Mashable is one of the headlining members of the “new media” crop. In just a few years, what was once a blog covering technology and social media has become a top news source for everything from brands behaving badly on Twitter to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. In recent years, its role has shifted from aggregator to newsmaker — and its content has moved from text-heavy blog entries to multimedia projects.
But Mashable doesn’t just do news. The site was one of the first to experiment with what it now calls branded content, offering would-be sponsors a relationship in which (in the site’s own words), “Mashable’s editorial team produces content presented by your brand.”
The content in question is “crafted to align your brand with relevant themes and to resonate strongly with your target audience, in a format that is native to Mashable.” Many major brands have participated as related projects grow more ambitious, yet Mashable’s policy insists that the creation of said content occurs without the direct editorial input of its sponsor.
Lauren Drell, a writer and former journalism student who now runs Mashable’s branded-content division, spoke to us about the ins and outs of her job — and cleared up some misconceptions about what she does every day. Read more