We are frequently asked by clients why they should include photos, videos and infographics with their news releases. Here are just a few of the benefits of adding multimedia to your story, and how to pick the best content to supplement your news.

Get People to Pay Attention to Your Story

In 2020, for many, the goal of public relations is to generate exposure that increases sales. It’s about getting media to pay attention to your story and it’s about making your messages available directly to consumers.  

Now more than ever before, it is important to have a digital-first strategy by incorporating highly engaging, newsworthy video and photos to help support and communicate that story. Digital assets are a perfect supplement for annual reports, advertising and marketing campaigns, social channels, newsletters, blogs and podcasts pages, to name a few. They can be shared and reshared across multiple platforms, and to multiple audiences and stakeholders utilizing paid, earned, shared and owned opportunities.

News releases incorporating photos of a product launch, an event and a head shot significantly increase visibility for the story. We’ve heard it all before, a picture is worth a thousand words. People believe what they see, and professional photography easily compliments a news release. News releases without images rely on the audience to read every word, something nearly impossible to achieve in today’s news environment.

Use Digital Assets to Supplement News Releases

Photos drive news release visibility and trust. Images and infographics are an excellent way to provide context to your news story. In a single graphic, you can walk audiences in and through your data, your product or showcase your impact across your audiences.

Video takes you that to the next level and provides additional reporting tools for all media (not just broadcast). Video serves compelling sound bites from key personnel and objective third parties to further support the message as does supporting B-roll footage such as product shots, demonstration videos and manufacturing footage. From creation to implementation, people are interested in seeing all aspects of your business and product lines. Explainer videos also offer an excellent way to tell a more complex story.

5 Quick Tips for Maximizing Your Multimedia

  • Quality is important
  • Don’t wear solid black or white, it can skew the lighting
  • Pay attention to photo and video rights
  • Time the distribution of your news and multimedia to match your audience time zone
  • Increase search results by naming your content with your name and related keywords

A Good Media Photo is Truthful

“A good media photo must be truthful from the start,” explains Bob Riha, Jr., Freelance Photojournalist, Former USA Today Contract Photographer and contributing Photographer, Getty Images/Getty Archives. Bob goes on to say, “Professional photojournalists abide by ethics by not altering the original photo. While color corrections, cropping and resizing are allowed, we do not recommend photoshopping out items ‘to make the photo better.’”

Provide a Photo Caption

Photo captions are a key part of your multimedia delivery and should be in AP or similar style. They should exclude flowery language and stick to showcasing the events outlined in the image.  

To increase the likelihood of media usage, keep your caption factual, educational and limited to two to three sentences, max. This is very important. If a photo editor at a publication must stop and re-write a bad caption, it’s easier for them to simply delete or not distribute that image.  

Wire photo editors have said, “Give me a news photo without the PR fluff with a tight photo caption. If your client wants to promote a client or event with excessive PR wording or photo signage everywhere, tell clients to go elsewhere and have them pay to have it distributed to media photo desks.”

If you are unsure of the news worthiness of your multimedia content, work with a professional media photojournalist to find the right stories for the assets you have, and to create new content that truly tells your story in an instant. 

Brand with Images not Logos

Keep your logos to a minimum when sharing multimedia. Step and repeat backdrops with a sponsor’s or a client’s name are the standard now for a ‘red carpet’ event or other press conference announcements. Photo editors expect to see sponsors names (think NASCAR with patches on drivers, or NHRA), but not reaching the obnoxious stage. Placing stickers all over a person, product or client’s spokesperson is over-kill and is highly discouraged. 

Use Video to Enhance Your News Release

Video usage and viewership continue to rise with the ever-changing media landscape and current iteration of digital news delivery. Incorporating these key assets with your story to print/digital newsrooms, broadcast media, bloggers/influencers only helps create a win-win situation. Providing the video helps the reporter create their news packages. Having your video embedded within coverage creates a richer news gathering experience for the journalist and consumer.

While the barriers of entry to video are significantly reduced with 4K iPhone capabilities and laptop editing software, consider working with video professionals to incorporate high quality audio and lighting to put your best digital foot forward. The same goes for assignment photography – work with professional photographers to capture compelling photos that tell your story.

Thanks to digital and mobile delivery platforms, multimedia is emerging as a key communication language for today’s consumers. Organizations that understand this are using multimedia to deepen the emotional relationship between their audience and their products and services. These emotional relationships are driving advocacy and purchases. News releases reach wide range of audiences globally; don’t let the opportunity to shorten your customer journeys pass you by. Include multimedia to help drive the results you need.

Examples of well-done multimedia, by type:

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