A former digital editor at the Daily Record and most recently editor of STV's network of hyper-local websites has been appointed a 'director of brand journalism' – said to be a first for Scotland.
Iain Hepburn has hooked up with digital marketing company, Contently Managed, run by former Scottish Daily Mirror journalist, Craig McGill.
Says McGill, in choosing 'brand journalism' rather than 'PR' or 'advertorial' to describe Hepburn's new role: “Brand journalism is where companies – or their representatives – are doing the journalism. They are creating the content and publishing it. Some companies go as far as to hire reporters who then file back to papers, others just publish the information themselves and let media pick it up.”
On his blog, McGill says: “I am utterly delighted to be announcing that …Iain has joined Contently Managed as the country’s first Director of Brand Journalism, allowing us to add to our social media package to businesses in Scotland.”
He continues: “Why Iain? A couple of reasons – the man is a grafter, through and through. For those starting out in any aspect of comms who think doing digital is easy …it isn’t. It’s long hours to do it right. Iain has never shirked in the long hours, doing what it takes to make something perfect.
“More to the point, Iain shares the Contently vision – that Scotland still needs a lot of help in embracing digital and no-one will be served by digital chancers thinking that because social media is new then they can charge £3,000 a month to blog and tweet. Iain’s ethos has always been that digital should be inclusive and affordable. Contently wants to bring more people to the 'digital table', so we share a worldview there.”
The role is understood to be part-time, at least initially. Yesterday, STV announced Shaun Milne as Hepburn's successor as editor of STV Local.