PALO ALTO, Calif.--()--Rutgers University won a prestigious award at the 7th Annual SNCR Symposium and Awards Gala held Friday, November 9, 2012, for an unconventional test of identical press releases distributed with and without a photo. The Rutgers Center for Management Development (CMD) won the Measurement & ROI Award in the Academic Division from the Society for New Communications Research, a global nonprofit research and education foundation and think tank.
“Do photos improve the performance of an online press release? The Rutgers Center for Management Development suspected that was the case, but it didn't know for sure. With a major promotion set to launch early this year, it teamed with SEO-PR to find out.”
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In presenting the award, Paul Gillin, SNCR’s Best Practices & Awards Chair as well as the Principal of Paul Gillin Communications, said, “Do photos improve the performance of an online press release? The Rutgers Center for Management Development suspected that was the case, but it didn't know for sure. With a major promotion set to launch early this year, it teamed with SEO-PR to find out.”
He added, “The agency distributed the same press release via Business Wire at identical times one week apart. The first release had no photo and the second one did. Despite the fact that Google News didn't index the second release, it got 20% more views and 63% more clicks in 14 days than the first press release got in 21 days. Result: Rutgers has valuable insight into how to generate hundreds of additional click-throughs using a simple tactic. And SEO-PR has a grateful client.”
Eric Greenberg, Managing Director of Executive Education, Rutgers CMD, said, “This campaign has already generated seven registrations worth $31,500 in incremental revenue for Rutgers CMD, which is 8.75 times more than the $3,600 spent on writing, optimizing and distributing the press releases over Business Wire with and without a photo. So, conducting the study has paid off financially as well as academically.”
Greg Jarboe, President and co-founder of SEO-PR, said, “We were surprised that there was no definitive data available on this rather simple question because it’s been asked for at least 15 years and you would have thought that someone would have done a study before now. However, we weren’t surprised because PR budgets are so tight that it’s difficult to get approval for even the most rudimentary research. That’s why the Rutgers CMD deserves a lot of credit for approving this study.”
Laura Sturaitis, Executive Vice President of Media Services & Product Strategy for Business Wire, said, “Although the right photo depends on what the press release is about, there are a few general guidelines for choosing photos that work with online press releases. A photo should be clear, in-focus, hi-resolution; bright, high-contrast; close-ups of faces; visually compelling imagery; well-framed, good composition; foreground stands out from background; looks great at both small and large sizes; accurately represents the content.”