How Graphic Design Fits into the PR Puzzle

Graphic design and public relations are often considered two mutually exclusive professions. So, when I tell folks that I handle graphic design at our agency, they look a bit puzzled. In fact, graphic design tends to be considered more of a marketing responsibility, and this is just one example of why there are a lot of blurred lines when it comes to public relations and marketing. However, while marketers utilize graphic design to help sell a product, PR professionals incorporate graphic design to help tell a story.

Our world is rapidly evolving due to the advancement of technology, and as a result, the public relations landscape is continuously changing to accommodate new media channels and content types. Storytelling in the 21st century is becoming heavily influenced by the demand for visually appealing images, graphics and overall appearance. In order to stay relevant in this highly-saturated content world, it’s important for companies to understand how graphic design and public relations are intertwined, and how joining the two can greatly increase the impact of your strategic efforts.

Storytelling
The art of storytelling is constantly taking on new, innovative forms and in today’s world, digital storytelling is all the rage. The average human processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and with over 3 billion people using social media, stunning visual elements are more crucial than ever. Design has become its own medium for storytelling and visuals have become a staple of PR.

When telling a story, you want to create an experience for the reader in order to pull them in and engage on a deeper level, which by the way, is a PR professional’s main goal. Whether it be in a story, a pitch, or a social media post – visual components serve as an excellent form of communication. Visuals can capture a piece of the story that words sometimes cannot or tremendously enhance the message of the story when combining the two.

Take infographics as an example. Alone, you have a dozen bulleted statistics and informative messages that serve as key components to a story. But in today’s world, that’s not enough – it’s boring. Instead, incorporate that information into a beautifully crafted infographic, and boom! Audience engaged.

Don’t say it
Don’t say it.
Don’t say it.
A picture is worth a thousand words.

Credibility
The look of a company plays a significant role in the decision-making process amongst consumers, investors and talent. Graphic design serves as a remarkable tool for communicating clients’ credibility and professionalism. Companies that have aesthetically pleasing visuals and a more “professional” look are typically perceived to be more trustworthy and innovative.

In addition, maintaining cohesive visual elements throughout all aspects of the corporate identity – social media posts, annual reports, case studies, internal presentations and more – increases your client’s ability to build brand recognition among key decision makers. Successful visuals will be personalized, thought provoking and mirror company values. By integrating this puzzle piece, PR professionals can better position a client as an expert in their industry while influencing behavior and invoking change.

Convenience
Ultimately, PR pros want to help make our clients’ jobs a bit easier. At Dittoe PR, we consider ourselves an extension of each of our clients’ internal teams. Therefore, merging graphic design with already existing media relations efforts saves clients from the hassle of having to outsource for visual elements.

By manning the design elements from the start, PR teams can properly integrate visual or digital components in the initial ideation process, which will improve the execution of the strategy and maximize results. And this may be a no-brainer, but it also gives your PR agency a very nice competitive edge by optimizing your service offerings that will meet client objectives and even exceed expectations.

If your company is in dire need of eye-catching graphics, we’re just a click away from creating professionally-crafted visuals tailored to your company’s unique needs.


Five Skills to Take PR Pros to the Next Level

There’s no doubt about it – PR is no longer just press releases. While media relations and communication skills cannot be understated, exceptional public relations pros will know how to utilize non-traditional skills to stand out and make an impact for their clients.

 

The way we communicate is constantly changing, which means PR professionals need to adapt quickly and creatively to share their message. If you want to get ahead and pick up a few tips and tricks to add to your toolbox, here are a few great places to start.

 

Invest in some design skills.

Being able to make an eye-catching infographic to wow your client no longer requires years of design school. Graphic design and public relations are often thought of as two separate disciplines, but a good campaign is strategic and cohesive. Being able to create a great design, whether it is for an infographic or a poster, can increase your impact. You can check out some video tutorials online (thanks, YouTube!) or even use free design software such as Canva.

 

Video is the future.

It’s hard not to notice video’s rapid rise in media. If this tactic isn’t part of your efforts this year, you are potentially missing out reaching a huge audience. 147 million Americans watch video on the internet, and that number continues to rise. To reach this audience, check out Instagram stories or IGTV, or plan a Facebook Live. For example, Dittoe PR used IGTV recently when sharing our favorite moments of 2018, and that video received more than 250 views. There are so many ways to engage with video – try some out!

 

Hone your photographic eye.

Whether you are taking photos at an event to send in a pinch or snapping a shot for social media, knowing how to take an eye-catching photo can give you a step up. Want to try it out? Try using different angles, light, and dimensions when taking photos. Practice your skills (even just on your iPhone!) and snap away.

 

Stay social media savvy.

Understanding two-way communication with your audience on social media platforms is key in today’s social media driven world. Social media is not only for sharing, it is also great for engaging and interacting with your followers. Create a social media plan, post consistently, and interact with your followers to build your community. And don’t forget to test out those new photos, videos and graphics you created!

 

Keep up to date.

In a rapidly changing industry, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends and tactics. Some easy ways to stay up-to-date include following PR blogs on Twitter, setting Google alerts and being involved in your local PRSA chapter. We also post more trends and tips on our blog.

 

At Dittoe PR, we are proud to provide results-focused campaigns and custom strategies for our clients. Interested in learning more? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com to set up a consultation for your company today!

 

By: Keeley Miller (Dittoe PR intern)