I Heard It From The PR Girl

Week 14: 5 Steps to Multimedia Storytelling

Posted in Topic of the Week by laurynwilliams on April 14, 2010

This week my Pr Writing class took the course  “5 Steps to Multimedia Storytelling” by Poynter News University.

What I learned:

This course taught me the important steps that one should take when writing for multimedia. There are so many different approaches that you can take to getting news and information out online, such as text, video, audio, animated graphics, maps, and still photos. All of these have different ways of capturing the readers’ interests.

Text can be used to describe the history of the story or describe the process or provide accounts of an event. Text should only be used when another form of media cannot be used to convey the event properly.

Video is the best for depicting action. You can used this media form to take the audience to a place central to the story or to hear and see someone central to the story.

Audio makes photos seem more realistic. Using audio alone can be hard to understand sometimes. Avoid using it alone, but instead use audio with pictures to create intensity.

Animated Graphics show how something works. They can go where cameras cannot to provide the reader with information. This can be used as a primary medium.

Maps give a location to allow the reader to better understand where the story is happening or what is going on. Viewing different areas of a map is a great way to let the reader engage interactively on the website.

Photos emphasize strong emotion and create a mood for the story. They can be used to draw the reader to the focus of the story. The reason photos are so dramatic is because they do not pass quickly like a video. They stay still the entire time for you to observe them and make inferences.

Using any of these ask links from the main page of a website or veering off a second page is a good way to get the reader interacting and following along. They can choose where they want to go. It is your job to help them decide when during their reading and viewing that they want to go there to help accurately get the point of your story across.

What surprised me:

It really surprised me to hear that photos were thought of as being stronger than videos in the emotional sense. I really liked how they said we should combine them with audio to create a more realistic approach.

What I want to know more about:

This course was very interesting to me. I would like to learn more about how to make a story board before going out on the field. I like creating blogs and websites. I feel like it keeps me up to date with technology in terms of the PR field. I so like how it is interactive. I would like to learn more about how to apply a story board to the web. Each page of the website for Racetrack Playa’s moving rocks was carefully thought out in the course. I liked how they used the links on certain pages to direct the readers’ attention to that link, but the reader is not bombarded with tons of information and had the opportunity to choose what he or she wanted to read, watch, and listen to. The links created less clutter.

I highly suggest this course to anyone interested in PR writing, writing for the web, or journalism. It is a great way to learn the multimedia writing process step by step.


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