In a recent webinar “Media Relations for the Digital Age,” guest speaker Rebecca Lieb, author of Content Marketing: Think Like a Publisher, along with Sally Falkow, president of PRESSfeed presented digital PRinformation about digital technology trends can not only help the efficiency of getting your story out, but can make it stand out among other pitches.

Lack of resources in newsrooms demand that reporters have to do more with less, and providing reporters with an easy way to access stories increases chances for coverage.  Two-thirds of audiences are now online which means that news coverage has become both broader and deeper with people choosing their own news.  Moving to use visuals, graphics, and visual storytelling is critical to capturing consumer attention.

To illustrate how visual storytelling has become critical to communications efforts, presenters cited a PR Newswire report that found that if you add visuals to press release, it increases views by 14 percent.  If video was added, viewership jumps from 24 to 80 percent.   Adding visuals simply captures more attention and draws attention to the webpage, but these must be relevant and quality images.

According to the presenters, more than 80 percent of news websites are now using video and interestingly, 78 percent of radio stations will utilize video to enhance their website’s presence.  Increasingly the web is a surrogate for television in people’s lives proving an insatiable appetite for video.

A large portion of the seminar was devoted to branding and paid ways to get stories out, but the most relevant content for those of us in the pitching world was how to put together a “bigger world” perspective.  Not only having a good story, but giving your story real world context about why it’s important.  Keys to success include: paying attention to and commenting on current news stories, understanding a gap in knowledge and positioning your spokesperson to fill that gap.  It’s a problem/solution world.  Let’s go be the solution!

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