As PR Newswire prepares to celebrate its 60th anniversary, I’ve been focused on trends in content spanning six decades. So what’s changed in the last 60 years? How about in the last three years? What’s so different about the content distributed today? A lot.
The market has expanded exponentially and become more competitive than ever before. It’s more than global, it’s social—no boundaries, no limits, no expiration date. Once your content is out there, it’s out there—for better or for worse. And today’s audience is absolutely insatiable.
Where once there was only text, there are now tweets, status updates, pictures and location check-ins.
Video can range from seconds long to several minutes with quality varying from breathtaking to…not so much. There are graphics, animation in 2D and 3D, typography, music, drama, humor, reality. And that’s without even considering earned media for genuine news.
Today’s PR professional has the kind of choice pool that would make any balanced Libra faint at the sheer volume of opportunities. It’s daunting and exciting. And it’s not going to slow down.
Format, audience, consumption habits and platforms may change, but it’s not going to stop. There will always be a need for content optimized for different platforms and distributed across multiple channels.
Content is king, and video is a necessity—not an option. Still, PR professionals need to take advantage of every possible opportunity as they build out multimedia campaigns.
Here are a few tips:
▶ Think big(ger): multitask with your multimedia. Hiring a crew is an investment. There are hard costs, but what you get is a crew of skilled professionals at your disposal. At a Satellite Media Tour (SMT), for example, there is at least one camera present and perhaps a teleprompter, and the talent is made up and ready to go.
It’s not unusual to have a 20-30 minute break, so with a little planning and an incremental additional investment, you can tape a one-minute PSA-like video during that down-time. Then it’s just a matter of choosing the right distribution channels.
Even if your initial plan involved shooting one specific segment for one specific purpose, consider what else can be done during the shoot day—make the most of the resources available to you. Shooting B-roll and bites? Great…why stop there? You have the crew for eight hours.
Compose a short script that could easily be turned into a paid placement, or shoot other people integral to the campaign and get the messaging that’s important to the client on tape, even if you have no plans to do anything with it at the time of taping.
▶ Find your voice. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you cannot afford to overlook a client’s most cherished resource: its stories.
Every company has a story (if we’re being honest, probably several) that’s not being told. Do everything you can to tell that story either on its own, or in conjunction with the news being put out there.
▶ Be animated. What can be achieved today with animated storytelling was virtually impossible just a few years ago—except for those with very deep pockets.
And, let’s be honest, how many of us have the luxury of a limitless budget? The workflow for animated storytelling is unique and, we’ve found, extremely rewarding. There are no crews to book, schedules to manage or busy executives to put through media training.
You work with a creative team who storyboards the messaging into something not only informative but also fun.
▶ Send your content into the world. Remember when I said it’s great to have content “in the can?” Now that you have a bounty of multimedia ready, here’s my final tip: Let your content loose and get it in front of your target audiences with a smart distribution strategy.
Use your own channels: blog, tweet, post, pin, etc. Share it through other networks, social media, news sites, trade and industry publications, journalists and bloggers around the world.
These tactics, plus PR’s bread and butter, strategic media outreach, can drive attention and the coverage that gives a message even greater resonance and reach. PRN
Larry Cardarelli is executive producer of MultiVu, which is a subsidiary of PR Newswire. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared in the April 28, 2014 issue of PR News. Read more subscriber-only content by becoming a PR News subscriber today.