Why PR pros should sprinkle press releases and content with visuals

If you’ve ever been told that adding an image to your PR copy is too time consuming and not helpful, think again. Data suggests communicators should embrace photos of all kinds.

Most PR pros are familiar with the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but now, there’s data to back up the claim.

Including just one image in the content you share doubles the number of views. Including multiple images can increase views by five times, according to research from PR Newswire.

If you’ve gotten flak from clients for including “boring” or “unnecessary” stock images with press releases, blog posts and newsletters, this analysis supports your thinking.

Despite what many might say, press releases remain one of most widely used tools in PR. Adding a simple image can dramatically boost the visibility of your organization’s content and your brand.

“There is direct correlation between successful content engagement and the use of imagery in brand messaging,” Janet Giesen, Shutterstock’s senior director of business development and strategic partnerships, said in a press release.

Get more reach on social media

Press releases aren’t the only PR copy to benefit from images.

Comparable data from Express Writers show a similar correlation between marketing and social media. Ads or promotional posts with a visual element earned 94 percent more views than text-only posts.

Research from Visem says that the amount of video that brand managers post on Facebook increased 3.6 times in 2015. In addition to press releases, adding photos and videos to your social media posts can improve your content’s reach.

To boost their visibility, brand managers for social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are continually enhancing features that make it easier for marketers to post videos, images, and other forms of visual content.

Visuals essential to blogging

Images can entice consumers to read your posts, too. When it comes to blogging, Buffer lists a “featured image” as one the seven essential elements of a perfect blog post.

Here’s more from Buffer on images and blogging:

Visuals are hugely important, and it helps to draw attention with a catchy image up top. There’s another reason for the image, too. Characters per line. Placing an image at the top right/left of your blog post forces the first few lines of the post to shorten in width. This shortening leads to fewer characters per line. Fewer characters per line has a psychological effect on the way we view content: The fewer the characters, the easier the text is to comprehend and the less complex it seems.

Content writers and marketers who might not have access to a graphic designer, photographer or archive of unique imagery shouldn’t be shy about using stock photos—just make sure to credit your sources properly.

Images make content memorable

Adding a visual component to your text can help generate audience interest in your brand, particularly because readers tend to spend more time on pages that include them. In today’s share-happy marketing climate, an image makes content more memorable.

How? Research from The Next Web suggest that the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than when directly compared with text. Readers take in visual content faster and more effectively than words alone.

To better resonate with audiences across a variety of channels and expand your brand’s visibility and message, it might be time to evoke your inner Picasso.

Ragan readers, do you include photos in every press release or blog post?

(Image via)

Topics: PR

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