In a constantly changing media landscape, producing effective visuals is becoming a necessary skill for public relations professionals. Simple copy is no longer a strong enough hook to capture reporters’ eyes, moreover, the eyes of their audience. Photos, videos, and art can be used attract the attention of your many publics.
One of reasons why visuals are so important is because of the changes in how people are processing information. A recent article in Forbes breaks down the visual communication process as follows:
- 63% of the world’s consumers “do-ers” who prefer hands-on learning that includes visual and audio information, as opposed to data presented solely in writing.
- The human attention span is now eight seconds.
- Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text, meaning a visual is worth 60,000 words.
- 40% of people respond better to visual information than written text.
- Color visuals increase readership by 80%.
- One minute of video is more powerful than 1.8 million words.
- Multimedia supplements facts with feelings.
- Smartphones have created multimedia experts.
- A projected 84% of communications will be visual by 2018.
By adding visuals to a media pitch, a reporter is engaged through a more memorable multimedia experience. One way to use visual public relations is by employing local artists to create public art displays for clients. Not only is local talent given the opportunity to showcase their talent, but it also brings attention to the goal of the client. No matter if it’s a mural outside the office or a sculpture in a park, the visual will attract the attention of viewers.
Reporters’ Best Friend
The relationship between PR practitioners and journalists is another topic that is also effected by visual public relations. Any visual content can make the difference between a journalist passing up your pitch for another as it provides another layer for the reporter.
With this in mind, frustrations can arise. Journalists are more often than not on a tight deadline and don’t have the time hunt for pictures or other supplemental multimedia. When a PR practitioner all conveniently delivers it in a single package, you have a complete story is more likely that it will be covered and a happy reporter.
Visual public relations is something that will become a necessary skill for every public relations professional. Including a picture and/or 30 seconds of b-roll can make the difference in whether your pitch will eventually have a greater impact on your audience or if it is even picked up by a journalist.