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In a press release, a picture adds a thousand words

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How much value can you create by using pictures in your next press release? Why incorporate them into your content at all? Sometimes creating or selecting the most relevant illustration for your press release takes just as long as writing the release. As it happens, it is a necessary evil, as no one wants to read a newspaper that is just text or a website with nothing but words.

The media are well aware that articles containing pictures, videos, or other graphical material always result in read rates well above the industry standard in comparison with text only-articles. We all prefer to read a newspaper or website with pictures or some form of media to put things into context and break up lengthy content.

How a Picture Can Increase the Pickup of Your Press Release

During its eight years of existence, APO (African Press Organization) has clearly established the fact that press releases distributed with at least one picture always generate 20 to 30 percent more pickup. There are ample reasons for this.

Say you are on the Internet searching about the recent Ebola outbreak. Reading about this topic could give you all the information you need, such as where the outbreak has been reported and the toll it has taken on the population. But blocks of text won’t make much of a difference if you’ve never heard of the places currently threatened by the Ebola outbreak. Now, if the press release or website you’re reading uses a map like the one below, it helps to put the information into context.

As you can see, the map allows readers to visually grasp where the virus has spread and its impact. Visual aids can be just as useful as the content surrounding them, sometimes even more.

Adding pictures, charts, graphs, maps, and other images to your press release eases comprehension and leads to higher pickup rates. Nobody is going to publish something they cannot easily understand. That is the reason print media and websites will capture attractive layouts to illustrate their articles.

If you do not provide them with at least one picture, they may try to find one by themselves, and you may not always like it. Your brand may be associated to a very bad quality picture or to the product of another company. Journalists may not be aware of a recent change in your management and use the picture of your former CEO, etc. The same applies for your logo. For all of these reasons, you really need to provide a picture with your press releases.

Multimedia content should be standard, not unaffordable add-ons

In 2014, using multimedia as an up-selling tool has become an increasing part of revenue for the leading newswires based in the US. In fact, adding a single picture to a press release can potentially double the cost of a press release distribution. For instance, PR Newswire, in its Annual Report and Accounts 2012, clearly stated that its “organic growth was largely driven by continued success in up-selling multimedia press releases.”

At APO, we want our clients to be successful. You can enrich your press releases, completely free of charge, by adding pictures, videos, documents (e.g., pdf and PowerPoint), and audio files. That is standard procedure at APO.

Our clients consistently generate stronger impact and reap greater exposure by having multimedia in their press releases. Hence APO allows unlimited multimedia content at no extra charge. In fact, APO actually encourages—even pushes—our clients to add at least one high quality picture to every press release. Multimedia content should be standard, not unaffordable add-ons.

Time is money, that is why APO does not adopt a “do-it-yourself” model. Our clients are advised to send all pictures via email so that APO can handle all technical aspects (i.e., image resizing, uploading, captions, clarity, contrast, etc.) There are no complicated online forms to fill out, no wasting time trying to understand the nitty-gritty of it all, and no confusion that could ultimately affect the impact of your PR.

Using Multimedia within a Press Release like a professional

When you add multimedia to your press release, it increases the pickup rate. It generates better impact, and it even gives people more to remember. Not to mention, pictures and videos are perfect for social media. Attaching a tweetable piece of media to a short link that leads directly to your press release can pave the way to reaching people across multiple networks, thus extending your reach. Here, for instance, is a picture from Dassault Aviation posted by APO: http://www.pictures.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1436. By being re-tweeted nine times, that tweet containing both the picture and the shortlink to the actual press release has increased its potential reach by 500,000 views.

The power of multimedia is unrivaled. The question is, are you wielding it? Why not let APO help? It’s time for your Africa-related press release to make a greater impact!

More information about Africa Wire®, the service for newswire press release distribution in Africa, is available at http://www.apo-opa.com/services.php.

Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard is the Founder and CEO of APO (African Press Organization) (www.apo-opa.com), the sole press release distribution service dedicated to Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa. Used by some of the world’s largest companies, PR agencies, institutions and organisations, APO Africa Wire has a potential reach of 600 million.

 

Contact: ceo@apo-opa.org Twitter: @apo_source

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