What’s Sonny without Cher? Tom without Jerry? Or peanut butter without jelly? Split any of these duos and you get only half their combined potential. This is my thought process as I’m distributing a press release without accompanying media. When pitching a news release I know I’ve got about 5 seconds to get the media’s attention. Otherwise it quickly becomes digital trash. But, if the release includes any picture/video/audio, it doubles my chances of getting it noticed. Sometimes, these resources aren’t always available to me and it never fails: I’ll send a release out by its lonesome and in come the requests for images. This is where any campaign can lose major momentum. Here’s why:
It’s all in the preparation, or lack thereof. One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is not generating the appropriate visual/audio media for its PR efforts. To fully do our job as PR professionals we need these tools. The pitching landscape has changed too much; it’s not enough anymore to send out a traditional two-page press release. Now, journalists are looking for these releases to be a resource full of information like audio files, links to pictures, videos, extra quotes and even previous, relative news releases. It’s a refreshingly simpler format where bullet points and links to media are king; it’s not editorialized and gets right to the point. This has been dubbed the social media press release (SMPR).
More and more PR pros are picking up on the value of SMPR’s. But to create one is a two-way street between PR firm and its client. As a client, make it a priority to get quality photos of every project/product you want to be pitched. Grab sound bites from your SME’s and take video of that groundbreaking. Create official accounts on YouTube and Flickr in order to host the media. Next step: hand it all over to your PR firm. I’ll breathe a sigh of relief and do the rest.
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