“Press releases will evolve. When was the last time you read through an entire press release? Proofreading your own releases doesn’t count. Just as other forms of communication are changing, so are press releases. Look for visual content to further infiltrate press releases, as the standard text-heavy format become less popular in the coming year.”
PRNews made seven predictions for the industry about 2015 not so long ago.
One of them was this – namely on how we are set to change the face of press releases in a (not so) big way this year. Whilst reading it I couldn’t help but think: “Well actually this is so 2012!”
Do you think you can say it better? – I hear my colleagues across the pond say.
Well let me try.
First of all proofreading your own release does count. The amount of errors journalists just about put up with equate to the amount of releases they delete as soon as they spot those errors. And we are talking about journalists who know their stats, their stuff and are generally sufficiently in love with their job – as much as they are with the written language they use – to care.
Ok I give them this: that visual content needs to form part of the new package of news releases. But why stop there?
Package the news inside a real story. Look at the stock market, read what’s making the headlines. Make your title relevant and importantly make it short and controversial (if your client understands the value of the sale). If they don’t understand the sale value – then it’s your job to sell that to them first.
Visual content is a lazy way of saying – generate more than just a photo. Whatever you do avoid using stock photos such as the one used in this article. So boring. Everyone has a camera nowadays whether its a DSLR or on your smartphone. Use those tools expansively! Think about your story and go for a walk (don’t forget the camera).
Even more interesting – generate a GIF. Plenty of online GIF generators exist out there so shoot a short video – perhaps of somebody testing out the product (if the release is about a launch, improvement et al). Here’s an example: Republicans Try To Sell Border Security Bills With ‘Little Mermaid,’ Jennifer Lawrence GIFs
Let me try to improve this. Why not, instead of a regular text based release with accompanying visual content – actually make the release in the form of a short video? No more than 45 seconds – encapsulating all the news that needs to essentially be released in the video. Except here you really need to do your storytelling and have a solid plan. This one below isn’t too bad…
Remember 45 seconds of a journalist’s time needs at least 4 to 5 days of prep and research – add to that a day of execution and last but not least P-R-O-O-F it!