6 Tips for Visual Storytelling Mastery


Pete Ternes of General Motors

You've been convinced of the need to make the leap to visual storytelling with your PR messaging. Not to downplay the power of a well-crafted sentence, but social media posts containing an image are three times more likely to have a high number shares than text-only posts, according to a recent study by Marco Guerini, Jacopo Staiano and Davide Albanese.

Thus convinced, the question is, what best practices should you follow to actually make the leap? Here are six from Pete Ternes, senior social media and corporate reputation strategist for General Motors, and co-leader of PR News' Nov. 5 Visual Storytelling Workshop.

1. The story you want to tell should lead image design, not the other way around.

2. With social media, images that compel a user to share at first glance are golden.

3. Never lose sight of the right place/right time. Context (especially in social media) will increase image shareability.

4. For traditional media, consider the page designer's or editor's mind-set when promoting an image (will it appear appropriate on their page?).

5. Always have reality check with your visuals. Put all the images you intend to share in a given time period together on one wall; if it's not what you expected, your PR image voice is in need of a makeover.

6. Understand image perspective—changing the perspective (i.e. high/low/wide angle) on any image will tell a different story.

Pete Ternes, senior social media and corporate reputation strategist for General Motors, will be co-leading the PR News Visual Storytelling Workshop with Becca Colbaugh in New York on Nov. 5.


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About Steve Goldstein

Steve Goldstein is editorial director for Access Intelligence’s PR News brand, which encompasses premium, how-to content, data and competitive intelligence for public relations professionals; PR News Online; PR News conferences, webinars and awards programs; and PR News guidebooks. Previously at AI Steve was editorial director of min, min ’s b2b and minonline as well as managing editor of CableFAX: The Magazine and CableWorld. Before joining Access Intelligence, he was executive editor of World Screen News, and editor of Film/Tape World, which covered film, television and commercial production in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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