All Native Advertising Doesn’t Suck


Director of Creative Strategy at Time Inc., Melanie Deziel is an award-winning journalist with a career that spans roles at the Huffington Post and the New York Times prior to joining Time Inc. Melanie is also the founder of the native advertising newsletter, The Overlap League. On this podcast, Melanie and I discuss the evolution of native advertising and, particularly, the importance of context in branded journalism.


We’ll explore how native advertising is produced, promoted and distributed and talk about Melanie’s award-winning piece, Women Inmates: Why The Male Model Doesn’t Work. Tune in to gain insight into the role of native advertising in the modern content strategy, and why the late David Carr, an esteemed journalist, tweeted “all brand-sponsored journalism does not suck.”

David Carr - sponsored journalismMelanie_Deziel_Women_Inmates_NYT

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On This Episode You’ll Discover:

  • Melanie’s role as Director of Creative Strategy at Time Inc. and how she says it’s like being an air traffic controller over all of their content programs and different magazines including Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, Food and Wine, and others.
  • What is The Overlap League and how it got started in August.
  • How a lot of the content shared in The Overlap League newsletter comes from within the community and even includes job postings.
  • How Melanie studied journalism in college and expected to become a journalist.
  • How Melanie and the team at T Brand Studios, part of the New York Times,  worked with Netflix to create the award-winning piece, Women Inmates: Why The Male Model Doesn’t Work.
  • How the piece was written with a journalism point of view and featured native advertising for their series, Orange is the New Black.
  • How the article was a 1,500-word narrative that uncovered the shortcomings of Women in Prison and included video clips and infographics.
  • How taking a journalism stance on native advertising proved that value can be provided to everyone involved.
  • How the piece performed so well that it was in the top 2% of all content on the New York Times that year.
  • What Melanie says are the five elements to successfully creating Context-Conscious Content.
  • How the topic of your content needs to be a good fit and how voice and tone should be considered based on the platform where the content is getting posted.
  • How you can bring your content to life in different formats like print, digital, mobile, illustrations, video, etc.
  • How user experience with navigation plays into content presentation.
  • How disclosure is currently loosely regulated and differs across publishers.
  • How to approach disclosing an advertiser’s role in paid content, sponsored content, and content provided by a brand.
  • Why Melanie’s one thing is to expand your brand’s area of authority and talk about the broader context of your product and how it makes people feel.

Expand your brand’s area of authority. Talk about how your product makes people feel. @mdeziel

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P.S. Don’t miss next week’s podcast episode with Robin Fray Carey from Social Media Today!Subscribe to our podcast to stay current on new episodes delivered to your inbox every Friday!

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