Red Bull’s Mateschitz on: brands as publishers

Red Bull’s Mateschitz on: brands as publishers

November 1, 2016


November 1, 2016


Red Bull’s Mateschitz on: brands as publishers


Tony Hallett
Managing director

Tony set up Collective Content in 2011 so brands can more easily become publishers and tell stories. This built on 15 years in media, from reporter to publishing director at Silicon Media Group, CNET Networks and CBS Interactive.

Red Bull’s Mateschitz on: brands as publishers

Brands need to take the phrase ‘acting like a publisher’ literally.

– Dietrich Mateschitz, CEO of RedBull

 Today’s quotation comes not from a marketer but from a company leader (who also happens to be one of the richest people on the planet and started off in marketing). You could call him an uber marketer, because his company is probably more associated with content marketing than any other. So when Dietrich Mateschitz says brands must act as publishers, you take notice.

We have long believed it. The long version of our tagline goes beyond ‘We tell your stories’ so it reads, ‘We tell your stories, making you a publisher’.

We must support what Mateschitz says, right? Absolutely.

There are countless benefits to brands of all types, not just energy drinks, becoming publishers. There are also risks.


On the plus side, brands – while free to carry on using conventional advertising in the media – are in control of where their engagement takes place. Even when they use big third-party platforms such as Facebook, they need something to say. The same or similar content can be used there.

Being a publisher is also full-time occupation. While that has its challenges (see below), it also means near-constant engagement with those you’re speaking to. You don’t get that with a three-month ad campaign.


Taking on board the mantle of publisher also means being versed in editorial procedures, legal issues, fact checking, sourcing writers and much more. These are all things we blog about here. Why? Because for the average marketer they’re not always obvious. If brands are to become publishers, they usually need some help. Getting things wrong can mean loss of reputation, wasted time and money, and legal disputes.

But on balance, just like Mateschitz we feel it’s worth the challenge and the best will do as he says – launching not just websites, but magazines (like the Red Bulletin) and TV shows, and even doing investigative reporting. These are all things we’re covering in our brand publishing series.

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