Visual Content is King. We may be wordsmiths by trade, but there are a few things we can do to move our content forward in this visual age.

By Abby (Stollar Ecker) |

In 1996, Bill Gates told us, “Content is king.” For the next 15 years, we began taking Gates’ words to heart, and we all started producing content like never before. We blogged, we tweeted, we tumbled and stumbled upon, we built Wikipedia. We wrote, wrote, and wrote some more.

And then 2012 came along and content was still king, but a different type of content ruled the day – visual content. We pinned and we Instagramed, and we traded in long status post for sharable visuals on Facebook.

So, what does this content shift mean for us as PR pros and journalists? By trade, we write. We love sentence structure and grammar and painting a picture with our words. I’ll venture to say most of us can’t create a beautiful infographic in InDesign. So, what now?

We may be wordsmiths by trade, but there are a few things we can do to move our content forward in this visual age:

  • Love your graphic designer: If you are a community manager, corporate blogger, or website content developer, you need to work with your graphic designer to create visual content. (It’s a pretty important relationship, so if you need to bring your graphics department coffee and donuts a morning or two, just do it!) Remember, an infographic is nothing without a few concise words and descriptive phrases. Use both of your skill sets to create graphics that are both well written and visually appealing.
  • Learn to take photos: Years ago, we had writers, photographers, and videographers. Now, we have to be all of those people, and in many cases, we have to be editors and publishers too. So, take a beginner photography course or just sit down with an experienced photographer for a few hours and soak up their knowledge. At the very least, learn about lighting, exposure, and environment. Your photos don’t need to be perfect; in fact, people today love those imperfections that can make a brand seem genuine.
  • Think visually: If you’re writing a pitch for a journalist, ask yourself what photos or videos they may want to make your pitch stronger. If you’re writing a blog post, ask yourself what type of visual might encourage people to click on it. If you’re crafting a status update, ask yourself how you could incorporate a visual instead of just text.

Utilize user-generated content: If you’re a brand or even a journalist, don’t be afraid to ask your audience to submit photos through an Instagram or Facebook contest. Showcase those photos to engage your audience and speak through photos rather than words.

How do you make your content visual on a regular basis?

Article contributed by: Abby Stollar Ecker |

Tips & Tricks

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