Strategic communications teams are tasked with owning the brand story and providing consistent messaging to the marketplace, while tracking outcomes and proving ROI. But due to fragmented audiences across a multitude of channels and screens, these focus areas are an even greater challenge to manage. Images and videos serve as the one unifier across all content formats, with the ability to dramatically increase views and engagement when paired with text. PR Newswire has added value to the multimedia news release with a new design and reporting features that improve reader engagement and make it easier for users to measure campaign success.
Content is both a visual and social experience
“Back in the days of PC-only internet consumption, clicking was much easier than scrolling. This resulted in web design that attempted to get a lot of items ‘above the fold,’ or first screen of a loaded web page, resulting in a lot of clutter,” explains Jamie Heckler, senior creative manager at PR Newswire. “But designers have moved away from that trend and embraced scrolling, which is much easier with touch-screen formats. It’s now about capturing the reader’s attention with great image/headline combo above the ‘virtual’ fold and taking advantage of responsive design.”
PR Newswire originally developed the Multimedia News Release in 2001 to offer marketing and communications professionals the option to distribute content via a landing page, fully customized in a brand’s style with appropriate color scheme, logo, and multimedia content. The latest enhancement highlights a central hero image as part of the landing page, promotes additional multimedia content in a gallery centrally located on the page, and offers a showcase area to call attention to video content. From a design perspective, the benefits of this new format include:
- An emphasis on the social web and graphical content. The latest design feels more like a media-published story than the typical news release, where PR Newswire provides the gallery building and the clients’ art is the feature. The attention grabbing headline photo flows naturally into the text and social sharing buttons are conveniently located at the top.
- A multimedia gallery that is front and center. Compelling pictures are showcased in bigger sizes with independent social share options and full descriptions. The default gallery background in light grey is both pleasing to the eye and draws attention to the images without distracting colors.
- A clean and neutral layout that doesn’t conflict with a brand’s color palette and allows the customer’s content to be the star.
- Responsive web design to give audiences a seamless viewing experience across desktop and mobile devices
Measurement benchmarks current progress and future goals
“Not all viewers have the time or attention to read an entire press release, so it’s important to capitalize on that initial interest as quickly as possible” says Hillary Newport, senior product manager of microsite products at PR Newswire, “After testing 100 multimedia news releases and ARC campaign microsites over a 1 month period, we learned that placing a call-to-action at the top of the landing page increased click-through rates by 300%.”
Click-through rates are one of the standard KPIs that can help tie communications efforts to bottom line growth. In addition to new design options, streamlined reporting on Multimedia News Releases will now be readily available within the Visibility Reports platform. This update will make it easier for users to see, at-a-glance, how each of their communications efforts measures up, and offers options for comparing different campaigns.
Bottom line? PR and marketing pros must create content with the evolving behavioral patterns of their audiences in mind. Investing in cutting-edge platforms and tools can help differentiate your brand’s message and provide actionable insights for future campaigns.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Updating Your Tactical Mix in The New PR Landscape
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