Visual fluency is the world’s most used language. Yet most companies have not figured out how to connect authentically with audiences through this medium. Content is being created for one audience but utilized as the supplement for others. And this disconnect shows. Humans are actively avoiding marketing and advertising content being pumped out, in search of a more authentic story. In a visually fluent world, what is the right way to speak to those audiences?

Public relations teams are responsible for building and maintaining authentic discussions with their organization’s audience. Unlike marketing and sales, who utilize revenue as a direct benchmark for success, public relations is about moving the needle through a different set of discussions.

So why aren’t public relations professionals playing a larger role in the visual storytelling and the content creation process? Why are we constantly tacking sales-focused imagery to our media pitches?  With the increased importance on PR and earned media, there is a real opportunity right now for the public relations industry to take control of visual programming.

Click here to read our full guide, which outlines why PR teams should own the visual process, the budget opportunities visuals provide, the top tools currently on the market, best practices in content creation, and tips on both visual amplification and measurement.

Here are 9 steps to owning the visual conversation:

  1. Know your audience: Today’s consumers are visually focused, yet PR pros are still speaking in text. By adding visual counterparts to your news releases, you are giving your audience the power to consume your news in their preferred method of learning. When you don’t, you restrict their access.
  2. Know your content: What content do you already have that is truly useful for earned media audiences? Assess each content piece to determine its viability and figure out what is missing.
  3. Repurpose with narrower goals: Create new story arcs, focused on niche markets. Repurpose and build new content with the goal of generating discussions with micropersonas.
  4. Be innovative: Don’t simply republish your old content, create and rebuild pieces with new technologies like interactive media. Create experiences, not just passive content.
  5. Know when to hire or DIY: When it comes to owning the content creation space, you may want to use a mix of experts and tools to maximize results. Know when to hire an expert, and what you can do yourself.
  6. Know your tools: There are hundreds of drag-and-drop content creation tools on the market today designed for the novice user. Test these tools to see which ones meet your needs and provide the best bang for your buck.
  7. Amplify everything: Don’t just create content, maximize the reach of it. Work across teams to amplify your content to your audiences. Using services like Business Wire to amplify your news is a very easy way to ensure audiences uncover and consume it on their time, and in their preferred format.
  8. Measure everything: Visual content generates high quality data. Use this data to assess the effectiveness of your content pieces, moving quickly to replace poorly performing pieces.
  9. Start again: Visual storytelling requires a dedication to content creation. With these tools and parameters, PR pros are in a perfect place to meet, and feed, this need.

Today’s organizations are facing content obstacles, which means huge new opportunities for public relations teams to take charge and own the authentic visual discussion. Turning the focus of content management, reuse and creation, allows you to pave more meaningful paths for consumers to engage with your brand.

Learn more. Download our whitepaper, Owning the Visual Conversation:
Five tips and 30 tools to boost your PR results with multimedia
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