lamb, president of Lamb Consulting and one of the sales training leaders for The Branded Content Project, explains why the growth potential of combining "church and state" for advertisers is so exciting.

"When you think about your typical news organization, you have two pillars of strength. You have a great editorial side of the business and you have a great advertising side of the business, and never the two shall meet. The beauty of branded content is they work together. That is what gives branded content power. That is, in my opinion, what gives us a competitive advantage. Somebody told me the best-kept secret of branded content is we have collaboration between storytelling and the advertising side of the business. So we look at what gives us the power to really get the kind of dollars we’re looking for in the market, and it’s the fact that we have the two best of the best parts of the organization working together."

The Branded Content Project recently created a #brandedbadge certificate program, with two tracks, one called Success for Sellers and one called Branded Content 101. Both tracks have similar content with the longer version geared toward sales training and the shorter track geared toward news teams. BOTH tracks contain the video below that explains the importance of combining sales and news teams for effective content marketing initiatives.

According to research from Pressboard, publishers are split on whether to include their editorial teams in the creation of branded content. Some are very involved while others can be supportive while hiring freelancers to write the content. Successful branded content should seamlessly and transparently fit into your site and social media posts. But when it comes to maintaining audience trust and editorial impartiality, some separation is essential. This can be achieved with a policy emphasizing that brands and advertisers cannot influence editorial coverage.

Readers are sympathetic to the financial difficulties facing publishers, and branded content is an excellent way to receive additional revenue while engaging with audiences. Advertising and editorial should work together to create a strategy, set reasonable expectations and maintain mutual respect.


The Branded Content Project is designed through a strategic partnership between the Local Media Association, the Local Media Consortium, and the Facebook Journalism Project to help facilitate additional growth, engagement, and revenue success for more publishers of all shapes and sizes.

To access our sales training certificate program, click here -

To get involved, contact us -

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