Hitting inboxes every Monday at 6 am ET, A fresh AP[PR]OACH is the one resource PR pros need to remain ahead of the industry. This week, we're diving into visual storytelling.
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a fresh ap[pr]oach to: visual storytelling

A picture is worth a thousand words. But, when given a choice between the two, most PR pros would probably still choose the latter. That’s because we’re trained to think in key messages and story lines – not necessarily photos and graphic design.

That said, being able to show our clients’ stories has become just as important as being able to tell them (just last week, Jason Falls predicted video and imagery would be two things that set the best brands apart in 2015), so thinking visually is more important than ever if you want to catch someone’s attention.

Take Spotify, for example. Late last year they launched “Serendipity,” a (semi) real-time map that displays when two users play the same song at the same time. The site is a very cool way for Spotify to visually showcase its widespread user base (instead of just rattling off numbers) and provide insight on what the world is listening to. Live Columbus, a local blog, is another creative example, regularly inviting local influencers (business owners, bloggers, musicians, foodies, etc.) to take over their Instagram account and post photos throughout their day. In doing so, they’re essentially creating a virtual scrapbook that showcases all the cool and unique things the city has to offer. Then of course there’s Nike, who dominates on social media thanks, in large part, to the consistent, compelling imagery they share across all of their social channels.

The good news is, you don’t need a Nike-sized budget to make visual storytelling work for you. New tools pop up all the time that make it easy for anyone to create and share stunning images – regardless of what budget or design skills you’re working with. I shared three of my favorites – Canva, Death to the Stock Photo and Flipboard – on prTini last week. We’re also big fans of:

  • Wordswag and Over, for adding text to images
  • VSCO Cam, for editing and enhancing images
  • Party Party, for creating Instagram-ready GIFs and photo collages
  • Piktochart, for creating infographics (no design skills required!), like this one
  • Seen, for managing photo-driven Instagram and Twitter campaigns

So, ready to get visual? These tips on how to leverage visual content in your marketing mix are a good read to get you started.

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fresh reads
a roundup of must-read links to stay ahead of ever-changing PR industry trends

  1. A case of the Mondays. Need a little push to get going this morning? One of these seven unexpected ways to get motivated should help.
  2. Ready for a refresh? Key messages are constantly evolving. Keep Kellye Crane’s tips on how to develop modern key messages handy when you’re ready to revamp yours.
  3. ICYMI ... Last week was a big one for enterprise social networking. Facebook at Work opened for a few companies on Wednesday, plus LinkedIn announced some new tools to help users connect with their coworkers.
  4. In other major social network news ... Sources say Twitter is planning to unveil its new video features in the next few weeks. (What does that mean for your PR strategy? PR Newswire has the scoop.)
  5. To hashtag or not to hashtag? Shouldn’t even be a question, yet plenty of brands still overuse them. Stop playing hashtag bingo and adopt these best practices from Clif Bar’s #MeettheMoment campaign instead.
  6. Productivity, FTW! When your to-do list just keeps piling up, are poor time management skills or lack of motivation and engagement to blame? Unlock the real problem with these 10 insights on being productive and creative at work.
  7. Ready, set, convert. How hard does your website work for you? Does it attract the right kind of visitors? More importantly, does it keep them hooked? The Agency Post has five key strategies for turning your website into an effective conversion machine.

fresh finds
share-worthy things I'm reading, seeing, digging or doing

My Year with Eleanor
Just finished this amazing book, written by a former celebrity blogger who was inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt to conquer a different fear every day. My favorite quote? "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'" Highly recommend adding this book to your reading list!

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