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The traditional press release isn’t enough: Why businesses must embrace standalone multimedia

by | Feb 10, 2022 | Analysis, Public Relations

Think about the content you’ve consumed online today. Maybe you listened to a podcast on the way to work, scrolled through Instagram while you waited for the elevator, or watched a couple YouTube videos during your lunch break. If you’re like most Americans, a heavy dose of the media you consume is more than just text.

Journalists, themselves responsible for a lot of the multimedia content floating around the web, aren’t excluded from this trend. Why then do press releases continue to be all or mostly text? In a media distribution environment increasingly dominated by video, images, and audio, the practice of sending text-heavy press releases remains stubbornly entrenched in the past.

To cut through the clutter, companies need to augment their traditional press releases with standalone multimedia.

When it comes to media, visual is king

Impactful company news and public relations campaigns have always needed to be engaging and relevant to readers. What’s changed is the way consumers receive the news and the way journalists find and report it.

Video views are expected to make up 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic in 2022 and social media posts with visuals receive 94 percent more page visits and engagements than those without.

Visual content’s ability to stand out in crowded inboxes and social feeds is backed by science: a team of neuroscientists from MIT found that the human brain can process entire images in as little as 13 milliseconds. And forget that old saying about a picture being worth a thousand words: Forrester Research found that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.

Those insights shouldn’t be lost on businesses trying to get their news in front of busy journalists.

FleishmanHillard’s Senior Vice President and Partner Jan Rasmussen says a reporter can receive up to 300 irrelevant emails in a single day. Wire services, clogged with hundreds of competing industry releases, face the same problem.

Standing out requires a new solution.

Standalone multimedia cuts through the clutter

Forwarding-thinking businesses have begun adopting a new approach to PR distribution, adding photo-based news articles, infographics, and short-form videos into their campaigns. Take earnings reports, which used to be issued exclusively as press releases. Today, a company might follow earnings releases with a video conference or an infographic that reviews financial news in a more engaging way.

News Direct discovered that 86 percent of journalists find standalone multimedia appealing and that infographics and video are the most desired multimedia by journalists and bloggers.

Have a great video that explains how you’ll leverage a funding announcement? Or an infographic that builds a story around that quarterly earnings release? Don’t bury it in a press release and ask a busy journalist to make multiple clicks to find it. Put that asset right in front of them.

It’s time to invest more in creative assets and implement them in public relations campaigns. When issuing a press release or publicizing company news, PR and marketing pros should look out for new release types like News Direct’s Digital Asset Direct, which allows impactful standalone multimedia content to be shared at scale.

Text-based press aren’t going to disappear; they remain an effective and necessary tool for distributing information. But as our media consumption habits continue shifting toward video- and picture-based formats, businesses can no longer rely on text alone.

In the years ahead, expect to see more and more instances of multimedia augmenting the traditional press release—and, in some cases, replacing it altogether.

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Gregg Castano
Gregg Castano is Founder & CEO of News Direct Corp., the first content and news distribution platform purpose-built for modern media outreach. A 32-year industry veteran, Mr. Castano spent much of his career at Business Wire where he served as President for his last 8 years at the company. After his departure, he applied his deep experience, combined with innovative thinking and leading-edge technology, to reimagine the news distribution industry for the 21st century.

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