In our era of fast news and short interests, the media landscape needs to be fast to change and demands of their readers. Unfortunately, there are 6 PR professionals for every 1 journalist now and the number of writers and newsrooms are shrinking. Which means resources are becoming scarcer all the while the demands of the reader chop and change inline with trends and tech.
This is where you can stand out with your pitches, where you can provide assets and resources which grab attention and engage the reader whilst everyone else pitches their mundane stories via black and white text trying to create excitement. Using visuals with your PR pitching can split many people in the PR industry down the middle, some will hate the idea and others will love it. Obviously there’s a certain level of understanding which you should have, knowing that being spammy or salesy will not generate results, ever will at least stop you from making common mistakes.
Check out the ideas below for visual PR pitching and see if you can get something set up and tested this week.
You can define rich-content as social media posts, videos, embedded widgets and everything that is similar. Which all probably seems a little far off from the traditional press release that we have become used to seeing. But as I mentioned media readers have a fast and furious appetite for media consumption so it’s now vital that you understand how your ideal audience will best absorb any information that you share.
Rich-content can appear to be a novel idea for many of us as embedded social media updates alone will not get any PR interest or coverage. It needs to be part of a bigger campaign painting a much bigger image of your brand. I will stick with the social media example for now.
Imagine that your business has a corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaign in full swing. Do you think that this story would be better told with words or photos? For a CSR related campaign, there’s nothing better or more interesting than seeing people of the community, co-workers and everyone else organically sharing the progress and event itself via social media. Remember that one of the biggest drivers for PR coverage is the ability to touch the reader’s emotions and really show what you are trying to show without blowing your own horn.
Video is Powerful
It can feel a little overwhelming when you see all of the potential avenues that videos can be created for and used in. But this is all being done for a good reason – video works. Video grabs and demands attention, even if it’s a podcast which I can guarantee is being recorded and will be up on Youtube in no time so all channels are covered. This is the same for PR and coverage.
Media outlets follow trends because they are only focused on grabbing readers attention, keeping it and suggesting where they should focus that attention after. This is why you need to be sure that you are providing videos to your media contacts.
With video being a huge resource for all departments it’s likely that you may not need to re-invent the wheel and could be holding onto a number of useful assets. As an example, videos that you may have on hand could be:
- Product demo’s
- How-To Tutorials
Now the above may sound a little too salesy or run the risk of marketing babble so review anything that you have as you don’t want to risk getting shut down because everything is geared towards selling.
Branding is a Must
This is a crucial, pro-tip to remember for all future visual related press releases and PR campaigns. Stick with super-branded content. What this means is that you use the same font and colors throughout your website and all marketing collateral as well as graphics work. The reason for this is that some media outlets will use your rich-media, for example, a metric graphic that shows 4 key stats, is not big enough to warrant free advertising for. So it is likely that your logo etc will inevitably get cut off, which by all means is not a problem if you have a whole article about your written or a mention inside the article itself.
A workaround here is to provide both branded and unbranded assets. So simply remove your logo from the asset itself and offer both to the outlet. If you give your media contacts everything pre-packed and ready to go then at least you have some sort of control as to how and what gets displayed. But always look at ensuring your branded assets are in line with the rest of your brand. Infographics included here.
Be smart with your visuals, ensure that it is super relevant for your media contact and their outlet and focus on making the journalist’s life easier with your pitch. If anything the pitch itself shouldn’t be lengthy because if you should technically have the right visuals which explain the story itself. As they say pictures speak a thousand words.