PR is Alive & Well In the Information Age

Is PR dead?   According to a post on Marketing Profs today titled How the Information Age Killed Public Relations… and What You Can Do About It, “…Edward Bernays’s flavor of PR is dying, and we’re in the process of watching a whole new era of marketing rise from the ashes.”

According to a recent study sponsored by InPowered and conducted by Nielsen, content marketing is 88% less effective than public relations, due in large part to the outsize influence earned media wields over the public.    Why? It’s simple. Earned media – defined as content created by credible third party experts – consistently provided more benefit to brands than did user generated or branded content.

Source: InPowered & Neilsen

Source: InPowered & Neilsen

Arguably, earned media is more important than ever.  It drives social buzz, has a powerful influence on search ranking, and holds significant sway with audiences, and last time I looked, PR owns earned media generation.

But earned media isn’t the sole preoccupation of PR.  The information age has transformed reputation and influence.  If we’re assessing the health and viability of PR,  we need to ask a couple more questions.

Is reputation management dead? 

Heavens, no, and it’s more important — and visible—than ever.  Online reviews and social buzz have immediate impact on brands today, and can have persistent long-tail effects digitally.  Reputation management is an increasingly complex and vitally important practice.

Do influencers matter?

Any communicator worth their salt knows the value of the influencer.  How do you influence your brand’s influentials?  Building relationships with key media, bloggers and analysts  – the emerging practice of influencer relations – is the cornerstone of building visibility for a brand.

Fact is, PR continues to evolve, and it’s not marketing.  If anything, the information age has created myriad opportunities for public relations practitioners.  I’d argue that we’re entering a golden age for PR.

Today’s PR pros are charged with building brand authority and credibility, devising reputation management strategies and generating the relevant earned media on which strong digital brands are based.     And they’re doing all of this in real time, marshaling and deploying resources, experts and messaging proactively, getting in front of crisis before and finding opportunities for the brands they represent.

Public relations does have a PR problem, and that problem is exacerbated every time a brand or agency engages in a campaign that isn’t authentic.  We are living in an age of radical transparency, and whitewashing unsavory stories doesn’t work.  The truth will out, and it will be ugly for the brand that is attempting to hide it.

But it’s silly to say the profession is dead.  From my point of view, the rapidly-changing discipline of PR only grows more important for brands and organizations as the media and information markets continue to fragment.

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of  the ebook  New School Press Release TacticsFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

10 Insider Tips for Pitching Your Story to the Morning News

Chicago’s morning news shows air earlier and earlier, and local producers have to fill a combined 15 hours of news each morning. However, that doesn’t mean they are an easy sell, since these decision-makers tend to reject 95-98 percent of ideas sent them. What separates stories that air from those that don’t?

A panel, moderated by WGN’s Bill Moller, included Platform Manager Michael Batkins of WMAQ; Producer/Booker Emerald-Jane Hunter of WLS’ Windy City Live!; Supervising Producer Tracy O’Brien of CBS/WBBM; and Executive Producer Sandy Pudar of WGN, offered PR pros insider tips on the pitches that wake them up.

Pitch according to the station’s interests and reference relevant topics that were previously covered

Lackluster pitches showcase little knowledge of the person who is being pitched, the station being pitched and, worst of all, blanket generic pitches. Media experts expect PR professionals to be familiar with their shows and what they are looking for to fill their time. Even though all journalists would like to get exclusives, they appreciate that even when they are given the same guests and topics, the pitches have different spins.

Pudar suggests that PR people “become familiar with what’s being been done and refer to [topics] we’ve covered. [Let us know] you watch our show. Tell us who will be a fit for our program and why. This catches our eye. Avoid boilerplates! It’s all about relationships so show that you are aware of our personalities, our shows, our themes and reference them. Mention names!” Summon your creativity to find a newsy niche to a story.

Include visuals to tell the story

Batkins’ advice is to “Spell out the visual components of the story and show me why it belongs on television. What will we see? What can you provide? I need to know what I am going to get.”

Hunter, whose segments all live online, is a major proponent of creative pitches. “Put thought into your pitch and figure out how to make it interactive so we can have fun with it,” advises Hunter, “Check our Web pages, Facebook, and Twitter. Find ways to tie-in that pitch so it fits.” She also adds that providing a YouTube link for viewing your client on camera in action is key.

Be concise in your text

The panel unanimously admonished the audience against making long-winded or unclear pitches, which are among their greatest pet peeves. Pudar states it bluntly, “I don’t need to know everyone’s history. Just give me one or two sentences saying, ‘This is my client. This is what he can talk about.’”

O’Brien suggests that bulleted pitches are preferable, with Hunter adding that the subject line should be clear, concise and include a news hook.

Use numbers to communicate value to the viewer

“Consider the viewer benefit,” suggest Pudar, “like providing ‘five crunches to flatten your tummy immediately.’”

O’Brien agrees that putting a number with the pitch adds value. “Give me unusual facts we have not heard before, like ‘three things to know before hiring a nanny,’ for example.” She added, “Offer a two-sentence tease line then a fact sheet once you already have us.”

Enhance your pitch with social media

Assistance with social media promotion offers a slight edge. “Social media has changed media pitching dramatically. Everyone can get the word out much faster about what we have coming up and what we’ve just done, “ O’Brien explains, “We find more breaking news on Twitter and Instagram. Promise us a client who is big with social media and will blast when they’ll be on TV and retweet it to show your traffic. If you can get that done, you may get on.”

Don’t be overly promotional

Never make a pitch that is too self-serving or merely a product commercial. Moller acknowledges that “telling stories about clients may not have been something the client wanted, but if it gets them on the air via a ‘soft sell,’ it will help polish their brand.”

Be aware of each station’s specific lead times

“If you get a ‘no,’ it might just be about timing,” explains Hunter, whose guests on Windy City Live! are booked three to four weeks in advance. However, if your pitch is especially good, keep in mind that it may be archived in case they need to fill a gap at the last minute. Other guests on the panel preferred pitches with only two weeks lead time to avoid feeling overwhelmed unless there is an approaching holiday.

Do not pressure producers for an immediate response to your pitch

Another one of O’Brien’s pet peeves is being harassed by phone several minutes after receiving an email pitch. “Give me a day or two to follow up with you if I am interested,” she says, “but if I am not interested, I am not interested”

Hunter on the other hand, would rather not receive phone calls at all, “When I am on the phone, I am distracted. If it is written, I can track it down. Phone pitches never work.” Remember not to oversell, overpromise or act pretentious.

Showcase your client’s expertise

All media love when professionals are tuned into the news and can offer sources proactively. “If there is something in the news, I love to get a note in my inbox offering a source. It really makes my job easier,” said Pudar.

If you’ve seen a segment covered on a different show and have an even more qualified expert to offer on the subject, don’t be shy about pitching them as well. O’Brien says to “Know the personalities of the different anchors and try different things. Tie stories to a news peg.” She greatly appreciates expert opinions when it comes to stories that involve schools, communities, and large groups of people where “there’s a lot of action and emotion.”

Prepare your guest with proper media training

Potential guests must be passionate and comfortable public speakers who can tell the audience something they don’t already know. Under most circumstances, it is best for guests to do their interviews live from the studio rather than using unreliable video conferencing such as Skype. If they can be flexible about the times they can appear, it reflects positively on you and your client. “If someone can come into the studio at 4 a.m., that goes a long way with us!” says Pudar.

Want to learn more about pitching your client to the morning news? Our ProfNet Connect service can help you showcase your client’s expertise directly to the media. Follow the link to learn more: http://www.profnetconnect.com/

sueAuthor Sue Masaracchia-Roberts is a crisis management and media relations expert and a member of the ProfNet Connect community.

3 Tips for Employing Compelling Visuals in Your Storytelling Strategy

Employing Visual Content for Compelling Storytelling DC

Speakers from these brands will be featured at PR Newswire’s “Employing Visual Content for Compelling Storytelling” event in Washington, D.C. on April 22

In today’s digital age, we are all viewing, sharing, or creating multimedia content on a daily basis to fulfill a variety of educational and emotional needs. Given the enormous presence of visuals in our personal lives, the importance of organizations producing this type of content to garner higher visibility, spark interaction, generate leads, and build loyalty among target audiences is unquestionable, but still a challenge for many. Marketing and communications experts from leading organizations will be tackling this subject at PR Newswire’s “Employing Visual Content for Compelling Storytelling” forum tomorrow in Washington, D.C., but offered a few words of advice before the event on how visual content developers can strengthen their efforts.

Balance creativity with your business strategy

Peter LaMotte, senior vice president and digital communications chair at Levick, describes the balance between creativity and business strategy as two separate but supportive halves of every visual content strategy. “We tend to focus a lot on the creativity aspect,” he says, “but if there is no connection to the business strategy or marketing strategy, it’s going to fall flat.”

Some marketers make the mistake of creating content that is culturally popular but not necessarily suited for their clients or business goals, which can be confusing for the demographic they are trying to reach. “If your content becomes viral and highly shareable in a group that can have no influence on your business, then you’ve wasted a lot of time, money and effort,” asserts LaMotte, “however, if a fraction of that size of individuals are engaged yet its dead in the right of who you want to reach, then it can be worth every penny spent.”

Balance your efforts by aiming for high levels of engagement with all of your content using a call-to-action. It can be as simple as an implied way of thinking to build awareness of certain campaigns, or directing viewers to a website, form, or social media page. Engagement is what will get your audience to pay attention to your messages.

Create easy access to your content

One of the ways that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety helps make cars and highways safer is by producing high quality visuals such as slow-motion footage of crash tests that are compelling for the media and supplies them with the elements they need to tell their story. According to the organization’s Senior Vice President of Communications, Russ Rader, not making your visual content readily accessible for the media is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

“It’s often a challenge for the media to get the content that they want and need to tell their story,” Rader says, “when we send out releases, we include all of the visual material in easy-to-access links so media can download hi-res images and video. I often hear from reporters that they have to contact PR people to get what they need and then the response comes way too late for them to use what was sent.” Through syndication, your content can reach a wider audience, generate awareness, and earns timely media for your organization.

Determine what metrics matter the most for your brand

“The web allows a variety of ways to measure the impact of content. Downloads, page views, branded search trends, and social sentiment analysis are just a few,” says Ryan Smedstad, director of creative services at Penske Truck Leasing, “but, there’s not one single method for measurement. Ultimately, you have to decide what metrics matter most for your brand.”

LaMotte’s advice is to measure your content based on the KPI’s and calls-to-action of your organization’s larger marketing strategy. “For a campaign that has a very clear CTA, it makes it very easy to see what the impact of that content is. For content that is more about brand awareness or issue, then it’s going to require a smarter strategy around measurement,” he explains, “at the end of day, it’s about those KPI’s that you have already established in the marketing strategy or in the onset of a campaign that you have to stick with because that’s what is going drive creating the content to begin with and that’s how you have to measure the content in the end.”

If you are in the Washington, D.C. area and would like to attend the event, there’s still time! Follow the link to register for “Employing Visual Content for Compelling story” now: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/employing-visual-content-for-compelling-storytelling-dc-registration-10071302537

MEDIA News: Media Moves at Thomson Reuters, Southern Living, Daily Mail and More…,

http://prnbloggers.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/agility-logo.png?w=127&h=125&h=125PR Newswire’s Audience Research Department makes thousands of updates to the  database of journalists and bloggers that underpins our Agility media targeting and distribution platform.  Below is a sampling of recent media moves and news from the research team.  Learn more about Agility media targeting here.

Thomson Reuters Thomson Reuters – Washington Bureau (Washington, DC): Former Washington Post Reporter Howard Schneider (@hpschneider) joins the financial team to cover the Federal Reserve.

Southern Living Southern Living (Birmingham, AL): Sid Evans has been announced as the new Editor-in-Chief @Southern_Living.

Daily Mail US Daily Mail – Washington Bureau (Washington, DC): Francesca Chambers (@fran_chambers) joins the DC Bureau @DailyMailUS as a Correspondent.

Harper's Bazaar Harper’s Bazaar (New York, NY): Lucy Silberman (@lucysilb) has been named Managing Editor @harpersbazaarus.

Washington Post The Washington Post (Washington, DC): Former St. Louis Dispatch Reporter Todd Frankel (@tcfrankel) signs on as a Financial Reporter.

Wall Street Journal The Wall Street Journal (New York, NY): Reporter Sudeep Reddy (@Reddy) has been promoted to Deputy Global Economics Editor @WSJ. In addition, Tim Aeppel (@TimAeppel) is now Senior Economics Correspondent.

MercNews Bay Area News Group (San Francisco, CA): Editor David Butler was named Editor-in-Chief for Digital First Media. Butler will oversee news content for 75 daily newspapers including the San Jose Mercury News plus weeklies & digital.

SF Examiner San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, CA): Michael Howerton (@mchowerton) is the new Editor-in-Chief @sfexaminer.

DespiertaAmeric Univision Network – Despierta America (Miami, FL):  Paul Stanley (@PAULSTANLEYD) has joined the cast of Univision’s (@Univision) morning show (@DespiertaAmeric).

Good Housekeeping Good Housekeeping (New York, NY): Meaghan Murphy (@meaghanbmurphy) comes aboard as a new Executive Editor (@goodhousemag).

Red Alert Politics Red Alert Politics (Washington, DC): Chris Deaton (@cgdeaton) is the new Managing Editor at this conservative political site.

The New Yorker The New Yorker (New York, NY): Ex-American Prospect Web Editor Clare Malone (@ClareMalone) moves to NYC to become a Research Editor @NewYorker.

Food & Wine magazine Food & Wine (New York, NY): Sarah DiGregorio (@SarahDiGregorio) joins @foodandwine as Senior Food Editor.

Bloomberg View Bloomberg View (New York, NY): Mohamed A. El-Erian is a new daily Economics Columnist @BV.

mySA San Antonio Express-News (San Antonio, TX): Jennifer McInnis (@JenMcInnis) is the new Food & Drink Editor @mySA.

Concord Monitor News Concord Monitor (Concord, NH): City Editor Steve Leone was promoted to Editor for the @ConMonitorNews.

Mainebiz Mainebiz (Portland, ME): Beginning in early May, Peter Van Allen will begin his new duties as Editor of @Mainebiz

BuzzFeed Buzzfeed (@Buzzfeed): Molly Hensley-Clancy (@Molly_HC) is now the Business of Education Reporter.

Inc. Inc. Magazine (New York, NY): Jon Fine (@JonFine) is now an Executive Editor and David Whitford (@DavidWhitford) is Editor-at-Large.

ProPublica ProPublica (@ProPublica) (info@propublica.org): Ginger Thompson (info@propublica.org) will be joining ProPublica as a Senior Reporter.

TIME.com Time.com (@Time) (letters@time.com): Nolan Feeney (@NolanFeeney) signs on as a Reporter.

Women's Health Women’s Health (New York, NY): Jen Ator (@jen_ator), who was previously the Senior Editor of Fitness is now the Fitness Director @WomensHealthMag.

Deadspin Deadspin (New York, NY): Former Deputy Editor of Spin Magazine, Rob Harvilla (@harvilla is now the Culture Editor at Deadspin (@Deadspin).

Entertainment Weekly Entertainment Weekly (New York, NY): Kyle Ryan has (@Kyle_Ryan) joins (@EW) as Editor from Managing Editor at The A.V. Club.

Yahoo Yahoo! (@Yahoo) (media@yahoo-inc.com): Bobbi Brown (media@yahoo-inc.com) will be the new Editor-in-Chief for Beauty section of Yahoo!. Joe Zee (@MrJoeZee) will be the new Editor-in-Chief and Executive Creative Officer of Fashion at Yahoo!.

Good Morning America (New York, NY): Tony Reali (@AroundTheHorn) (gmabooking@abctv.com) has been added to the staff @GMA as Social Media Contributor. He will continue his duties as Host of @AroundTheHorn.

New York Daily News New York Daily News (New York, NY): “The Real Deal” Senior Reporter Katherine Clarke (@KathyClarkeNYC) will edit the Real Estate section of @NYDailyNews beginning 4/28/14.

ABC News ABC News (New York, NY): National Talk Show Host, Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) joins ABC News (@ABC) as a Contributor.

PCMag PC Magazine (New York, NY): Alex Colon (@alexandergcolon) has been named the New Senior Consumer Electronics Analyst @PCMag.

Xconomy Xconomy (Cambridge, MA): Alex Lash (@alexlash) joins the team @Xconomy as a Biopharma Editor.

MEDIAware’s full weekly version can be found at: www.prnewswire.com/knowledge-center/medi…

PR Newswire’s Audience Research Department provides daily updates on Twitter (twitter.com/PRNmedia).

Detailed outlet and contact information is available at agility.prnewswire.com.

Content We Love: A ‘Snap’-py Approach to Social Media

ContentWeLove

Though the world of #selfies seems to be dominated by teenagers, they aren’t the only ones turning cameras on themselves. Brands are now incorporating the wildly popular form of content creation to connect with their social audiences, a topic we’ve been tackling in our ongoing event series “How to Keep Your Content Relevant in the Age of the Selfie.”

Grey Panda LastSelfieA recent release by Grey Group  and The World WildLife Fund titled, “ Grey And The World Wildlife Fund Use Snapchat To Raise Awareness Of Endangered  ” debuted a new social media campaign on Snapchat called the #LastSelfie, to raise awareness about the diminishing population of tigers, rhinos, orangutans, pandas and polar bears. The campaign encourages Snapchat users to share images created by the WWF of these animals utilizing the platform’s short lifespan to transmit the real message: these animals are in danger of disappearing. The press release tactics incorporated into this announcement showcase Grey Group and WWF’s thorough understanding of where their desired audience is engaging and the types of content that will be most interesting to them.

Powerful visual assets paired with minimal text

Organizations are becoming attuned to the fact that attention spans are shrinking and communication is shifting from a text-based to image-based approach. The WWF forfeits lengthy text in favor of three visual assets including video, which amplifies their message exponentially. They have allowed their message to reach not just Snapchat, but Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and all other social platforms where their target demographic is engaging with primarily visual content.

A perceptive and targeted approach to social engagement

The WWF covers largely uncharted social territory by targeting their selfie campaign to Snapchat. The mobile app has become a hit among a younger demographic due to the user’s ability to send photos and videos to peers that disappear forever within seconds of being viewed. WWF is tactfully mirroring this idea to raise awareness of endangered animals to a new generation of activists. It is a targeted approach to social engagement that demonstrates a true understanding of this platform and the kinds of messages that will resonate with its users.

Now that social media has solidified its place as a necessary part of communicating for brands and consumers alike, the audiences on these channels have evolved. Using social media platforms with purpose instead of a scattered approach targets your message to the people most important to it and indicates  the types of content that you should be creating for that audience. Congrats to Grey Group and the WWF on their social-savvy communications efforts!

Author Alyse Lamparyk is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Follow her on twitter @alyselamp.

5 Ways Journalists Use LinkedIn for Research and Reporting

 

Data courtesy of the Oriella Digital Journalism Survey, image via MediaBistro

Data courtesy of the Oriella Digital Journalism Survey, image via MediaBistro

LinkedIn has come a long way from its start as a conduit for creating professional connections.

In fact, LinkedIn quickly is making inroads into newsrooms as a place for research, sourcing, and listening, allowing journalists to follow issues and pull stories out of conversations.

Journalists can keep their ears open for nuggets through groups on LinkedIn, said Yumi Wilson, a corporate communications manager with the Mountain View, Calif.-based company.

“With groups, if you just want to follow new technology or mobile, you can find what people are saying about different companies,” Wilson said. “Journalists can follow groups, participate in discussions, and solicit feedback.”

LinkedIn also consistently is adding new tools to help users be more productive and successful in their business.

Here are 5 ways journalists are using LinkedIn:

  • Sharing stories. There are 1.5 million publishers currently using the LinkedIn share button on their sites. This includes traditional news organizations and media, such as Mashable, TechCrunch, and Gigaom.
  • Increased story visibility. LinkedIn acquired Pulse about a year ago. This means stories from those publishers with the share button are being featured in Pulse. Wilson explained the algorithm to display stories is based on an individual’s customizations and the publishers they’re following. The same happens with trending stories on LinkedIn, which takes place when many people share a particular story.
  • Following companies and employees. Journalists are staying on top of companies and running searches of employees there to see those with LinkedIn profiles. Watching a particular company’s job listings – and the types of job listings – is a clear indication it’s in the market to grow and expand.
  • Keyword search for research or story ideas. Wilson used the example of the Facebook acquisition of WhatsApp. When the story broke in February, Wilson was in a training with Bloomberg reporters, who wanted to find WhatsApp members with LinkedIn profiles. The search was successful, and it came up organically, Wilson said.
  • Looking up sources. The advanced search function on LinkedIn allows journalists to find and connect with people for stories.

LinkedIn also is unveiling long-form publishing beyond their Influencers program. This feature is being rolled out in stages, with initial access available to about 25,000 members. It will be a great benefit to writers, or those wanting to share certain insights, Wilson said.

“It means I can write a longer post and not just a personal update and share it on LinkedIn,” Wilson said. “If someone likes it, they can follow me.”

LinkedIn celebrated its 10th birthday last year. Its membership is staggering: 277 million worldwide, of whom roughly 100 million reside in the United States and Canada.

To meet this incredible demand, LinkedIn beefed up its corporate presence, expanding staff from 2,100 employees in 2012 to 5,000 employees this year.

Learn more about LinkedIn for journalists on the site’s Press Center.

Christine Cube is a media relations manager with PR Newswire and freelance writer. She’s absolutely on LinkedIn. Follow her on Twitter @cpcube.

5 Best Practices for a Visual Content Marketing Strategy

visual content marketing summit

Today’s consumer is engaging with primarily visual content across a variety of devices and social channels on a daily basis. Due to this shift from text-based to image-based communications, it is proven that multimedia content experiences a greater amount of exposure and longer shelf-life among audiences, making visual storytelling more imperative for brands than ever before. Business Development Institute and PR Newswire recently co-hosted the “Visual Content Marketing and Communications Summit” which offered valuable best practices for how organizations can harness images, videos, and platforms to provide content that allows them to build, engage, and leverage their audiences.

Find the balance between content your audience is interested in while mapping to your business objectives.

“Your content must grab your audience’s attention and offer them a clear path to your brand,” says PR Newswire’s Chief Executive Officer, Ninan Chacko, “there is always an opportunity to link to more in-depth content, so don’t worry about getting the ‘war and peace’ version into the first teaser.” A coordinated approach such as an editorial calendar can ensure that your organization is sending out a steady stream of fresh content that does not overwhelm the audience with information. For example, a video can be curated into an infographic, which can be shared in a blog post, and distributed via press release and social media. Using a mix of content and distribution channels will ensure that your message reaches the greatest potential audience that returns the leads to help you meet your business goals.

Surprise and delight your audience with images that represent your brand

General Electric’s Global Manager of Digital Marketing, Katrina Craigwell, notes that driving interest among the next generation of shareholders is a top priority within her company’s content strategy.  As an innovator in science and technology, GE targeted enthusiasts with similar interests by sharing a video of a short science experiment on Twitter’s Vine app using the hashtag #6secondscience. The response around this post was so powerful that the company was able to launch a full blown #6secondscience social media campaign that creates and curates user-generated Vines capturing the miracles of science. Its element of surprise is what drove visibility and engagement for the GE brand.

Curalate’s SVP of Brand Strategy, Deb Berman, advises content creators that even if your business isn’t selling a tangible product or service, think about your business goals, who you’re trying to reach, and what they would care about. From there, push yourself to derive images, even if they are abstract, that speak to your brand voice and also surprise and delight audiences.

Capitalize on SEO and business intelligence opportunities by observing social media interactions

Over 1 billion images are shared across all social media channels daily, presenting a major opportunity for brands to learn what their fans are interested in. Trending hashtags and content tagging on image driven platforms like Pinterest and Instagram is an important indicator of how consumers are searching for and categorizing similar products, which you can use to your advantage in marketing campaigns that drive SEO. Compare the images that are most popular against the ones that are not and make note of the slight nuances that audiences seem to appreciate. “You don’t necessarily need to know why, you just need to know what is performing better and make sure it is shared,” Berman states frankly. Additionally, leveraging user generated content is a cost effective approach to marketing that directly engages your brand ambassadors.

curalate

via Deb Berman, SVP Brand Strategy, Curalate

Establish a brand experience that is identifiable without your logo

“A logo shows ownership – but everyone has a logo. What are you doing to differentiate yourself beyond the logo?” says Jessica Lauria, director of brand communications at Chobani. Content that is branding heavy overpowers your message and makes it less shareable to a wide audience. Also, if you’re sharing content on owned social channels, then people already know it’s coming from you. Use that opportunity to elevate the conversation and show people what they don’t know about your product or service without overt branding.

Build a narrative around your images that will be memorable to your audience  

According to Matt Peters, founder and creative director at Pandemic Labs, “Visuals make an impact. Visuals with stories make memories.” Therefore, if the story comes first, not all of the visual content you create has to be of the highest production value in order for it to resonate. For example, the Ritz Carlton used Instagram to tell the story of a stuffed giraffe that got lost on a family vacation, which strayed from the usual hi-res images of luxury getaways that audiences might normally associate with their brand, but told a memorable story that others would want to share.

“By using multimedia, you’re creating the best content in context experience” states Chacko, “think about how you want to visualize as you are creating your message.” Employing visuals in your content marketing strategy feeds your audience with the content that they crave on a daily basis and cements your brand’s longevity in an increasingly competitive market.

ShannonAuthor Shannon Ramlochan is PR Newswire’s Content Marketing Coordinator. Follow her on Twitter @sramloch.