When people think of press releases, they often think of blocks of text, as well as old-timey newsreel-style footage of newspapers being printed and reporters dashing to payphones to file stories. Not only is the press release still a vital, modern tool of current SEO and marketing campaigns for a variety of reasons, it’s also much more powerful than people realize even now – because the press release has quietly become a staple of the Internet.

The press release has an enormous reach for something so simple and so cheap to create and distribute. Without much effort at all a properly-structured, well-written, and newsworthy press release will be indexed by every major search engine and will turn up in all searches, especially “news” searches. That’s with practically zero effort to get them out there. With a bit more effort they will not only turn up on blogs and aggregation sites but be transformed into deeper-dive articles by writers using them as source material.

Despite all of these advantages, the press release is not only underused, it’s trapped in a 20th-Century paradigm of text only. Ask yourself: Why in the age of multimedia are our press releases still text-only? There are three distinct advantages to adding video to your press release: Increased material to share, giving a modern sheen to the old-school press release, and catching eyes.

More to Share

The goal of your press release is to get your news and contact information out there as widely as possible to drive traffic to your site. While an old-fashioned text-only press release is still very effective, why settle? The more material you offer, the more that can be shared. A press release generally has to be very brief and concise; adding a video or two can increase the information transmitted without violating the standard length requirements of press releases, and also gives the option to simply share the video link instead of cumbersome text, opening up whole new vistas for your content to spread to.

A Modern Look

The one knock against press releases as a marketing tool in the 21st-Century is the perception that they are too old-fashioned and therefore ineffective. This isn’t entirely true, but it is true that the press release looks old-school. A video embedded jazzes things up and makes it look much more like a modern web page or blog post, which can help lower the barriers that keep younger audiences away. While there’s no data supporting the idea that younger people don’t like to read blocks of text, the fact is that if you have a video embedded it won’t matter: If someone resists text, you’ll have them covered as well.

Catch the Eye

Text does tend to have a numbing effect; studies have shown that on average people only read a few sentences of a blog post or article before deciding whether to keep going or click on to the next thing. As a result, a block of unbroken text may not be enough to entice people to read on. The solution could be a video link; the preview image and the instantly-recognizable “play” arrow ghosted over it might invite a click that keeps the viewer there, listening to your content, instead of losing them to something shinier and more eye-catching.

In the end, the press release is still too useful to completely abandon. That doesn’t mean it can’t be made more useful. Adding some video to your press releases could be the difference between an ineffective press release and something that truly captures audience share.