A press release, or a PR, is a statement issued by an organization about any given matter to the press. These may be delivered to the media physically, written on paper, or through electronic channels. It is the most common means of communicating information to the press.
PRs are an effective method to disseminate information quickly. The press benefits from them in terms of reporting since they already carry the gist of the matter. Some news outlets put up the PRs directly as news on their websites to get the information out at the earliest.
Much like other modes of communication, press releases are also evolving. A traditional press release has several elements, including a headline, introduction, and a body, among other parts. However, it is experiencing subtle changes in the digital world.
One significant change is the use of visuals becoming the norm in PRs. The increase of transmitting the press releases through the various digital media is one of the significant factors behind this change.
You may use four types of visuals in press releases, and they all add their value to these documents.
Images are the more common type of visuals on press releases. Their presence in a press release may be limited to a routine solitary picture of the board of directors meeting as per schedule. They may showcase a new and exciting product the company is launching. In that case, there will be quite a few photos.
It is essential that you only add high-quality images to the press releases. If you utilize stock images, make sure you get them from reliable sources. Many times, companies add pictures for the sake of adding them. Poor quality images can have an ill effect. A little extra effort for clear pictures adds to the company’s reputation by showing their attention to detail.
Videos as a part of a press release are only possible in the digital age. However, it is mighty effective and does well to get the message across. It also eats less space when in terms of printed columns. The videos are easy to share for the news outlets on their sites, which facilitates the readers.
Much like the photos, such videos should be high quality. A professional racing team may release details about their latest sports car and show its performance through an HD video on the track as a part of the press release. That will surely leave a substantial impact on the viewers.
Infographics are a great way to show figures in a fun way. You can summarize interesting facts and bend them with graphics so that they don’t look cumbersome. You can also add graphs to this category which provide equally important information about the trends.
Adding slides directly to the press release is a pretty good way to keep a press release interesting and informative. The media team may add a slide here and there or group them into a single slide show based on the given information.
The various news outlets can also share these slides and create a better understanding among the audiences. One must be careful about the overuse of these slides, as too many may leave the readers distracted quickly.
Now that we have some idea of why the visuals add value to the press release, one must further understand how these visuals make them more effective. With the current flow of information, visuals add a lot of value and help the readers quickly absorb the news.
Let’s look into some of the main reasons why visuals make press releases better.
Attention spans are extremely short in this day and age. The average internet reader’s attention span has dropped down to 8 seconds from 15 seconds in 2000. This lack of attention means that most people will skim through a press release and not even be bothered about the finer details.
With visuals on the press release, they are much more likely to spend more time paying greater attention. A single image grabs the audience’s attention for about six seconds, and videos keep it for even longer. With the reader paying more attention to the press release, the right message will go across.
Too much text can be a hassle to read. It can become one of those bedtime stories meant to get a person to sleep. Instead, the use of visual aids can help in keeping the reader interested. At the same time, figure representation works well in telling a better story. Infographics make the exact figures look easier to digest.
The salient points can be emphasized through shorter text and represented through figures. However, a few HD shots of new products, exciting slide shows about cultural improvements, and pictures of staff having fun on vacation bring a lot more meaning than just words.
The visuals in the PRs help in making the information more shareable. A person may feel reluctant to share a five-page press release filled with data charts on their Facebook page. However, if the same press release has graphs and pictures to clarify the data, it becomes more relatable.
One has to keep in mind that the media too has evolved, and with all the information available, it is a race for them to get the news out on time. Boring PRs are impossible to share, and they have to work harder to understand all the data and then get the story out faster than others.
Information passed on to the media by business entities is to spread out. Traditionally, it followed a pattern that is still in use today. However, for the current generation, it can be a bit colorless.
Visuals in a press release can add many colors and other helpful information in an easy-to-understand format. They essentially give the same information through videos and presentations but in an easier-to-understand way. Visuals are making the press releases more effective by helping them reach out to more people.
Press releases are an age-old way to reach out to the media, and it is here to stay. Much like the rest of dealings in the digital age, PRs are found more on the internet websites and less on paper. This situation allows companies to take it a step further and benefit from existing technologies to send their message further.
Some purists may disagree with this approach, but eventually, it is about getting the information out and capturing the imagination of the masses. With changing times, media operations are constantly evolving. The visuals aided press releases are a positive change that helps provide information much clearer and concisely.