• Liz Hayes

WRAL brand agencies bring storytelling to life with successful collaboration



“Everything does have a shelf life, but stories never die. Everybody needs to be really good at telling stories because amidst the noise, that’s how you get heard,” said Jeff Wood, Creative Director of Capitol B Creative Studios.


The needs of local advertisers and big brands will continue to evolve, but a good story will stand the test of time. Recently, Jeff Wood and James Amato, of WRAL Digital Solutions and Capitol B Creative Studios, stopped by The Branded Content Project’s Big Branded call to share some advice on how they are constantly adapting and working together to create solutions for advertisers in branded content and beyond.


Capitol Broadcasting Company offers creative and digital marketing services through WRAL Digital Solutions, and recently launched Capitol B Creative Studios to offer even more support to brands as a sister agency focused on business intelligence, brand identity and comprehensive creative.


Wood says the teams take a broad approach when discussing digital advertising solutions with clients to ensure that their needs are being met in the most creative and effective ways.


“You really have to bring in the strategy. You really have to meet with them, you have to interview key stakeholders, you have to work with their target market, do a whole lot of stuff before you can really change the creative. That all falls under the Capitol B umbrella, but then when going back to running and promoting it, that goes back to the digital side,” said Wood.


Amato, WRAL’s Director of Strategic Business Development, says the sister agencies work together closely to create successful branded content campaigns for a wide variety of clients.

“My team needs to be dangerous enough in tactics so when they lead with strategy, they have some sense for where the road may take their client. On the flip side, our digital-only AEs have to be really strong on tactics and dangerous enough on strategy conversation to hopefully open up the pathways on both ends. I think it’s been successful,” Amato said.


Like inside many media organizations, employees have been asked to wear several hats. While the pandemic has left everyone feeling overwhelmed, it's also led to more collaboration, opportunity for growth and greater success.


“I think we have a group here that while tattered at times and overworked perhaps, they have really grown into multidisciplinary agents and marketing advisors, which for someone in my shoes, when I go into a client call and I say, 'I’m gonna get back to someone with a recommendation,' I can confidently go to this team and say, 'Put on every hat you wear and help me make the most robust recommendation you can to this client.' I am utterly confident in my team’s ability to do that,” Amato said.


Capitol B Creative Studios and WRAL Digital Solutions work in a variety of business categories, from real estate to healthcare to cause marketing. The formula of branded content works for any industry because everyone is trying to get their message to consumers, but they need the expertise of marketing professionals to help tweak that message. The agencies helped clients address messaging around vaccine mandates and also emphasize cause marketing in health and human services related work. While the pandemic will have deep and lasting effects on all industries, it does create opportunities for local media outlets to help brands tell their stories through content marketing.


“I think coming out of the pandemic you’re going to see a lot of effort to raise up the local business community, entrepreneurship, I think you’re going to see a lot of DEI work done,” Amato said.


Agencies can also capitalize on the current business dilemma of employee recruitment and retention, by offering creative solutions to inform the public.


The Branded Content Project recommends local media outlets create their own brand studio or agency to help local advertisers understand the power of content marketing and earn new revenue. This doesn't have to be a huge undertaking - it could just be naming your studio, defining your mission and promoting your work.


Need to get started? Give us a shout and we'll help you wherever you are in the process! Email Julia at julia@brandedcontentproject.com for a quick strategy call.

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.

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