For the public relations practitioners out there, let’s take a poll: How important do you think visual elements are to journalists?
A) Very important.
B) Not important at all.
If you answered A) Very important, then your views align with 80 percent of the journalists polled in a recent PRESSfeed survey who said it is important or very important to “have access to photographs and visual images.”
While your answer might have matched up to journalists, nearly half of the PR practitioners polled said visuals in news stories are not important at all to journalists.
Of the surveyed PR professionals, 45 percent said visuals were unnecessary in news stories. Another 39 percent said the same for press releases. Even considering the wording of the survey and how answers might have been perceived, these results demonstrate a stark divide between journalists and PR practitioners regarding the value and need for visual content.
As social media trends continue to embrace highly visual platforms, such as Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, I ask: how could the polled PR practitioners not answer in favor of visuals paired with news content?
Although journalists have controlled the media straps for decades with article placements, PR professionals have their hands firmly on the reigns regarding social media content and engagement. The polled PR practitioners should have considered the volume of pictures and video populating all social media pages as they were clicking in answers to the PRESSfeed survey.
PR Newswire also conducted a study demonstrating the increasing number of press release views where visual content is added. In that study, press releases with photos, video and other media receive 77 percent more views than text-only releases – a lesson PR practitioners know – or should know – instinctively, and need to consider when filling out future surveys on the subject. Get the picture?