The current era we are living in allows us to view digital content in many forms. Evolution of press releases has eased journalists and editors in how they read them. The practice of scanning through information paragraph by paragraph is transforming into a traditional method. In fact, the increasing number of multimedia content has shifted the way how we consume information. Exposed to digital content wherever we are, from digital billboards to smartwatches or smartphones, etc. Therefore, creativity has no boundaries here and marketers are getting more involved in them to create visual content in a more strategic way.
1) Best Practices for Multimedia Content
Creating a storyboard for the campaign or news from the beginning to the end.
If your company is preparing a product launch, changing its direction, appointing a new reputable hire or any similar newsworthy activities, the opening to provide multimedia is generally a must. You are responsible to be judicious in selecting the right images, videos or infographics. Ensure that what you provide can offer valuable insights as well as tying back to the things that benefit your company and your clients.
Things you should consider:
- What is the amount of press release you need and what multimedia content to include?
- How many of them should contain significance as part of the campaign? (For instances, Logo, Brand name)
- Create multimedia that shows the key message instead of trying to tell them.
- Prepare on the spot materials such as on-site photos and videos. Every
media relateditem should be handed over with timeliness.
Analyse the habits of the current market’s multimedia
It is best that you first understand the preference of editors and writers, and determine the stories that they’ve covered. Look into their editorial calendar and find out the best time and channel to make your pitch. Below are some following factors you should consider about other marketers and journalists:
- To what extent and how do journalists include images and videos from third parties.
- If a video were embedded in the article, will it be located at the beginning, the middle or the end?
- Notice the patterns changed multimedia content.
- Do marketers use third-party videos and re-edit them into their own? Are the captions tailored made or pre-packaged?
- Do they use podcast audio tracks that are taken from the video?
- Are the multimedia assets being share through social channels, and if yes, how many
annotations wereadded in a post, and how many times do they publish and promote it?
- Find out the common platforms used by journalists.
Multimedia with subject expertise
Journalists often receive press releases that have not much left to work with other than what is already there. Encouraging them to give you coverage is by packaging your multimedia well. Here are some tips you should know before launching a campaign with multimedia:
- Your press releases disseminated should be relevant to your subject matter. The multimedia content should not surprise the reporters.
- Prepare a set of answers and media training for unanswered questions in your multimedia content. Elaborate on what was not shown and reinforce the message if there are any unclear visuals or audios.
- Include call-to-actions in your multimedia content, it may be a short voice over, a post-credit call-to-action, a URL, etc.
2) Creating Multimedia Content
Just a few years back, Apple featured photographs taken by its daily consumers of stunning wildlife & travel photography throughout enormous digital billboards. As a matter of fact, nothing much was written, only the photography was displayed and one simple tagline at the bottom, “Shot on
Do: Emphasise your story with flexibility for how it is told
You must first have a reason for your multimedia content creation. It could be to support a story for an email campaign, a press release, a social media channel, a blog post, and so on. Align your visuals closely with the accompanying text of your primary placement. The terms, tone and structure are to be consistent in order to provide cohesive support for your written story.
Include a simple and clear title. Strengthen it to stand alone. You will want your audiences to share your story on their social media, therefore users should make sense from your image without the accompanying text of your story. If you targeted audience is rather a niche, then you need to clarify your context in the title and/or subtitle.
Let your audiences visual scope to only focus on your core message. The ultimate goal is to convey one idea. If you have several message and ideas you wish to convey to your audiences, you should consider the following options:
- The audience’s eye should focus on the key idea first. You can support your several message at the backseat of your key point.
- If you have ideas that are equally strong, then it would be more beneficial to separate its graphics. Create a short series instead of squishing them into one.
- Sometimes a single infographic may not be the best solution for your message if you have much to convey. For complex ideas, you can create a video instead or a presentation slide or even a pdf, that best fit to clarify what you wish to portray.
Do: Consider all the format options
Multimedia is so important these days that even students in journalism school are urged to produce some kind of multimedia for their production. Here are some options for you to consider:
Infographics: A statistic or two with legends and explanatory text next to them. Allows journalists to visualise and understand your article better. You can also provide a link as well for them to share the graphic on their social media.
Charts And Graphs: Input your data into charts and graphs so reporters can easily glance at your data. Very convenient as you can just use google sheets or excel with prepared templates.
Screenshots: A simple screenshot can portray a core message or idea sometimes, so try not to over-think it.
Visualised Quotes: With related stock images and correct font type, a quote will seem stronger.
Memes and GIFs: You can use Memes and GIFs if you wish to present something hilarious or such. There are shareable or downloadable sites where the content can be taken, the bonus is that they are royalty free. Moreover, there are even generators you can use online to generate your own Memes and GIFs.
Embeds: You can embed videos or images into channels like YouTube, Twitter, etc. This will allow editors and writers to download your content if they wish to use it.
Do: Make use of all the free tools available
Back in the days, we are to either understand HTML or engage with a third party to develop and design a website. You still require certain expertise to fully develop a website. However, for average microsite or blogs, tools such as WordPress make it much easier for us.
There are many tools out there that are free-of-charge for you to develop a quality infographic and videos. For example, easel.ly, visual.ly,
Do: The brand enforcer
Your multimedia content may
Where will some of your multimedia asset be sitting on besides a press release? Perhaps on your social media channels? Your website? Check whether the colours and other attributes fit well with the rest of the brand or will it clash? Is the font you see resemble from your content assets like your blog, white papers, etc? Will it look out of its place coming from a different company?
Determine the way how the brand is being handled, from its logo placement to details like the use of the company URLs, does it support the business objectives? For example, all videos ending with a link that links back to the same website.
Don’t: Forcing journalists to be like art directors or lawyers
Do not create extra tasks for journalists. Compress your multimedia files if necessary. Ensure the resolution is correct, journalists would not want to see blurry images or a low-resolution video. Furthermore, you can always consider providing several options for them to view your multimedia content.
Make embedding easier for the reporters. An easy-to-embed infographic will give convenience to reporters, all they need to do is write a few paragraphs on top and their story are ready to be published.
Lastly, you have to ensure that all your multimedia content were properly licensed. If credits are required, then clearly state them out to avoid breaking the law of copyright.
Don’t: Make audiences having trouble listening to your content
From a realistic standpoint, if people cannot hear what’s in the video, they just won’t watch it. If a video with low resolution but has clear audio, it will draw more audiences to watch as compared to one without.
Make sure everyone on camera are mic’ed. Check the audio after you have completed the take. Import the audio to your editing tools and make sure that it can be heard. Do not waste your effort by taking an entire video and realising that the audio is not compatible during editing.
3) Distributing The Multimedia Content
For a press release to have any kind of impact, you will need an audience. Otherwise, the photo, the infographic or the video that you have prepared will be a waste if nobody sees it. Here are two brands that managed to successfully develop multimedia content and carry it through all the stages of its earned media adventure:
Company: William Grant & Sons
Campaign: Makers of the fine Grant’s Whisky, they wanted to appeal to younger audiences and launched a contest called ‘Global Drinks Ambassador’ on Instagram. Those who are selected will take part in what was called ‘The Greatest Job Interview In The World’, where they get to travel all the way to Scotland, stay in a historic hotel and literally get paid to drink.
Multimedia Moment(s): Their multi-channel press releases with good quality photos helped show where the Global Drinks Ambassador would be going, that includes a trek through Iceland, a bar in India and so on. A 40-second video was created to suitcase where Grant’s Whisky might take you.
They have seven various multimedia assets and a detailed press release to choose from. The Grant managed to portray their stories in many ways. 540 media responded which drove about 170 million audiences.
Campaign: Milan Design Week 2017, LG celebrated its 75th anniversary by partnering with Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka, for an art exhibition that illustrates humanity’s relationship with the world. The event used standing pieces of transparent glass shot with bold colours to create a tapestry that transfixed the people. The purpose is to provide inspiration for those who wish to make good use of picture-taking with the capabilities of an LG smartphone.
Multimedia Moment(s): They have 2 videos in its multi-channel press release. Both videos did not have any dialogue other than its background music. Because of that, media outlets covered it across the EU and North America. They gave out 5 different exhibit photos for editors to do a slideshow that accompanied with their story.