Public Relations and the Visual Communication Age
How visual storytelling is influencing the way PR agencies communicate
Visual storytelling is the way of the future for a lot of companies, putting more money into their online marketing than ever before.
No wonder Public Relation Agencies are starting to join the trend as they are the ones managing the relationships and social media channels for a portfolio of clients. Historically, PR agencies have been known for their text-heavy communication documents in the form of press releases, email pitches, and written statements.
Why are visual heavy posts much more responsive to social media followers than the original text that PR agencies have been well known for? They often require little in the way of explanation, easy for anyone in the online industry to digest and then repost for their own followers. It is clear that visuals are now simply becoming mandatory elements of any successful digital campaign. We see it in the sense that the most popular sites and apps these days are heavily photo and video based – Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
There are simple ways of introducing visuals into your content that Victoria Harres highlights in her post on PRNewswire:
“If you are writing a white paper, think about adding call-out graphics that highlight a quote or statistic used in the text. If you’re publishing a blog post, add a header image and other multimedia to break up the text and help illustrate the topic.”
Visual storytelling done well increases engagement, explains and summarizes complex information, speeds up comprehension, tugs the heartstrings and motivates action.
Brian Wallace, President of NowSourcing states:
“If it’s just a press release, it’s just another piece in the digital landfill.”
Not a place you want any of your content. So what are PR agencies doing to join the ever competitive digital age? There has even been a change in who they are hiring. PR agencies are now hiring senior level management from advertising and marketing agencies.
Articles with images get 94% more views than those without.
In case you still don’t believe us, we sat down with Laura Lombardi, a Public Relations representative at Jive Communications in Vancouver, Canada. We wanted to know how her business has changed since using branded templates and how she uses them on a daily basis for her clients.
Why did you start working with branded digital templates?
We’re a PR and digital agency who manages most of our client’s social media channels as well. All of our PR plans and proposals we put forth are always integrated with both traditional PR tactics as well as social media tactics. We started using branded digital templates as a way to create beautifully eye-catching content completely in-house for our clients.
How do you normally use branded digital templates in your role?
We use it on a regular and ongoing basis. Branded content is a tactic we use within all of our social media strategies and something we encourage all clients to take advantage of. We usually aim to build branded content into their social channels a few times a week.
How has this changed the work that you do with/for your clients?
We’re able to produce really eye-catching content for them that looks professional and aligns with their brand. They’re proud of the content and how it helps ramp up the imagery associated with their brand.
How many times a day would you use these branded design templates? If not daily, how many times weekly? Monthly?
About 3 – 4 times per week! Depending on how many client social media channels we’re managing at once.
And finally, in your professional opinion, who are best suited to be using these programs?
PR agencies should all be striving to create a digital side since our media landscape has changed so much. Branded content programs like Canva and Desygner are great options for firms who aren’t yet producing their own designed content in-house. Having this templated option allows agencies the ability to create beautiful content for clients who may not have the budget to hire professional designers.
The author Sarah Richard sadly passed away before the article was published. She will always be missed by our team, and everyone she crossed paths with, including Laura Lombardi, herein interviewed.