5 Ways To Make Your Press Releases More Eye-Catching
Sending out corporate press releases — as we know them — is a practice that is quickly going out of style as communication departments evolve. Today, these teams are moving towards something closer to the “social web” and its way of interacting with journalists, influencers, consumers and users.
“Press releases shouldn’t be sweetened up or be self-aggrandizing, they should be 100% transparent and cordial,” said Pablo Herreros, one of the most important communication influencers in Spain. These are the building blocks for a format that will continue to be used because brands need to communicate. However, communication is evolving towards a new style with more content and less corporate promotion. But moreover, communication should be adapted the recipient and their preferences (the basis of influencer marketing).
We spoke about online press releases in the digital space some weeks ago, giving you some tips for creating press releases 2.0. in this whitepaper. Today, we’re going to highlight another fundamental aspect when using this format — images. Here are our 5 ways to make your press releases more eye-catching.
1. Provide visual elements to show information
Many businesses continue to send press releases with reams of text and no visual support — something that makes journalists’ lives more difficult since media is becoming increasingly more visual. They need different images to publish information on blogs, social channels or websites. And visuals create a deeper connection with viewers; it allows them to have a visual representation of what they are reading about.
That’s why we always recommend providing graphics to illustrate the story you’re telling, enrich your content. These can be one or several photographs of the event you’re showcasing, a graphic showing data or even an outline about the press release you’re sending out.
Always keep in mind which format the media or websites you’re sending it to use. For example, imagine you’ve created an infographic to accompany your press release. The information inside the infographic may be useful to the journalist, or, they just might need a certain section of the infographic for their article. Make sure that the infographic can be broken down into segments to make it easier for each media outlet to publish the information they want.
This press release example includes graphics extracted from an infographic that can be embedded online using a link or by using a link to a PDF file.
2. Create catchy headers for your event press releases
Press conferences or press releases to announce events continue to be one of the most commonly used formats for journalists and other contacts to find out about offline events. That’s why getting the recipient’s’ attention is crucial — the look & feel of your press release has a lot to do with how they receive the information.
I recommend sending your influencers or contacts you have a closer relationship with a personal email to check their availability. Outline the objectives of the event before you send them the mass press release for them to add to their calendars. This will show them that their attendance is important to you.
Visually highlight the date and location of the event. And, don’t forget to include a link to register attendance in the header, that way it’ll be easier for your guests to say if they are going.
3. Include “calls to action” to highlight important information
This is important not only for events but also for content where you want journalists to look at something online (videos for example). Use visual pointers such as highlighted boxes, buttons or icons to create a “call to action” that provokes the desired response.
Banners placed inside the text can also enrich the process of navigating your press release content. You can use them to direct traffic to a complementary infographic, a whitepaper or even your brand’s website.
However, make sure the CTA’s don’t interfere with reading the information — these visual highlights should always complement the content.
4. Attach images of the people mentioned in your press release
While some journalists may not be interested, others may need further information on the spokespeople from your company taking part in the event. These could be professionals providing analyses on a study or a member of a certain association that will be sharing a round table with your spokespeople to talk about something at your event.
Including images of those involved is always a good idea along with a link to their professional bios. This way, journalists receiving the announcement or press release will know who is who and can decide if they want to include them in their articles.
5. Should you use GIFs in your communication? Why not?
A while ago, I got sent an invite to an event that I thought was really original. The email header included a personal message and an animated GIF made especially for the occasion.
Maybe it’s not the ideal format for all corporate communications or even for some brands with a more formal editorial line. However, it’s a good option for special events that are less formal and have more of a “fun feel.” For example, the Tesla car brand used a GIF in their press release to showcase some of their car model’s improvements in a very visual way.
These are just some examples of how to get the most out of visual elements for your next press release.
And, last but not least, here’s a summary of some quick tips to remember when including images in your emails:
- Play with the “text and image” tandem, avoid using emails with just one image!
- Make sure the images are in line with the other elements making up your press release (balance the use of images and text, use the same color palette, etc.)
- Use a system that features image weighting (email server or manager), so your press releases don’t fall victim to your journalists and contacts’ SPAM filter.
- Think about the way information is consumed online: use images that complement your information
What about you? Do you have any examples of press releases 2.0?
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