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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