PR Tips for Harnessing Instagram and Pinterest

instagram and pinterest“Nobody reads anymore.” The comment was invoked Tuesday morning during PR News’ Social Media Summit (with a Taste of Tech). And while the statement betrays a slight exaggeration, there’s little doubt that visual storytelling is starting to encroach on the written word when it comes to the most effective way to get your messages out.

How to tell your story using pictures took center stage during the “Visual Storytelling with Pinterest and Instagram” session. The session was part of a one-day conference exploring multiple facets of social media and social messaging.

Pinterest and Instagram enable PR pros to tell their stories using pictures and images. A picture is worth a thousand words, and in the age of social media, it can be worth considerably more in terms of lead generation and sales lift.

Danny Olson, director of digital at Weber Shandwick, said that the most important element in designing visual storytelling is to keep in mind on which device consumers will view the content.

He offered some other tips on how to best use Instagram and Pinterest for PR purposes:


  • Build a bank of approved images to distribute through your various social media channels.
  • If you don't have a dedicated design team, there are a bevy of tools to enhance your visual storytelling. These tools include PicMonkey, which helps you to upload images into your content; Social Image Resizer Tool, which takes campaign images and reformats them into the correct size for myriad social channels and Piqora, which allows you to identify your top “pinners.”


  • Don’t use Instagram for a soft sell. Instead, use it to demonstrate how your products are produced and distributed and how they benefit consumers.
  • Try and take pictures on Instagram using your cell phone, iPhone or iPad. “Because Instagram is a native mobile platform, using your [hand-held device] to take pictures lends itself to the platform,” Olson said.

Follow Danny Olson on Twitter: @mrdolson

Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @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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