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Over the past month, I’ve spent an unhealthy amount of time reading coronavirus coverage. When I want straight news, I head to The New York Times. When I want to have a panic attack, I open Twitter. And when I want to be inspired, I read GE Reports.
It may seem strange for a brand blog to be a regular part of my news rotation, but the company’s coverage of efforts by GE Healthcare and others around the world to fight the coronavirus has been that good.
GE Reports is focusing on efforts by GE Healthcare to combat the spread of coronavirus as well as actions by others across the world. The content team has published a dozen pieces since mid-March, often breaking important news—like this story about how a GE Healthcare team was experimenting with 3D printing to boost ventilator production in Wisconsin, and this story about how AI-enhanced ultrasound was emerging as a key tool for doctors in Italy without access to CT scans.
GE Healthcare is a part of the story, but it’s not a press release. It’s important information that can help doctors battle the virus across the world.
Perhaps my favorite coverage, however, is its weekly roundup of five ways the world fought back. These roundups often feature non-GE innovations, giving readers hope in an extremely digestible format.
The blog also does a great job of highlighting the unsung heroes behind the scenes, like this story of a GE Healthcare employee who traveled 1,400 miles through an earthquake and blizzard to help step up the production of ventilators at a key plant.
GE Reports is helmed by Tomas Kellner, a former editor at Forbes who is now GE’s chief storyteller. Over the past 8 years, Kellner has built a loyal audience of over 100,000 subscribers through what he calls “shoe leather reporting“—pounding the pavement to break stories of the fascinating innovations going on inside the company. Its content is so good that it often goes viral on Reddit.
Kellner declined to be interviewed at this time, but has shared a bit on LinkedIn about the team’s work. “We have a team of reporters working around the clock to find the best stories that show what the world— including GE —is doing to defeat the disease,” he wrote.
Indeed, GE Reports’ fantastic work shows that great content marketing isn’t just about data or analytics or audience insights. In a time like this, the biggest key is investing in reporters and storytellers who can find and tell important stories, quickly and effectively.
“Moments like this one are why we exist,” Kellner wrote in another post.
Across the globe, many healthcare and technology marketers are scrambling to figure out how to adjust their content programs amidst COVID-19. GE Reports should serve as a model. For years, they’ve invested in editors and journalists who can deliver incredible content to their audience.
“The time your audience spends with your content is really a transaction,” Kellner told our editor-in-chief, Jordan Teicher, last year. “You have to give them back something of value. If the content becomes too promotional, too self-serving, you will lose your audience very quickly.”
That commitment is now paying off in a big way. GE Reports’ coverage is inspiring people and boosting GE Healthcare’s brand—inside and outside the company. Its stories are helping readers like me find the light amidst all the darkness, providing a content marketing model we all can learn from.
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