With so many ways to reach audiences that are plugged into multiple screens, it’s become harder and harder to stand out. Add in today’s rapidly moving news cycle, and any public relations professional knows that standing out is no easy task.
Here are our suggestions to make sure that any PR piece stands the best chance of generating buzz and keeping an audience’s attention.
Use strong images
We know that humans are visual creatures and good images can capture the attention of readers. But what makes a good image?
Relevant images are the best complements to great content. Regardless of how interesting or engaging the text may be, without a compelling header photo, readers may scroll past the article without getting past the first paragraph. In fact, readers are 80% more likely to read an article if it includes colourful, visual content according to a recent Xerox study.
Therefore, image selection is a key phase in the development of a PR piece. Images should be high quality and include bright colours. If the article features individuals or an organization, using headshots allows the audience to connect with them. Most importantly avoid cliché images – these are nearly as likely to bore the reader as much as no image at all.
Remember to also include alt text with keywords for your images to maximize the SEO of the piece.
By moving beyond traditional formatting and creating compelling stories, you can improve reader engagement. Because stories generate empathy and connection, sharing real-life or authentic stories mirrors the direct engagement of real-world interaction.
Consider that many of us begin to learn from a young age through storytelling – bedtime stories, fairy tales, family stories. Audiences are already trained to listen to stories and draw information from them, to be impacted by them. Use the power of narrative to your advantage.
Hook your audience with relevant content
People need a reason to stop and read your piece. The right hook early in the article can convince a reader to invest their time.
Consider what other PR professionals are using and try to differentiate yourself from their strategies. You want a reader to know that your piece is not just a repeat of what they have read before, but that it can offer new, exciting, or useful information.
Be the early bird
Whether your strategy is proactive or reactive, speed is a key element of a successful PR strategy. Making the first impression on a new topic allows you the most space and opportunity to grab a reader’s attention.
To accomplish this, you need to approach this within your own PR practice as well as with your clients. On your end, keep on top of the news so you can spot opportunities and capitalize. Work with your clients to encourage quick turnaround times and reduced revision periods. It’s no use for you to try to seize the moment if a brilliant bit of PR gets lost in the feedback loop.
Package your story in unique ways
Working with today’s news landscape, you can be more effective if you use multiple forms of media to package your story.
Offer sound bites that concisely and clearly get the point across. Journalists can easily select and best use this in their own coverage of your work. In addition to an article, images, video, and other audio are also a useful way to capture the attention of audiences. This allows you to capture people who absorb information in different ways so that you do not have to rely on a single medium to compel readers.
Another useful strategy, particularly for more technical or complicated pieces, is to use infographics. They are helpful tools for breaking own complicated data into simple points with pictures and graphics that will stand out to readers.
Strong marketing and PR plans require adaptation to our busy news cycle. By being nimble and using a multifaceted approach, you can make your client’s stories or your own story captivating to your audience.
Contact TopLine Comms for more tips and tricks to maximize your PR potential.