Recipe for Baking Visual Storytelling Into Your PR strategy



Resistance is futile. Visual storytelling is fast moving to the core of marketing communications, as PR pros migrate many of their messages to the visual medium from the written word.

During PR News’ Visual Storytelling Workshop Tuesday morning, Becca Colbaugh, senior director of digital content at Saxum, shared some tips and tricks on how communicators can think about visual storytelling more strategically.

“PR has a big challenge [with visual storytelling] but it’s not something we can avoid,” Colbaugh said. “You have to stay on track” and give your audiences what they want, namely pictures that can tell your brand story, she added.

Colbaugh said there are several key ingredients to baking visual storytelling into your overall PR and marketing efforts:

> Valuable: Before you distribute any visual content, what are the brand goals?

> Snackable: Keep the content relatively short and digestable.

> Educational: Distill the message into something that’s relevant to the existing audience and prospects.

Beautiful: Is there a “cool” factor for the visual?

Optimize: Bring a “common sense” approach toward optimizing the content, in terms of when you distribute and where.

Timely: Does the visual content have a tie-in to the zeitgeist? Can the content be pegged in any way to something that’s in the news or generating a lot of buzz?

Entertainment: Is the content entertaining? Does it have any “star” quality?

 What do you think? What elements would you add to the list?

 Follow Matthew Schwartz: @mpsjourno1


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About Matthew Schwartz

Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

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