Use Multimedia to Tell Stories

PR Newswire recently took a look at how press releases sent on the wire perform in terms of number of views.  The stats are quite revealing:

Need I say more?  Adding multimedia to your press releases, articles and blog posts will give you a remarkable bump in views.

And since that’s the goal of content, it’s truly amazing to me that only 55% of the PR folk recently polled by PRESSfeed about their online newsroom content, say they are using multimedia with news content.  Seriously?  Look at the graph again, please.  A 77% increase in views.

A study of corporate websites and newsrooms shows that not many companies use multimedia with their press releases.  The vast majority are text only.

Every media outlet has a website today.  They all use images. 85% of them use video. And yet we’re still sending them text-only press releases and lamenting the fact that our earned media mentions are not what we’d like to see.

The top reasons given for not using multimedia are:

  • Don’t have the skills
  • Don’t have the time
  • Don’t have the budget

Perhaps you should look at it another way – can you afford NOT to add multimedia to your news content?

It’s not enough to just have visual assets with your content. Yes, it will boost your views, but what you want is pickup, engagement and sharing.  You need to make those images and videos tell a compelling story.  Be creative.  Make it so interesting, useful, entertaining that journalists and bloggers will want to use it.  And their readers will want to share it.

The Hoops for St Jude campaign that won an Earnie this year featured videos of patient stories.  Fans were moved by the hope and inspiration in these stories.

“At the core of their campaign was content. By utilizing engaging, quality, multimedia content – including patient stories and photos- they were able to start inspirational conversation that touched audiences.  Furthermore, by creating a unique campaign hashtag, audiences were able to follow the conversation at any point.”

When Taubman Centers opened City Creek Center in Salt Lake City in March they made a short video of the fountain that uses fire and water (designed by WETDesign, the company that created the Bellagio fountains.)  This video has had over 150,000 views.  It got them  mentions on sites like the Huffington Post and Gizmodo, which they wouldn’t have earned without that video. Travel bloggers covered the opening of the center and posted the fire fountain video.

You just have to find the right visual images to attract the attention of the media you’re after.

How do you present news in your online newsroom?

Start keeping stats of how many views you get on releases, article and blog posts.  Keep a track of which ones have images, charts, infographics and/or video with them.  See which ones get the most earned media mentions and compare the numbers.

You might be pleasantly surprised.

And if you think don’t have the time, money or skills, think again. Find someone who can help you with your news content production.  It pays off handsomely in terms of earned media.

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Posted by Sally Falkow On 27 May 2012 6 Commented

6 Responses to “Use Multimedia to Tell Stories”

  1. thank you – most informative adn a real wake up call.

  2. Ray says:

    These days I studied many German Online PR companies to see wheather they make use of social media newsrooms. If anybody in Germany online pr experts would use this instrument. The result: The majority if them don´t have a newsroom on their site.

    I then searched for American Online PR companies to face the positive example and started with the corporate website of the inventor of the newsroom, Todd Defren. Guess what? No newsroom. I send him a mail and asked what happened to “his newsrooom”. No reaction. What does all this mean?

    (sorry for my English, I am not a English native speaker)

  3. Sally Falkow says:

    Hi Ray

    thanks fro reading my blog and stopping by to comment. I do see many more companies in Europe using social media newsrooms. Even most of the conversation online about social newsroom comes from Europe. We are behind the curve here for sure. Our 2012 newsroom survey has just been completed and the results will be published by the end of June. It shows how many US companies have thee features. I cannot answer for Todd or Shift, but they were the first to provide a template for the social release and the social newsroom.



  4. Barbara says:

    I’m going to express another side to this issue from a consumer standpoint. Every day I follow links to news stories and online articles. I want to gather information quickly, and that means reading text as opposed to watching videos. It is endlessly frustrating to see more and more content being offered in video form only. How about a compromise? Offer a detailed summary of the video material or post a transcription of the actual video dialog. You’d be surprised at the number of people who consider video-exclusive content to be an obstruction to their browsing. And what about accessibility? Text can be converted to sound for the vision-impaired, but with videos, they can only access “descriptions” of the action via special software, and hearing-impaired viewers are completely out of luck.

  5. Sally Falkow says:

    HI Barbara,

    You are quite correct

    A video should always be accompanied by text – if not the entire transcription then at least a summary of what is in the video. And not only for the visitors who prefer to read, but for search engines too. They can’t watch the video.

  6. kmeenakshi says:

    Agree with your point of view!!!
    Multimedia will give support to text when added successfully in PR, Blogs or Article. Some company thought that this is not in their budget or have enough time for it but a little effort can add a lot of attention to their websites.We (Innovative Consulting) also consider social media services along with different activities.

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