Creating Killer Visual Content for B2B Brands

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By Julia Prior, Account Coordinator

The verdict is in – compelling content in the digital age comes in the form of images. And it makes sense because images are an eye-catching way to convey information, feelings and news in an easy to digest and relatable manner.

But how does all this work for B2B companies?

Often a major strategy in a B2B plan is to position the employees and executives as thought leaders and trusted experts on the company’s particular topic. Images are a creative way to disseminate this kind of information to the general public.

Southern Methodist University Cox Executive Education (client) uses images like this one to share thought leadership in order to promote its programs that help professionals grow in leadership and management roles.

Southern Methodist University Cox Executive Education (client) uses images like this one to share thought leadership.

By sharing a quote or industry insight on its own, you may gain a few customers that read it and think about it. But people are more likely to read and engage with the content if it is presented not only in short and sweet “snackable” sizes, but in a graphically creative way.

Instead of just sharing a headline or quote from an article, try pulling a sound bite sized learning out and creating an image out of it. You can then use the image to post to social media, or even use as an embedded picture with the article in a publication or on your website or blog.

The key here is to make the content interesting. Support your executives’ brilliant articles and thought leadership pieces with compelling images that help tell the story.

The easiest way to do this is to simply impose a quote or learning from the article into an image, as shown here. This gives readers a quality look at topics and draws them into the article. Make them want to read more.

High resolution images of your company’s product can also be used to this effect. If you work in technology, use the images to back up any claims you’re making.

Paradigm, Ltd (client) uses product images to demonstrate the capabilities of its software for geological exploration and reservoir characterization of oilfields.

Paradigm, Ltd (client) uses product images to demonstrate the capabilities of its software for geological exploration and reservoir characterization of oilfields.

Get creative with your visuals. Showing your product on its own is nice, but to really add weight and credibility to the image, try using a picture of someone using your product. Pair this with a quote from your executives or customers about the product or technology, and you’ve got a compelling image to use practically anywhere.

In addition to small, snackable sized images, give some thought to using the research your company has no doubt done to create your own infographic. By teaching the reader something unique about your industry, and supporting your claims and products with data and facts, you earn the readers trust and become an expert in their mind. Infographics are also a great way to show how your customers are benefiting directly by using your product or service.

Lastly, don’t forget the fun side. Take pictures at conferences and events, even around the office. Office birthdays and special events provide a chance to show your customers and the world what kind of personality your brand has. Give a peek behind the curtain every once in a while and allow your Facebook fans or Twitter followers a glimpse at what your company does at conferences or events.

Images are a great way to tell your brand story not only through social media, but to make your website, blog posts and contributed articles more interesting. As long as they are high resolution, professional in appearance and relevant to your overall messaging goals, images can be a great way to draw more attention to quality content, which will in turn draw attention to your brand’s product or services.

What kind of visual elements do you use to tell your brand’s story?

Leading Pro-Am Day with PRSA Dallas

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Since the beginning of this year, I had the privilege to join the 2012 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) of Dallas leadership board. I serve as one of the two co-chairs on the University Relations committee. PRSA is a wonderful national organization to be involved in, especially as an entry-level employee, because of its diverse networks, educational meetings and leadership opportunities.

My committee hosted the first big event of the year, Professional-Amateur Day, which is known as Pro-Am Day. This annual event connects undergrads and recent grads with seasoned public relations practitioners in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Students are paired up with a professional- who we call the ‘mentor’. The students had a firsthand view of the public relations industry in their desired sector- corporate, agency or non-profit.

(from left to right) Sana Merchant, Chase York, Nelli Tokleh

Planning this event with the University Relations committee started as soon as the first leadership board meeting was hosted in January. Chase York (chair) Sana Merchant (co-chair) and I made up the team. As the girls and I recruited students to sign up, we also contacted local professionals to volunteer as mentors. With our combined efforts, we recruited 40 students and 25 mentors. Some mentors hosted multiple students in their offices. Our other duties on the committee were selecting professionals for the luncheon panel, drafting tweets, creating post-event surveys and attendance and sponsorship outreach. After the students shadowed their mentors that morning, everyone headed to the Park City’s Club in Dallas for the monthly PRSA Dallas luncheon. Attendance for lunch hit 103 people overall! Brooks and Associates’ account executive Stephanie Santos McLeese was among the audience.

(from left to right) Denise Stokes, Carmen Branch, Scott Allison and Wendell Watson

Working on this project taught me valuable lessons that I can apply to any job, especially while working in the PR industry. Communication is crucial. My team and I set up weekly committee calls to review our plans of action and set deadlines for ourselves. We couldn’t have moved forward so quickly without meeting via phone or sending emails multiple times each day. Also, we’ve all heard of the phrase, “There’s no “I” in team.” That statement is absolutely true. Without my team present and having the additional PRSA Dallas board members available right away to help, the event wouldn’t have been successful. Each board member provided a unique service to Pro-Am Day.

Working with the board overall gave me the chance to meet PR folks in Dallas, and it helped establish new friendships. If you would like to get involved with PRSA Dallas or learn more about the benefits, shoot me an email at Nelli@BrooksandAssociatesPR.com.

Volunteering with PRSA Dallas

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By: Neli Tokleh

Paying dues to join an organization is one thing. Paying dues and becoming an active member of a group can lead to a whole other direction. I joined the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) of Dallas upon graduating college and leaving the student branch of this organization (PRSSA).

PRSA Dallas hosts an annual Communications Summit, and I was stoked to join its volunteer committee this year. This opportunity gave me a chance to meet public relations professionals in Dallas and Fort Worth, and I also learned the how-to on planning a large event. My responsibilities included securing PR agencies for the career expo session, finding student volunteers for on-site assistance, and booking media to attend the media roundtables session.

I spent about four weeks working on the committee prior to the big event. Rosalynn Vasquez and Kai Stansberry headed the committee, and our team consisted of ten people. It was great having a squad of volunteers who supported one another. There was always someone willing to help me when I needed it, and I was able to return to the favor to others.

A main idea to keep in mind about event planning is to plan early! Since it was my job to contact a handful of PR agencies from Dallas, I knew I had to call them as soon as my contacts list was prepared. In general, PR practitioners and reporters often have busy schedules, so it’s important to invite them to an event as soon the details are in place. The same applies if you are looking to book speakers for an event. Continue to follow up with the invitees as they confirm with information such as what they need to bring, check-in time, dress code and the event address. Also, send a friendly reminder email on the week of the big show.

If you are a newbie entry-level PR person like me, don’t be afraid to jump at any opportunities from professional organizations. The folks from PRSA Dallas were excited and appreciative to have me on board. Serving as a volunteer gave me an inside look to how PRSA Dallas runs events, and I was able to establish personal relationships with the committee and attendees.


Neli, second to the left, poses for a picture along with PR students and recent college graduates at the Communications Summit. (10/21/2011)