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The Growing Impact of Visuals on Integrated Communications

Comms RoundtableAccording to Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends Report, the average article reaches half of its total social referrals within 6.5 hours on Twitter and 9 hours on Facebook. In other words, content grows old quickly, and communicators have only a fleeting moment to make a memorable brand impression on audiences scrolling through an endless stream of information on their newsfeeds. Amy Binder, owner and CEO at RFBinder Partners joined PR Newswire’s Senior Vice President of marketing, Ken Wincko, for an exclusive roundtable discussion on the growing impact of visual communications in integrated campaigns. The conversation explored various case studies and successful tactics that brands should incorporate into their visual storytelling strategies.

Create a steady stream of content

Expertise and time are two of the major challenges that content creators are facing, which can hinder the effectiveness of campaigns. “62% of marketers are building content on a case by case basis,” cites Wincko from a 2014 Forrester report, “but content should create an ongoing relationship.” If content is created on a case by case basis alone, it will only cater to a portion of the complete buyer’s journey.

To navigate these obstacles, communicators can reuse the content they’ve already created and reformat it for different platforms. Sites such as CEO.com are making use of “charticles,” which essentially cut the text of traditional articles in half and replaces it with informative and visually appealing charts and graphs. These charts and graphs can stand on their own on social media, as well as circulated within other types of content such as press releases or email campaigns.

CEO.com Charticle

Take advantage of a trending topic that applies to your brand

Leveraging the popularity of a trending topic is a great way to attract views for your content, but the context of a trending topic has to make sense for the brand to avoid seeming like a forced attempt at getting attention. Binder pinpoints Tide’s recent Game of Thrones themed infographic titled, “A Season of Stains” as a brilliant example of using visuals to spark social media engagement and grab headlines. “The brand leveraged pop culture in an innovative way by taking a trending concept and applying it to their business,” Binder says of the infographic, which was tweeted the day after the television series’ highly anticipated season finale. The context made perfect sense;“memorable stains” highlighted in the infographic such as blood, dirt, and grass that accrue on the battle fields in Game of Thrones are some of the same stains that parents struggle to wash off of their children’s clothing.

Convey your message faster by keeping it simple 

In the precious seconds that brands have to attract the interest of their audience, clear and concise messages are the most effective. “If it’s simple you can scan it and see it at the same time,” Binder explains, “If you want them to grasp the concept as quickly as possible, something has to strike them.” Truvia’s “Keep Calm” meme is an example of very simple-yet-effective visual content. It contains minimal branding, and captures the passions of their target consumers with a short and memorable phrase.

truvia

 

 

 

 

Your influencers are evolving – know who they are

The types of interactions that companies should have with their customers are greatly dependent on what the business is trying to sell, so there is no single approach to communications that will meet the needs of every brand. This is where the power of strong relationships with online influencers such as bloggers, journalists, analysts, and their respective networks has the greatest impact. Brands should listen to their influencers and gain insight on what types of content they are looking for and learn who can share that content in order to earn third party credibility. Binder reminds communicators that a brand’s influencers can change over time, and their feelings towards certain topics can evolve as well. Effective communicators stay up to date on what those perspectives are and respond appropriately.

Do not oversell

Binder notes that often times, ad agencies that are participating in social media tend to lean towards traditional sales pitches that are no longer effective. “In the debate between advertising versus PR, PR will win,” asserts Binder, “people don’t want to be sold to, they want to be engaged. If they sell, it goes against what social media is all about.”

The standards of visuals are raising now that more rich content is being created, which means that brands need to figure out additional ways of amplifying those messages to stand out. The key is to use visuals as a way to capture a story that is unique to the brand in order to leave a positive and long-lasting impression on the audience.

Note for PR Newswire members only: you can organize your visuals for quick and easy deployment using Media Studio in the Online Member Center. Click here to create a gallery or learn more

ShannonShannon Ramlochan is PR Newswire’s content marketing coordinator. Tweet her your favorite examples of branded visual content @sramloch

MEDIA News: Media Moves at: People, Quartz, The Washington Examiner 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.

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

The Washington Examiner (Washington, DC): The Hill’s Editor-in-Chief Hugo Gurdon (@hgurdon) has left to join the Examiner as Editorial Director.

The Hill (Washington, DC): Managing Editor Bob Cusack (@BobCusack) has been promoted to Editor-in-Chief @thehill. News Editor Ian Swanson (@iswanTheHill) is the new Managing Editor. And Dustin Weaver takes over the News Editor role.

People Magazine (New York, NY): Alexandra Brez begins at @Peoplemag as Director of Editorial Operations.

Hispanic Market Weekly (Coral Gables, FL): Diego Vasquez (@TheDiegoVasquez) is the new Editorial Director @HispanicMktWkly taking over for Cynthia Corzo, who will become a Contributing Editor.

Quartz (New York, NY): Indrani Sen (@IndraniNY) is the new Deputy News Editor @qz. And former American Banker Editor-in-Chief Heather Landy (@HeatherLandy) is the new Global News Editor.

The New York Times (New York, NY): Former Environment Reporter Kia Gregory (@kiagregory) has switched beats @nytimes to cover the new Manhattan beat. Sam Sifton (@SamSifton) has become Editor of the new Food section. Former Dining Editor Susan Edgerley (@nytedgerley) will be the Deputy Editor of this section.

Bloomberg Businessweek (New York, NY): Natalie Kitroeff (@nataliekitro) joins @BW as an Education Reporter. Also, joining the publication is Joshua Topolsky, who will serve as an Editor for a series of online projects.

The Washington Post (Washington, DC): Capital Business Reporter Sarah Halzack (@sarahhalzack) switches to the Post to be the National Retailing Reporter. And Jorge Castillo will be covering the Washington Wizards and NBA this Fall as a Sports Reporter @washingtonpost.

Runner’s World (Emmaus, PA): Paul Collins is now the Associate Publisher @runnersworld.

Advertising Age (New York, NY): Malika Touré (@MalikaZeinab) is a new Reporter @adage.

Good Housekeeping (New York, NY): Kristen Mascia (@kmascia) becomes Features Editor at @goodhousemag. Lori Bergamotto (@loribergamotto) is the new Style Director. And Kristen Saladino (@KristenSaladino) takes over the Fashion Director role.

Bon Appetit (New York, NY): Features Editor Carla Lalli Music (@lallimusic)  has switched gears and become the Food Editor @bonappetit.

The Atlantic (Washington, DC): CNN foreign affairs expert Fareed Zakaria (@FareedZakaria) is now a Contributing Editor at The Atlantic. He will also continue his column for The Washington Post too.
Politico (Arlington, VA): Washington Post Editorial Writer Eva Rodriguez takes on the Senior Editor role of the magazine.

Florida Trend (Saint Petersburg, FL): Amy Martinez (@amyemartinez) joins @FloridaTrend as Associate Editor. Most recently she was a Business Reporter for the Seattle Times.

South Florida Business Journal (Fort Lauderdale, FT): Calia Ampel (@CeliaAmpel) joins the staff @SFlaBizJournal as a Reporter covering technology and venture capital.

Food Network Magazine (New York, NY): Yasmin Sabir (@AboutTheFood) is the new Senior Associate Editor @FoodNetwork.

NPR (Washington, DC): Veteran Journalist Margot Adler (@MargotAdler) passed away after losing her fight to cancer. Margot was with NPR for more than three decades.

TCTMD (New York, NY): Todd Neale (@ToddNeale) climbs aboard this cardiovascular site (http://www.tctmd.com) to be a Senior Associate Editor

Houston Business Journal (Houston, TX): Paul Takahashi (@HBJpaul) signs on as a Real Estate Reporter @HOUBizJournal.

Men’s Journal (New York, NY): Former Outside Magazine Research Editor Ryan Krogh (@RyanKrogh) is now a Senior Editor @MensJournal.

Climate Central (Princeton, NJ): John Upton (@johnupton) is joining the team @ClimateCentral in mid-August as a Reporter.

Macon Telegraph (Macon, GA): High School Sports Editor Jonathan Heeter (@heets_tweets) has switched positions at the paper and now works as a Digital Producer.

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

You can view the full version of MEDIAware here: http://www.prnewswire.com/knowledge-center/MEDIAwareAugust42014.html

MEDIA News: Media Moves at: Fortune, The Huffington Post, Politico 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.

Fortune (New York, NY): Alan Murray (@alansmurray) is set to become Editor @FortuneMagazine. He most recently held the role of Deputy Managing Editor at The Wall Street Journal before joining Fortune and succeeding Andy Serwer.

The Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com): Katie Nelson (@katienelson) is set to join @HuffingtonPost on August 6th as National Editor.

POLITICO (Arlington, VA): Former Washingtonian Editor-in-Chief Garrett Graff is now a Senior Staff Writer @politico.

The Wall Street Journal (New York, NY): Laura Bird (@LauraBird03) is now Deputy Editor of the Personal Journal section @WSJ.

Glamour (New York, NY): Latoya Valmont is now the Managing Editor @glamourmag. Valmont served as Production Director before she was tapped to fill the void left by Nancy Gillen who moved to Marie Claire (@marieclaire).

Advertising Age (New York, NY): Natalie Zmuda (@nzmuda) was promoted from Marketing Editor to Deputy Managing Editor @adage.

Alaska Dispatch News (Anchorage, AK): The Anchorage Daily News has changed its name to Alaska Dispatch News (@adndotcom).

COMSTOCK’S (Sacramento, CA): Managing Editor Christine Calvin has been promoted to Editor here. She replaces Doug Curley, who had been at the publication for a decade.

GQ (New York, NY): Jon Tietz joins the staff @GQMagazine as Fashion Editor.

Brides (New York, NY): Shane Mancenido-Clark joins @Brides as Senior Fashion and Accessories Editor.

Marie Claire (New York, NY): Janet Mock joins the team @marieclaire as a Contributing Editor.

Hollywood Life (Los Angeles, CA): Carolyn Davis is the new Managing Editor for @hollywoodlife.

The Hollywood Reporter (Los Angeles, CA): Chris Gardner joins @thr as a Staff Writer from MSN.

CNN – Washington Bureau (Washington, DC): Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott has been named Global Affairs Correspondent @CNN.

South Magazine (Savannah, GA): This magazine (@south_mag) about Southern flair has hired Corrie Dyke as Managing Editor. She previously worked at The Georgetowner and The Downtowner.

The Jersey Journal (Secaucus, NJ): Managing Editor Margaret Schmidt will become the new Editor @jerseyjournal on August 1st.

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.

You can view the full version of MEDIAware here: http://www.prnewswire.com/knowledge-center/MEDIAwareJuly282014.html

MEDIA News: Media Moves at: The Philadelphia Inquirer, NBC News, CNN 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.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA): Deputy Managing Editor of Features Sandra Clark (@SandraClarkInq) was promoted to Managing Editor/Features/Operations/Digital. Deputy Managing Editor/News Gabriel Escobar (@escobarinquirer) becomes Managing Editor/News & Digital @PhillyInquirer.

Energy Xtra (Washington, DC): This new blog (http://blogs.rollcall.com/energy-xtra/) produced by CQ/Roll Call covers the energy sector. Energy & Environment Reporter Randy Leonard (@RandyLeonard) is the main blogger.

NBC News – Washington Bureau (Washington, DC): Former KCRA-TV Correspondent Hallie Jackson (@HallieJackson) signs on @NBCNews as a Washington Correspondent.

The Washington Post (Washington, DC): Abby Ohlheiser (@abbyohlheiser) joins the team as a General Assignment Reporter. Also, former Star-Ledger Reporter Amy Ellis Nutt will join the staff @washingtonpost on Sept 15th.

CNN – New York Bureau (New York, NY): Former Fox News Anchor Alisyn Camerota (@AlisynCamerota) has joined @CNN as Anchor.

Maxim (New York, NY): Kevin Martinez is named Publisher @MaximMag.

Travel + Leisure (New York, NY): After 21 years, Nancy Novogrod (@TLNancy) is retiring from @TravlandLeisure.

The New York Times (New York, NY): Former @WSJ Reporter Alexandra Alter (@xanalter) is now @nytimes as a Publishing Industry Reporter. Also, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger is made Senior Editor of Strategy at the publication.

San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, CA): Angela Salazar departs from InStyle to join @sfchronicle as Deputy Style Editor.

The Hollywood Reporter (Los Angeles, CA): Jon Frosch (@jon_frosch) is the new Reviews Editor @thr. Frosch was most recently the Film Critic/Editor for France24.

Los Angeles Business Journal (Los Angeles, CA): Cale Ottens (@CaleOttens) will be joining @LABJNews as a Business Reporter in August.

Billboard (New York, NY): Joe Lynch (@branniganlynch) comes aboard @billboard as a Staff Writer.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, MO): Samantha Liss (@samanthann) has joined the paper (@stltoday) as a Reporter, covering the healthcare industry. She was previously with the St. Louis Business Journal.

WeatherNation (Denver, CO): Rhonda Lee is joining the network (@WeatherNation) as a Meteorologist. She was previously at KTBS-TV in Shreveport, LA.

Coastal Living (Birmingham, AL): Lindsay Lambert (@LLBeanTown) has been hired by @CoastalLiving as its new Managing Editor.

Texas Monthly (Austin, TX): Senior Executive Editor @TexasMonthly Brian Sweany (@Brian_Sweany) has been promoted to Editor-in-Chief of the magazine.

Harper’s Bazaar (New York, NY): Mallory Schlau (@malschlau) has been promoted to Senior Market Editor @harpersbazaarus.

Glamour (New York, NY): Jessica Sailer was named Fashion Market Director @glamourmag.

The Daily Meal (@TheDailyMeal): Kate Kolenda (@TheConversant) is joining the outlet as the new Restaurant and City Guide Editor.

Gawker (@Gawker): News and gossip site @Gawker welcomes Leah Finnegan (@LeahFinnegan) as its new Senior Editor.

Marie Claire (New York, NY): Nancy Gillen joins @MarieClaire as Managing Editor.

Teen Vogue (New York, NY): Marina Larroude (@marinalarroude) has been added as Fashion Director @TeenVogue.

Center for Investigative Reporting (Berkeley, CA): Robert Salladay (@bobsalladay) has been promoted from Managing Editor to Editorial Director for @CIROnline.

Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME): Sarah Walker Caron (@SarahWCaron) is the new Features Editor @bangordailynews.

MedCity News (Cleveland, OH): Dan Verel (@DanVerel) has joined the trade outlet (@medcitynews) as a Reporter covering healthcare technology. Verel most recently served at North Bay Business Journal (@NBBJ) as a Reporter.

The Seattle Times (Seattle, WA): Matt Pentz (@TDNMattPentz) is a new Sports Reporter on the team covering soccer.

The Washington Times (Washington, DC): Tacoma News Tribune Sports Reporter Todd Dybas (@Todd_Dybas) is the new Sports Enterprise Reporter @WashTimes.

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.

You can view the full version of MEDIAware here: http://www.prnewswire.com/knowledge-center/public-relations/

 

Updated Tactics for Issuing Press Releases Across Multiple Markets

It’s not unusual for an organization to issue similar announcements across a variety of markets. Whether announcing award recipients, regional services or a multi-city tour, developing localized press releases with similar themes for multiple markets is a common and necessary PR tactic, and using a template for the messages has long been standard practice.

However, PR Newswire’s new copy quality guidelines caution against using templates, and for good reason.  Google’s recent Panda update targeted low quality content, and multiple redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations were specifically cited as indicators of low quality content.

So what’s a PR pro to do when faced with the task of creating similar announcements for multiple markets?  Here are some tips for developing messages that won’t be flagged as low quality content and (bonus!) are more likely to garner the attention of journalists, bloggers and local audiences:

  • Create unique messages.  Each headline, subhead and lead paragraph need to be significantly different – merely changing names of cities or people in each isn’t enough.
  • Emphasize different story angles.  For example, if you’re announcing special events at a variety of hotel locations across the nation, emphasize different aspects of each location – e.g. shopping on the Mag Mile in Chicago, touring historic neighborhoods in Boston, waterfront attractions in San Francisco, etc.
  • Localize and further differentiate content by including real quotes from people on the ground in each market.
  • Include market-specific visuals, such as pictures of a local storefronts, individual award recipients, etc.
  • As much as possible, encourage social sharing of the content by local contacts.
  • Stagger distribution.  Don’t unleash a spate of similar messages all at once.
  • Rethink your approach entirely. Instead distributing press releases over the newswire for each market, build more public awareness by creating a rich, compelling and highly visual multimedia press release that tells the whole story.  Then use your media database to identify relevant media and bloggers in the region, and send them market-specific details directly via email.  (Here’s a great example from Honda, announcing the Honda Stage Festival.)

There’s no doubt that creating unique, quality content is more time consuming that simply using a template to crank out messages, but audiences value rich content, causing Google (and PR Newswire) to raise the bar on content quality.  To deliver the best results for the organization, creating unique and useful content is imperative.

sarah avatarAuthor Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of strategic communications, and is the author of  the ebook Driving Content DiscoveryFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

Content We Love: Visteon Demonstrates the Future of Automotive Technology and the Future of Press Releases

ContentWeLove

Click here to view the complete press release

Click here to view the complete press release

Marketers today strive towards a mutually beneficial relationship between brand and consumer.  More and more companies are recognizing the advantages that press releases deliver to marketers in distributing owned content that educates their target customer. Visteon Corporation’s recent press release “3-D Gesture Recognition, Virtual Touch Screen Bring New Meaning to Vehicle Controls,” reminds us that the brand mention doesn’t have to be front and center. Instead, the customer benefit is the focal point of this announcement.

Get to the point, literally.  An easy-to-read bullet point list outlines the benefits of Visteon’s new invention. 3-D gesture recognition is a complex concept for people to understand, so it’s important to eliminate jargon when introducing new information.

Include visuals for further understanding. I was personally intrigued by how this new technology functions in everyday practice. Visteon offers a look at how their new “automotive cockpit” concept actually works by adding short and to the point video to their release demonstrating each of the features highlighted in the bulleted list.

Provide research that validates a need for your new product or concept.  For instance, Visteon noted that 70 percent of the participants who test-drove the cockpit concept were very interested in not having to search for a physical volume knob. That’s a large majority!

A focused call to action linking to Visteon’s blog, offers more supporting evidence and drives reader traffic directly to the company’s owned content.

Given the complexity of this topic, this press release serves as a great example of how to leverage distribution in order to effectively communicate and educate consumers. Nice job, Visteon!

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

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.