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MasterCard Netherlands brings brand alive through content marketing

With a PressPage platform, MasterCard Netherlands tells brand journalism stories that interest customers and employees alike.
By Russell Working | Posted: January 8, 2014

Dimitri Roels is crazy about the smell of warm, fresh bread—so crazy that he quit his job as a chef in Paris and returned to the Netherlands to open a string of bakeries.

What he wasn't so nuts about is employees' handling grubby euro bills, then grabbing a loaf of bread off the rack for a customer.

So Roels's Het Vlaamsch Broodhuys bakeries have gone cashless, and MasterCard Netherlands is featuring him in videos, a story, and a blog post. It's all part of a brand journalism content strategy set up by Weber Shandwick.

The news hub is powered by PressPage, a supplier of search-engine-optimized social media newsroom technology. PressPage, which can be integrated into websites, offers a way to manage content marketing far less expensively than the typical major website overhaul, which can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. The platform puts comms and marketing—not IT—in the driver's seat.

PressPage is a Ragan partner.

"At workshops, they're levitating out of their chairs with excitement about brand journalism," says Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications. "But they say, 'How do I do this?'"

Get a 15-minute demonstration of PressPage, the optimized social media newsroom technology used by MasterCard, UNICEF and Heineken, and we'll send you a FREE $15 Amazon.com gift card, if you qualify.

Replacing the old website

In the Netherlands, PressPage enabled MasterCard to replace an old website that "just contained lots of information," says Gijs Van der Togt, digital director of Weber Shandwick in the Netherlands. "What we want to achieve with the PressPage is where employees write blogs about their work, write blogs about their activities, where video is shown, where consumers and cardholders really can see what MasterCard is."

PressPage's Bart Verhulst, co-founder and CEO, says many organizations aren't equipped to handle the revolution in corporate news distribution. It's possible to communicate stories in more than one way—words, images, sound, or all of these—and news distribution patterns have changed.

"I also see a lot of professionals struggling with the technological side of things," Verhulst says. "I mean, our industry has really turned online for most of our work. And in this, most PR practitioners are hurting as they are dependent on—and limited by—their IT departments in deploying their strategies."

Learn more about the top 7 features of PressPage.

MasterCard is an abstract brand for a lot of people, says Weber Shandwick's Van der Togt. "Using brand journalism and using content marketing, really telling the MasterCard worldwide story—that is important for them," he says. "And [PressPage] is a way to showcase their efforts."

"That particular story picked up very well by media, because there's video," Van der Togt says.

Stories like that of the Dutch bakers are part of MasterCard's larger World Beyond Cash series, which uses similar content from the business world to bring the global brand to life.

MasterCard’s content marketing in Holland dovetails with a re-launch of its global newsroom and blog.

Its new Engagement Bureau “is all about bringing a point of view to life through engagement, visual storytelling, conversation and rich digital content that can be created, shared and published real time,” the company reports. Its Cashless Pioneers Blog highlights individuals, businesses, governments and others who have embraced electronic payments.

PressPage also allows for better social distribution, users say. Its digital newsrooms move beyond the old practice of blasting out press releases and hoping for a hit. Van der Togt praises the easy social media sharing, both by the brand and by customers—as in a MasterCard story on a florist that was pinned on Pinterest.

MasterCard employees are embracing content marketing, he says. The new Netherlands newsroom is a little over three weeks old, and already employees are saying, "Hey, can you write something about this? Can we place it on the newsroom as well as on social media?" Van der Togt says.

Organizations are increasingly enthusiastic about brand journalism, "because they also see that traditional marketing isn't working anymore," he adds. "That's not storytelling; it's just pushing messaging in someone's face."

Best of all, thanks to MasterCard, you now know where to go in Holland to buy a loaf of bread that smells like something you'd want to spread butter on, not deposit in a bank.

@r_working

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