By @LaurenBegley, PepperDigtal
Public relations is not just about traditional media relations anymore. It’s no secret that the journalism field has drastically changed as a result of staff reduction, the 24/7 news cycle and citizen journalists. Reporters and bloggers are strapped for time and they rely on brands and organizations to share complete, packaged stories they can easily personalize and post. At the same time, the consumer news audience has a shorter attention span than ever and readers/viewers look for their news in short, sporadic spurts in fragmented locations including TV, online news sites and social media channels.
And so the traditional press release is dead.
Brands and organizations should no longer expect to put a simple release over the wire and find the phone start ringing off the hook with calls from reporters. We, as PR professionals, need to rethink the way we council our clients when it comes to sharing information, especially breaking news.
The multimedia news release is a good start for a few reasons. First, it takes the basic premise of a press release – which the client should already feel comfortable with – and it takes it to the next level. The MNR supplements a well-written announcement with multimedia content, like infographics, high-res images, video clips, embedded hyperlinks, and downloadable files. This makes it easy for a journalist or reporter to review all the information and assets in one place and select the parts that make the most sense for their audience.
An MNR also helps to tell a story visually. As previously noted, the American attention span is now at about 140 characters (Congratulations if you are still reading this blog post. You’ve bucked the trend!). By summarizing the key points of your press release into a graphic image or video, you have a greater chance of capturing the attention of the people you want to reach.
Additionally, MNR content is dissectible and each piece can live on its own. This helps to promote the spreadability of your story, which extends the “shelf-life” of the information. According to PRNewswire, text press releases generate visibility for 9.4 days, on average. Multimedia press releases, however, generate visibility for an average of 20 days.
The graph from PRNewswire is solid proof, and I’ve seen the results myself with clients who have opted for MNRs. In today’s media landscape where traditional and social are so intertwined, it is important to help your brand tell a story with more than just words.