Whats The Point of Good Photographs

November 29, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

If you've invested in the press relations part of public relations - either in your own time or the time of someone like me, are you also investing in good imagery for your business?

The reason I ask that question is that people like me spend an inordinate amount of time chasing down photographs to distribute with news stories. Why? Many business owners don't consider paying for good imagery to accompany any story - they always think any old image will do. It won't. 

One of the reasons for this is that we see imagery all of the time across social media and we can take our own photographs with our own mobile phones and many of us cannot get our head round the fact that with PR this may simply not be good enough.

It's easy to forget that like any other profession, being a good photographer takes skill, training and a good eye for lighting, composition and for making the subject feel comfortable. A good set of images really stands out from the business down the road which makes do with photographs from a staff member's phone. 

Don't get me wrong. Posting on social media with immediate images or those taken during a day's work is not a bad thing, it's a good thing. I do it myself all of the time. However in the world of press relations, one of the greatest selling points of any story is the quality of the image. 

My life is made much easier if I know there's a good image which is easily accessible and which I can send out at a moment's notice. If I'm writing a story and distributing it, I always send an image. Why? Any journalist who receives that story and is interested and doesn't have a picture will have to come back and chase me for one. That will not please them. Before you say that all journalists are lazy (I hear this about once a week). No they are not. They are busy and spending ten minutes chasing down simple image which is decent and usable is, for them, a waste of time. If they've got two stories to choose from and one comes with a decent image - and your story does not - guess which story is most likely to be used?

Now I will not send out a story without an image unless a journalist has already told me they are interested and they are sending someone to take their own image. I will not send out a story where the image is so poor, I'm embarrassed as that affects my own relationship with a fellow journalist. 

So my top tips are as follows:

*When investing in press relations, think photographs and include that cost in your budget as well.

*For hard copy news, such as a local paper or magazine, you will need higher resolution images of at least 1mg, sometimes much higher. So ask your photographer for options to cover on and offline. 

*Think about when professional imagery is appropriate - if your product or service costs money then consider whether or not your imagery (online or offline) just looks cheap. Be honest. 

I can assure you, I have got exposure for clients simply through the stunning photograph even if the story is not that unusual. Invest in making your business look the best it can be at a moment's notice.

 

Fiona  Scott

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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