When a new year rolls around, it’s easy to get lost in your goals for the next 12 months. But it’s important to look back and appreciate all that you’ve accomplished.

Thanks to a post by PR/Marketing expert Gini Dietrich last week on SpinSucks.com (which was inspired by our friend Stacey Hood), we were reminded to do just that. Gini highlighted our Alabama Gulf Seafood campaign as a brand that’s doing brand journalism right—even going so far as to mention the campaign alongside Grantland, one of today’s leading digital avenues for original sports and pop culture features.

It was an agency goal for 2013 to incorporate more brand journalism into the overall efforts for several of the brands we serve. Distributing engaging content has been a key tactic for many of our campaigns in years past, but we really stepped up our game over the past year to reach consumers in a whole new way.

For EatAlabamaSeafood.com, our online content strategy is simple in theory: appeal to the minds, mouths and hearts of consumers to establish an engaging brand persona.

The implementation of this strategy, however, has been a team effort in every sense. We strive to create original, smart, searchable, sharable, pitchable, optimized content on a regular basis, from weekly feature articles to monthly eblasts to an ever-expanding recipes section.

Our brand journalism efforts have been a great success for Alabama Gulf Seafood since we launched the campaign in early 2012. But those efforts have also provided a blueprint for other brands that we represent.

Another one of Big’s major brand journalism campaigns in 2013 was Made In Alabama, the official brand persona of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

In order to craft a consistent, cohesive brand for the ADC, we sought to provide them with success stories and positive news in order to recruit businesses and development for our state. And, consequently, the better we’ve been at spreading the good news, the more we’ve had to write about—now and in the future.

But because we represent a wide variety of clients with diverse capabilities and needs, we’re not always totally hands-on.

For the new Brookwood Women’s Center in Birmingham, we launched a social-centric website that educated moms and moms-to-be about the new facilities through a lifestyle lens. The site gained tremendous traction in the first year, so we applied what we learned to a complete redesign of the blog. Our goal was to create a vessel that made it easy for Brookwood’s internal marketing team to generate regular content that complements the campaign as a whole.

We’ve worked hard, learned a lot and have enjoyed bringing these brands to life. Of course, we’re fortunate to have great clients and a talented staff to make it happen, but we feel there is great potential for brands of any size to explore this type of communication to reach consumers in a trustworthy and engaging way.