#ProwlyUpdates: Make Vivid Stories & Stand Out From The Crowd
Communication in the digital era is dominated by multimedia. News releases are no exception here. This is why, by supporting brands and PR specialists who stand behind them in media relations, creating engaging content and distributing it, we are taking a step forward to give you access to the new version of Story Creator, owing to which your competitors will remain exactly where they should—which is far behind.
We should first make something clear. Your readers generally better absorb and comprehend stories with images/photographs/visuals and are more likely to interact with video or audio content. Research by Dr. Stephen Kosslyn (Chair of the Department of Psychology) at the finalHarvard University and visual communications consultant Robert Lane has shown that human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Studies reveal that while our brain is able to decode image elements simultaneously, language is interpreted in a linear, sequential manner, which is a more lengthy process. When the brain is not forced to break a sweat, the reader will probably be more interested, will be able to recall more information, and so the content will be more likely to achieve its desired effect. And this is what we all want, right? Those who took this truth to heart and employed rich media content in their strategies inspire crowds with their communication activities, gain a considerable number of publications and receive awards at relevant industry events (here are case studies of the best PR campaigns from the last years’ Cannes Lions).
You may ask whether we can follow the same approach towards both large campaigns involving long-form content and press releases that are sent every day. Well, yes! Press releases containing visuals also manage to better attract the journalists’ attention. As with most of us, mortals, the media people also better respond to multimedia than to ordinary plain text. But how much “better”? Well, about 3 times better—just look at this data.
Update your PR mindset
Why do we, here at Prowly, think that the new Story Creator will help your message get through the information buzz? Because today we are offering you this powerful editing tool. What are you gaining from the latest update?
Well, first of all the possibility to embed external content in three easy, quick and convenient ways:
1. By drag&dropping, using an integrated search engine for external resource libraries which are implemented in the sidebar (such as Giphy, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, or your own bank of published Stories;
2. Using the embed function;
3. By adding scripts in the “header” section for Brand Journal, which allows to globally embed different types of integrations (quoting our Co-founder Sebastian, here “you can embed anything you like, even music in the background.”
So, how do you like it? Many of our clients who at once began testing these new functionalities can’t hide their satisfaction.
They tried it and can’t stop doing it this way
Just look at the effects of their work and feedback we received:
“What matters in the work of a PR specialist is time, and in fact its sound management. If I am able to quickly put in the Creator a ready text of a press release, format it any way I like, and add essential additional materials, then I’m actually saving time. Also, I get attractive visual content tailored to fit any device which the journalist will use to consume this content. Clever, right?” /Łukasz Majewski, VML Poland/
“The new Story Creator from Prowly leaves traditional press offices many light years behind. Pieces of information and communications are lined up to create successive chapters of a story about brand. They rather remind of a contemporary blog which offers its readers a high-quality aesthetic experience, by both meeting the needs of a modern recipient of digital content and ensuring practical tools to be used in journalistic work. From the editorial side, your story literally arranges itself; it is created piece by piece, giving every element an appropriate role in the entire feature. Quotes, pictures, infographics, videos, links to Web pages and locations are no longer only attachments, supplements categorized into the appendix. Instead, they constitute an attractive part of communication. Maybe this is the reason why they are later launched to the right publication orbit.” /Magdalena Gronert, Deloitte Digital/
“The new Story Creator from Prowly is a very useful and intuitive tool that can be of great help in your PR activity. It includes multiple possibilities of writing, adding pictures and also coming back to revise what you have written. Also, you have the possibility to schedule your story for an established future date. It helps the fact that you can preview your story. For every question you have the answer is very quick, the personnel is also very helpful.” /Andreea Viciu, KrugerMatz/
Tell better stories and provide a memorable experience and achieve success
Now sit back and relax, because the list of new functionalities is really long. We simply believe that today every PR specialist and every brand must be able to effectively tell their story. Storytelling simply rules. “What is it that really elevates these companies to be able to hover above the competition? I tell you, it is the story they are able to communicate, and when we tell better stories, our businesses have a better chance to provide a memorable experience and achieve success,” said Kevin Spacey, an Academy Award winner and star of Netflix’s first original show, House of Cards, during the World Business Forum in New York. “The good news is,” Spacey continued, “with the emergence of new tools and new technology, I think there has actually never been a better moment to make vivid stories that stand out from the crowd (…) The storytellers who thrive are the ones who understand how to use these platforms to elevate their stories.”
You will be able to do all this with this package:
– smaller text format—may be used as a footnote, comment, footer, etc. You can also place it in any location of your story.
2/ Align left or right and center titles and subtitles
– the tile may change its position in the text, but it cannot be justified (later we’ll explain why justifying text is not an optimal solution for responsive content);
– use this function to break your text into specific parts, give it flow, etc.
3/ Positioning of pictures
– a picture may be aligned to the right or left edge or centered (which allows you to better assemble a set of smaller pictures);
– large pictures/graphics are automatically adjusted to the width of your text.
– smaller text format which may be inserted above the title (at the very top of the story);
– you may also use it to create very small (short) text pieces or to indicate date, place, title of a series to which the article belongs, etc.
5/ Middle Hero
– fullscreen element—pics, graphics—which can divide the story into specific parts, serve as a graphical break, show off a picture.
– an image is exposed using the parallax scrolling effect.
a1. image + text
– place text over an image/graphic element (maximum 180 characters);
– text appears on the background picture with a grey overlay ensuring legibility;
– it may serve as an exposed subtitle, breaking your story into parts.
– fullscreen element—video (Vimeo or YouTube)—which may divide the story into specific parts, serve as a graphical break, show off an embedded video;
– the sound is muted, but the video is still playing—it may be treated as a motion graphic—a decorative element—or as a video (which can be played—uncover YouTube and Vimeo control buttons and by clicking watch the whole video with sound).
b1. video + text
– place text over video (maximum 180 characters);
– text appears over the animated/played background video(muted) with a grey overlay ensuring legibility—there’s a play button next to the text block;
– it may serve as an exposed subtitle, breaking your story into parts;
– the play button hides the text and allows to play the video with sound from the beginning.
6/ Last but not least – autosave (no comment needed)
The final word: never justify type on the web
Let’s get back to point 2 for a brief moment, as you frequently ask about this matter. Why you should never justify type on the Web? I asked our graphic designer, Marta: “Simply speaking, justified text requires very specific typesetting, which may be achieved in case of arranging publications with a fixed width (that is for print), so when the spacing between letters is specially corrected, meaning it’s slightly increased or decreased, depending on the need. However, there’s no such possibility in case of texts created for responsive platforms, so letters are automatically adjusted to the length of each line—creating large gaps between individual letters or words. It’s easier to read a text that has a consistent “greyness”, which means that when looking at it from a distance, we can see one “color”. Where there are large gaps, this balance is distorted, forming what’s called empty “rivers” which distract our attention from the horizontal text lines. Despite the fact that it looks messy, it also decreases the rate at which we read. The second point is that text aligned to one side is easier to read, as the border that is aligned to the right makes it easier for us to go from one line to another.” If you’re still in doubt, let me invite you here or here. May the force be with you!
PS: We are aware that some of our clients may feel a little bit overwhelmed by the vastness of these changes. Trust us though, you’re in good hands. Things could always be worse ;) If you still feel a bit uneasy on the new platform, feel free to contact our Client Service or pop the chat on our product site.
#ProwlyUpdate January 24, 2017
1. Story Creator
a. You can now turn Autosave off/on
b. Unpublished stories have one, constant URL that you can share (previously URLs were generated randomly every time you clicked „preview”)
c. Titles, subtitles, and images can be aligned to left, right or center
d. New elements: Middle Hero Image, Middle Hero Video (see above), „Add date, place” optional window added over a title section
2. Brand Journal
a. New social media channel integrations: LinkedIn Company Page, Instagram account
b. You can now add social media channels filtered by specified hashtags
c. You can now organize your stories by using tags
a. Added assets Anti-Virus scanning
b. Additional speed and security improvements