With today’s overwhelming emphasis on interactivity, social media and techno-visual elements in public relations, websites and apps that can integrate all these things are quickly becoming a necessity. While I agree that digital communication is vital to success in the PR industry, it can be difficult to keep track of it all, especially since status updates and timelines change literally every second.
Storify, released for public use in April 2011, has your Internet integration needs covered. Called a “half blog platform and half social media tool” by PC Mag, Storify allows you to create, link and upload your own original content and combine your material with others’ from different web platforms. The fusion of multiple perspectives displays a diverse storyboard of opinions, ideas, feedback, comments, tweets, photos and more. Storify emphasizes pulling related content from all over the web into your storyboards to merge others’ voices with your own. The web platform claims to help “make sense of what people post on social media.” Storify can integrate content from a multitude of sources onto your boards including: other Storify accounts, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Chute, SoundCloud, Disqus, TVTag, StockTwits, embedded URLs and more.
While Storify’s implementation may differ per each user’s individual needs, some include: using it as a professional photo portfolio accompanied by tweets and comments from satisfied customers, journaling about summer trips equipped with photos and videos of all your most memorable moments, and using it as a crowdsourcing method to gain an experiential perspective of current events. With Storify’s multimedia capabilities and unique high-tech storytelling feel, it is a perfect platform for PR professionals to curate their brand identity through visual examples. Here are some specific ways that Storify can be used for PR:
- Organize and measure coverage – PR pros always hope their time-consuming and reporter-specific pitching practices will return positive media coverage. As you peruse the web looking for hits, Storify makes it easy to place and organize the hits on your boards for clients to see. Not only can you record the media attention you or your clients receive, your boards can also record the public’s feedback via social media postings. Any client is sure to appreciate the range in perspectives – from a large national news source to the everyday consumer.
- Allow clients to see results – Show them what you did. Storify is a great place to refer your executives or clients to actual visuals of the coverage you garnered. Blog reviews, consumer tweets, videos of people trying the product, radio air checks, podcasts, etc. are great to show clients so they get a first-hand look at the variety of coverage. Traditional reports are still important, but accompanying them with visual documentation might make a huge difference in the satisfaction of your clients or executives.
- Showcase your work environment – Last year, as reported by Edelman’s 13th Annual Trust Barometer, media was the third least trusted community of professionals. Be transparent and improve your communal image by sharing photos of your office’s employees, lunch outings or employee spotlights. Don’t forget to keep it interesting by incorporating videos, tweets, Facebook posts, etc. All these elements will help you cultivate and communicate your company’s culture and show off your more personable side.
- House press kits and promotional materials – Make it easy for people to find your company’s or client’s information. Contact information and links to press kits should be made available consistently across all your Internet-based platforms so reporters won’t have to do too much digging. Storify also enables you to make press kits more interactive and multi-dimensional with integrated Internet content.
- Construct visually appealing portfolios to boost your credibility – Employers and your professional network will certainly be intrigued by a resume packed with links to specific projects, tweets endorsing your work, video compilations, podcasts and audio you’ve created, and whatever else you think will make the show of your work look unique. With employers spending just seconds on each resume, a Storify board is sure to capture their attention. It is also a great way to show off your advanced social media and multimedia skills.
With companies like GE, NPR News, MSNBC and Edelman already using Storify, it has been proven effective for a variety of industries and businesses. Its method of integrating digital platforms makes it especially valuable for people in the media industry. Next time you go to complete a final report or help your client roll out a new product or service, try using Storify to keep you organized and on top of this new media craze.
Check out how I used Storify to document social media’s explosion over Team USA’s 2014 World Cup goalie Tim Howard and his 16 saves: