by Chelsie Pope
PARAMOUNT PITCHING: How to Create Visual Press Releases to Successfully Pitch Your Story
Press releases are paramount in effectively distributing news about your organization, but press releases can also be used as a tool to brand your organization through stories.
There are thousands of press releases sent to various media outlets on a daily basis—captivating stories that involve crime, sentiment and even the bizarre. So, what does it take for your press release to stand out and grasp the attention of journalists?
There is one word that is the solution for taking a standard press release and transforming it into a pitch-worthy release that is perfect for pitching your story—visuals.
As human beings, our brains are trained to process visuals fast and commit them to memory. In regards to press releases, the ones that incorporate multimedia components garner up to 9.7 times more visibility than text only press releases.
Here are a few easy ways to incorporate visuals in your press release and help you pitch a your organization’s stories in compelling and powerful way:
MAKE IT PICTURE PERFECT | Photos as Visuals
Adding photos to your press release is the simplest technique to incorporate visuals in your press release. Using photos in conjunction with text can help you to create content that will tell your organization’s story in a way that is easy to translate into news stories. There are several characteristics that contribute to deciding whether or not a photo should be included in a press release, but before the first step is to determine the purpose. Once that is determined make sure that your photo has these characteristics:
- Captures an emotion
SHARE YOUR STORY | Social Media Sharing
Journalists find most of the stories that they report through search engines. In fact, 92 percent of journalists use search engines to research stories and 81 percent of journalists use search engines on a daily basis. Sharing your organization’s story on social media is a great way to reach journalists, but how do you make your content shareable to that is shows up more frequently in search in results? Add compelling images or video clips to increase the rate of sharing. To make the most of your social media press release, make sure to include:
- A brief description of the announcement and why it is important
- Compelling photos or video
- Relevant tags such as Twitter hashtags or Facebook fan pages
- Contact information
THROW IN A LITTLE B-ROLL | Video for Journalists
Video is one of the most powerful of all of the visuals because of its effectiveness in demonstrating emotion and conveying messages. In fact, press releases with video components get 55.4 percent more views than those without video. B-Roll is a specific type of video footage captured to enrich a news story. Broadcast reporters use b-roll to bring stories to life to help the audience get a better picture why the story is important. There are several approaches to creating b-roll, and once you have found the right approach follow these steps to b-roll that will help you pitch your best story:
- Begin with a plan and make sure you clearly outlined what your goal is and what it would take to reach the goal.
- Decide what types of images you want to capture.
- Make sure that you send your file to journalists in a format that can be downloaded.
RENEW THE OLD FACTS | From Facts to Visuals
When you want to communicate a story that is heavy on the facts, translating those facts into an infographic is a great way to use visuals to tell the story. Developing an infographic is the best way to give data meaning and provide the audience with context for the information. When creating infographics you want to make sure that you keep these tips in mind:
- Keep it simple and easy to understand.
- Keep it concise so that you don’t lose your audience.
- Keep in mind the message you want to convey to your readers and make sure that your design stays consistent.
Ultimately, the purpose of sending a press release is to tell your organization’s story and make sure that you pitch it in a way that will catch the attention of journalists. You have the amazing opportunity to take control of how your story is told by incorporating visuals that will not only convey your message, but will reach the audience intended.
For more information and examples on how to incorporate visuals in your press releases, watch my webinar!
Chelsie Pope | Georgetown University, Cause Consultant | Twitter, @MissPRology | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/chelsiepope | Email: email@example.com
Chelsie Pope is a Master’s Candidate at the award-winning Public Relations and Corporate Communications program at Georgetown University. Chelsie has experience working with visuals with her experience in publishing and has worked closely with journalists with her experience at a local news station. She currently works for the program as a Communications Assistant and has created visual content and developed digital strategy to further promote a positive reputation for the program.