Using multimedia content in your press releases is the best way to…
- Increase Views: Images and video boost views by up to 80 percent compared to text only;
- Enhance Storytelling: Readers connect personally to your story when visuals are included; and,
- Gain Media Attention: Journalists love it when you help them do their jobs, and giving them multimedia ticks a box on the To Do List.
** This breaking news brought to you by the Year 2014. Yes, that’s a full three years ago.
And a lot has changed since then. Fast forward to 2017, where multimedia releases are absolutely essential. To put things into perspective, there are around 33,000 full-time journalists in the US; there are just over 300,000 PR specialists. Crunch the numbers and you’ll find that the people trying to get coverage for their stories outnumber the people who could cover them about 10 to 1.
If you’re dwelling on the ABC’s of WHY to incorporate images and video into your content, you’re living in the past. The real focus should be on HOW to do it, which means dispelling some of the myths that threaten to derail your use of multimedia.
Myth #1: Pick a Video, Any Video
NO, both as to the format and style. First, you need to embed video within a news release – directly, not simply by including a link. And you don’t need to hire an expensive production team to create your video. In fact, a slick, highly over-polished video can actually distance an audience that’s looking for realness and authenticity. Grab your smartphone and capture an event, create a whiteboard animation video that shows a day-in-the-life, or do a demonstration of your product. Just make sure it’s engaging and share-worthy, and breathes life into your story.
Myth #2: Search, Schmearch
Don’t believe the hype: Search is alive and well in 2017, and it’s the key to making sure that great multimedia content you created actually gets found by the people looking for it. Brush up on your skills and make your news releases more search friendly by:
- Researching your audience and understanding their writing style – so you can emulate it;
- Knowing the keywords and phrases that are driving search traffic;
- Use headlines, subtitles, and the first 250 words of your multimedia news release to strategically leverage keywords;
- Making sure to include a happy blend of text, images, video, and links – this combo is 77 percent more likely to engage your audience as compared to text alone;
- Ensuring that you have the foundation in place when journalists want to find out more beyond your press release, which means constantly updating your online newsroom with engaging content.
Myth #3: Focus on One Channel at a Time
One channel? Think again. Do you really want to go through all that work for just one distribution point? When creating multimedia content for your news release, make sure you embed content that can serve multiple purposes and has the ability to cross over into different forums – without making significant changes to the content itself. If your audience and influencers like social media, make sure you include video and images in your press release that you can carry over to these channels.
Myth #4: Great Quotes Stand on Their Own
There’s a lot of power in words, but guess what makes them more engaging: Making them jump out at your audience by presenting a short video or audio clip that conveys the emotion behind the quote. Journalists love to use quotes, so make the words appealing by providing a multimedia format in your news release – which they can embed in their own article.
Myth #5: Stock Photos Will Suffice
Ugh – nothing is more off-putting than a multimedia press release featuring a blah image you downloaded and slapped into your content. Your image shouldn’t merely accompany the text content; it should be connected to it in some meaningful way. Snap some photos of your own team at an event, capture candids of your office environment – or even take a selfie. At least you’ll have people thinking: “OMG, I can’t believe he/she included a selfie,” rather than “OMG I saw that same model smiling at the camera in 20-30 shots on Shutterstock.”
If you must use stock photos, don’t phone it in: Get creative by using Canva or some other graphic design software to give them some personality.
Myths. At times, they exist due to misinformation. But their roots can also be outdated information – like comparing your approach to multimedia news releases in 2017 as compared to 2014. Drive them out and be that one of that 10 to 1.
By Marc DeLeuw