By Louise Findlay-Wilson, Creator of PrPro and owner of Energy PR
Photos are often a real Public Relations (PR) afterthought, but the recent Royal tour really brought home the power of imagery.
While you may not have pictures with the paparazzi pulling power of Catherine Middleton, you shouldn’t under-value the power of photography in your PR campaign. A strong photo can really bring to life a story, or make an editor want to carry news that is otherwise possibly a bit weak.
In fact a great photo will sometimes make an editor turn a feature story into a front cover story. Also, with radio stations increasingly wanting to pull the online audience by having fantastic supplementary content on their sites, pictures are now important to broadcasters too!
But before you reach for your camera, please read on...a bad picture could make you and your PR look amateurish.
So here are the top ten rules when it comes to your ensuring your PR is picture perfect;
10 Golden Rules
• Avoid studio type head and shoulder shots – pictures ‘in a work setting’ are much more compelling
• Indeed, think of who you want your prime spokesperson to be, have some interesting shots of them to hand in a work setting, this coupled with a willingness to provide good, timely comments will increase their chances of becoming the ‘go to’ spokesperson in their industry
• Ensure your photos are ‘tight’ with the subject of the photograph almost filling the frame
• Group shots should ideally include no more than 3-4 people (no firing squad line-ups)! Their heads/bodies should be very close together
• Try to have shots that are both portrait and landscape as you are just not sure what will work best on an editor’s page on a given occasion
• Caption your photos properly so the editor know what it is or who is in the photo
• Ensure your photo supports and reflects your news, if you are telling a story in your news release the picture should tell the same story
• Avoid people at desks, on computers or shaking hands, boring, boring, boring!
• Don’t overload editors’ inboxes (they won’t thank you). Send your news with the photos as a small file – and put in your notes to editors that higher resolution versions are available upon request
• Killer tip – If you need photos of products or spokespeople you will be regularly using in your PR campaign get them professionally taken, do not do them yourself, it’s a completely false economy.
If an editor is weighing up two news items or feature contributions of relatively equivalent strength, but one is accompanied with a really impactful/professional photo that will make the page look good, the material with the photo will win the day! So spend a little time and money getting this right.