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Graphic is cool!

by Louisa Klein

Now, one doesn’t need to be an expert in the field, to understand how important the image is in the digital age. For a start, images came long before the written word (you’ve heard of cavemen painting stuff on cave walls, haven’t you?) and were used for a long, long time to educate those who couldn’t read and write who were the vast majority of the people. Think about illuminated manuscripts, which could be understood by illiterate people thanks to the beautiful drawings. In the Middle Ages, mosaics and paintings in churches were there to tell the stories of the saints and the Gospels (see, Notre Dame, in Paris), so that those who couldn’t read could be taught anyway.
Images have always played a major role in our education and the development of our taste but now, thanks to the new digital age, they’re more important than ever.
With the big old magic machine that is the web we’re drinking up more and more content but we’re getting thirsty in different ways. Online, we’ll barely read two sentences before getting a headache. We want our info crisp, entertaining and to the point. If they’re colourful, it’s even better.
That’s why a colourful press release with a nice lay-out can get you all the attention you and your product deserve. Speak to any web guru or Photoshop addict and they’ll tell you graphic press releases have long been a feature of the digital world, but their emergence as a mass media PR tool is still very fresh and growing rapidly.
 
As far as I have been able to work out, a graphic, entertaining press release can get you up to 30% more chances of getting the attention of an editor or an established blogger.
It took a lot of work and the overcoming of some hesitancy, but it made and has since paved the way for a flurry of branded visualisations
What this shows is a fresh approach to branded news content and a significant shaping to the PR game. Both big companies and small businesses have always been hesitant to produce such press releases, especially those created outside of their own departments; mostly because of the costs (hiring a photoshop expert and/or a good illustrator isn’t cheap). But now, certainly in regards to online news, the wind appears to be changing.
 
A branded picture carries much of the power of a well-placed news story, but with far more flexibility. Sticky content – it’s shareable, easily flown around and timeless – it’s not condemned to the online archives of a news site but can be re-tweeted, shared or distributed through other channels meaning far more longevity.
 
Everyone knows a picture’s worth a thousand words, but what about clicks, likes and shares? Do strongly designed images that tell a story, prompt interaction and deliver brand engagement? I think the answer’s here is yes! Your turn now, tell us what you think!
 
Bruce Clark

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