With design thinking leading the charge on worldwide innovation, PR professionals are increasingly leveraging visual media, long the purview of luxury advertising and branding specialists, to assist in relaying a client's story. At Gotham PR, we have always advocated speaking visually to tell the client’s story through photographic essays, where styled vignettes or even spontaneous "moments" of discovery are captured and then revealed in the form of artful features.
Our brains are now hardwired to respond to visual stimuli and read less, given dominant social media platforms that include Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and of course the ubiquitous Facebook. Many “insiders” in the luxury brand world and creative industries have dropped their Facebook presence for a more intimate relationship with audiences exclusively on Instagram. This of course, being a larger strategy on Facebook’s part to become a platform of many apps and the recent popularity of a new shareable photo narrative app called Storehouse, to further enhance the power of visual storytelling online. As Luxury Review Daily reveals, the smartest and most adaptive visual storytelling brands tend to be global legacy luxury brands, including Burburry, Fendi, Gucci, and Prada.
In fact, those late to the Instagram game might be surprised to see how much pull this space has compared to waning audiences of particular younger ages on Facebook, according to a recent study published at Mashable.
Instagram, the leader in mobile visual media boasts over 200 million users, with daily activity from 7 million people and has grown a whopping 25% just this year. 42% of U.S teens and 34% of millenials use Instagram on a mobile device, which is great news for the 24/7 marketing cycle that can tap into those users with a quick, easy to digest, vibrant visual story any time of day. [Source: Digital Marketing Ramblings.]
As a boutique Marketing PR Agency located in New York and London, specialized in working with highly creative design and architecture enterprises in 15 countries, Gotham Public Relations has built a solid reputation for providing lateral marketing solutions and partnerships to linear press campaigns. So what does this mean in literal terms within a deliverable capacity?
We encourage our clients to elevate the verbal aspects of their story through exemplary renderings and professional photography. In the case of architects and designers, that means elegant, site-specific artwork, complemented by optimized websites and a social media presence to drive home global awareness and added search value. Visual language is universal so nothing is lost in translation and clients can tell their story in real time as building get built and products get launched.
A fascinating piece was published in the past week, which details the impact Instagram had on driving first time visitors and new audiences into the somewhat rarified atmosphere within The Metropolitan Museum of Arts via a creative #EmptyMet Instagram campaign in The New York Times. For those of us working in the cultural realm it was a no-brainer, but it was 'new news' to the populace.
In a technology-savvy marketplace, both the agency and client should possess a strategy for adapting to relevant visual social media platforms. This often involves a lengthier discussion on the merits and traction attached to these platforms and reinvesting into next generation or legacy websites capable of incorporating and benefiting from not only search, but social media. It affords the ability to tell a client’s story in a well-rounded fashion that involved nonverbal cues as well as in- depth profile print coverage.
Inspired moments of sharing have meant the successful proliferation of a common visual language amongst professionals and consumers alike on influential social platforms like instagram and pinterest. Both of these increasingly popular hubs drive awareness and ultimately purchases. Case in point: Twitter regained footing with PR professionals and press once the photo feature was recently restored to lend context and SEO value-add.
Business Insider noted Tumblr users at 34 million with nearly half of them being between the ages of 16 and 24, a historically difficult demographic to target. Not only is this a goldmine for desirable target audiences, it also promises actual attention as users spend more total time digesting media on Tumblr than on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
It is widely acknowledged that the creative brain conceives things conceptually long before ideation manifests into the mainstream. Once art and commerce get together to drive profit opportunities, that's where design thinking is implemented and PR professionals thus have a 'tangible' with which to work. Social media is accelerating this process one hundredfold in real time. We must keep apace, if not the proverbial PR ten steps ahead, to best leverage these new assets and generate added value for our clients.
Courtney Lukitsch, is Founder & Principal, Gotham Public Relations, a 12 year-old boutique Marketing PR agency specialized in global luxury design in New York & London. Website: www.gothampr.com; Twitter: @Gothamist1; Pinterest: pinterest.com/gothampr; Tumblr: wearegothampr.tumblr.com