They say ‘a picture says a thousand words’ and in PR it really does!
As an agency, we have written and issued hundreds of press releases to the media, from national and local newspapers to consumer and trade magazines. One thing that we always require for stories is a really strong image to go alongside it.
Why? Well, a good picture will capture the attention of the editor or reporter and they may be more inclined to feature the story. Then when it is on the page, it will draw the attention of the reader who could either buy your product or service in the future, or recognise you as a reputable company.
But what makes a good picture in PR?
You don’t have to spend hundreds of pounds on a photoshoot to get the ‘money shot’, today even a smartphone can suffice but that’s not to say that this should be the favoured method going forward.
If you’re caught off guard and looking to capture the moment which can’t be restaged again, then your phone will do. But if a big event is being planned which is going to result in a big news story, then booking a photographer or recruiting a member of staff who is quite handy with a camera is very worthwhile.
The same applies to company head shots – professional photographers are well trained in catching the essence of the company and the staff within it.
As a rule, the press require images that boast a resolution of over 300dpi (dots per inch) and a file size of more than 1MB. Online news sites aren’t as strict but some do have certain image sizes that they work too and so it is best to send landscape and portrait high-res shots so they can resize it if necessary.
Less is more
If you’re a school looking to take a picture of pupils, not every single pupil needs to be in shot as too many faces can distract from the meaning, especially if something is being shown such as an award or artwork they’ve created.
This can also be the case for businesses. If possible, we’d suggest 2-6 as the optimum number of people needed to be present in a photograph.
The more pictures we can send with a press release, the better. Not only does it provide a better representation of the story, but the press can choose what images work best for the page and it can often result in bigger piece of coverage if more than one is used.
Keep it clear
As any budding photographer will tell you, a messy background can make what seems like a good a picture, a really bad one. From litter, untidy desks, unsightly building work or oblivious passers-by, it is important that you make the shot as clear as possible so nothing is detracted from the perfect photo.
One of the many bug bears for the press is receiving an image without a caption. We always issue a press release with a full caption which includes name, the company, position at the company and a few words to set the scene.
For example ‘Managing director of Smith & Co, Michael Smith with his latest invention’.
If there is more than one person pictured, make sure you name them from left to right, for example: ‘L-R: Michael Smith, managing director of Smith & Co and David Jones, head of sales at Smith & Co with the latest invention.’
Hopefully these tips will help you gain more column inches and if you need our PR services, do get in touch.