Journalists are “Getting the Picture”

The shift toward visual and graphic digital content is a trend that shows no signs of reversal. Case in point: All Things D reported that in August of this year, smartphone users spent more time on Instagram than on Twitter for the first time since Instagram launched in 2010. Contributing to the trend is the capacity to discuss print images via social media; for instance, consider the volume of online commentary generated by the recently published New York Post cover image of a man pushed onto the subway tracks in front of an oncoming train.

Traditional media outlets (and in turn, marketers and PR practitioners) are constantly seeking ways to express their stories visually in order to capture and maintain the interest of audiences drawn increasingly to pictures. Pinterest has emerged as the pictorial platform of choice for many consumers, and the company recently acknowledged the potential it holds for brands by launching business accounts. Businesses were already using the site for marketing purposes; but with Pinterest openly welcoming commercial activity (which it previously discouraged), we can expect to see more companies integrate the community into their marketing efforts.

But what about the media? Poynter today published a thoughtful, interesting article examining several journalists’ approaches to using Pinterest. Beyond the obvious tactic of displaying stories that dovetail with topics popular on the site (think: weddings and food), news organizations are finding creative ways to repurpose their material for Pinterest’s large audience. Perhaps more interestingly, they’re also engaging with readers by showcasing contributed photos alongside their own imagery. The Poynter article even points to the example of the Pottstown Mercury, which posts mugshots on Pinterest to solicit tips from the community – and has seen a 58 percent increase in arrests.

Here at Affect, we’ve recently helped our clients with visual storytelling through slideshows and infographics. How else have you seen the media and businesses adapting to satisfy the growing appetite for visual content?

Image credit: {Karina} via