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5 Tips for Creating Great Multimedia Press Releases

Today we bring you a guest post via Sheldon Levine. Levine is community manager for Marketwired/Sysomos, an innovative social intelligence company offering global news distribution and reporting services as well as state-of-the-art social media monitoring and analytics powered by Sysomos. Marketwired and Cision recently partnered to allow Cision customers to connect with media, influencers and customers through Marketwired’s distribution channels.

With thousands of news releases being distributed every day, PR pros are constantly looking for opportunities to reach a broader audience and drive more views. Incorporating multimedia is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this goal — especially when some sources credit multimedia embeds for traffic bumps of up to 77%.

Perhaps we can, armed with this knowledge, officially declare text-only press releases as a thing of the past. We know visual storytelling is a critical pillar in any effective communication strategy. Just look at how brands continue to invest in image-driven social networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. At Marketwired, we believe this best practice shouldn’t be limited to social media. Creating multimedia –photos, video, audio, or infographics, for starters – is a smart PR tactic. As an added bonus, the fresh content can be shared on blogs or across social channels, thereby spreading a release’s main messages even further.

Whether we’re considering products, food or information, we consume with our eyes. Multimedia often offers the extra “sizzle” journalists and bloggers are looking for in their content, and in some cases such releases become stories in their own right. Here are five tips to make your multimedia press releases “pop”:

  1. Make multimedia easy to reshare. For example, embed images in releases to be displayed on popular websites, such as Yahoo!, with links to full-size files for easy reposting.
  2. Get creative with video. Bring your news to life by embedding video directly within the releases. Videos should be short, compelling and share-worthy. At the same time, remember that quality video can be created without investing thousands and thousands of dollars in production. For example, brands are experimenting with Twitter’s “looping” video app Vine, which means we should experiment, too. Over the past few years, we’ve mastered summarizing press releases in just 140 characters. Now, we have the opportunity to get creative with short videos that reinforce our messages and increase the likelihood of social sharing.
  3. Bring quotes to life. Add some personality with a short video or audio file. While reporters typically like to conduct their own interviews, they’ll also grab a quote from a release if they’re under a time crunch. Make your sound bite of choice even more appealing to reporters/bloggers by giving them a video file to embed with their article.
  4. Embed content with crossover appeal.  When creating multimedia content, think about content that will serve multiple purposes in different forums. If your most loyal online advocates are entrenched in YouTube, then it certainly makes sense to include video in news releases that can be repurposed on your YouTube channel as well. But if your audience spends more time on Pinterest, then you want to create “pinnable” content (images or video). Likewise, if you’ve built up a strong Tumblr following, include multimedia in the release that can be effectively tumbled.
  5. Create cobblestones and cornerstones. Our team recently attended the inaugural Solo PR Conference, where speaker Tom Martin encouraged attendees to think about their content marketing in terms of cornerstones and cobblestones. For example, if you’re going to create an infographic (cobblestone), can you also create a series of related blog posts (cornerstones) that incorporate pieces of data from that graphic? As you begin to incorporate more multimedia into press releases, don’t let it be a one-time use. Instead, repurpose that content in other ways to strengthen your overall content marketing strategy.

What other sorts of multimedia have you added to your news releases to tell a more compelling story?

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