Adding Multimedia to Your News Releases: Best Practices
Did you know 77 % of journalists are more likely to pick up a release and run with it if it includes transferable images? Apart from the sheer helpfulness of providing a journalist or blogger with image and / or video content they can use, adding multimedia to your news release can increase the chances it’ll get shared online and resonate with readers. Why just tell your story when you could show it, too?
If you’re interested in leveraging multimedia in your news releases but don’t quite know how to start, keep in mind these best practices when choosing, adding, and optimizing multimedia assets.
Choosing the right assets
Our eyes head directly to images among blocks of text. Are yours both attention-grabbing and successful at inciting the right emotion? Consider your audience, message, and goals. What action are you hoping to drive from your audience? Follow these 3 best practices to choose the right assets:
- Use original assets. Skip the stock images. Chances are, others – possibly even your competitors – have used the same image or video in their releases or on their website. Original assets give your story personality
- Get creative with video. You don’t need a camera crew and expensive equipment to get original video assets. Video streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat are easy-to-use, budget-friendly (both these examples are free) and increasingly popular online
- Aim for shareability. The type of content that is most frequently shared is survey results, infographics, big data and, of course, humor. If you’re hoping to grow your brand online, think about content that will serve multiple purposes on different channels (pinnable images, pulled quotes under 140 characters, etc.)
Adding images effectively
There are a few technical best practices you should keep in mind when uploading images to your news release. Images can increase your news’ shareability, but only if they render properly! Here’s how to make sure yours do.
- Use high resolution images. Ideally, keep the size of your graphics as small as possible to allow for fast-loading pages, but of high-enough resolution to display well without pixelating
- Always use an image alt attribute. Originally developed to improve site-accessibility for visually impaired visitors, the “alt tag” appears when the element to which it is applied doesn’t render. Write short, descriptive alt attributes that explain the content of the image
- Link multimedia to URLs. Link the image to a dedicated page that contains supportive information about the content in your release or about the image itself
Optimizing for online discoverability
Optimized images can help your site achieve better visibility by associating keywords with images – when you help search engines “understand” what your content is about, the chances you’ll rank for your keywords are higher.
- Name image and video files with search engines in mind. Describe your image and video assets accurately when you save them (not “3758843. jpg,” for example.)
- Write descriptive image captions. Place images and video near relevant text. Captions are ideal places to elaborate on the content in your images and video
- Use original, quality images. Consider how images will appear as thumbnails on Twitter and a search engine results page. A rule of thumb is to ensure the images you upload for distribution are at least 300 dpi
To increase your chances of getting your story picked up, make multimedia a must in your news releases. For more best practices that we didn’t cover here, from anchor text to sourcing original content, access our free multimedia tip sheet.