Watching Pinterest with Interest

One online community generating significant buzz these days is Pinterest, the “virtual pinboard” that has attracted more than 1.5 million invitation-only users since it debuted in 2010.

Whether it is recipes or recreation, fashion or football, home décor or homepages, that piques your interest, the site indulges with limitless opportunities to “pin” images to customizable boards that can be viewed and repinned by other users.

While all sorts of conclusions can be drawn about why Pinterest has taken off, it is the visual nature of the site that is worth noting.

As Mashable describes it, “the browser experience is ideal for the small attention spans of web readers — almost no text, almost all pictures.”

Almost no text? Almost all pictures?

For PR professionals who have built their businesses and reputations on wordsmithing, that notion is a little scary. However, the trend toward visual communication is here to stay, and our business is changing accordingly.

To be successful, everything from the basic press release to internal communications needs to be brief and supported by strong imagery. Words must be impactful but sparse.

And if it’s virtual, it better be visual.

Whether Pinterest is the web’s Next Big Thing remains to be seen. However, the site does pinpoint an important fact: visual elements are an increasingly vital part of delivering your message and defining your brand. Pinning down the right images to complement carefully crafted words will be worth the investment of time and creativity.

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