By Sophie Banks, co-founder of Hertfordshire-based PR agency Loudbird PR
Good quality, high-resolution images are incredibly important in terms of PR – it really cannot be stressed enough how crucial they are in promoting your company, service or product to the media. They can make the difference between a publication running your story or not, and can push your story onto a better page. Here are some tips on picking the best photos for your press release.
Interior Designer Emma Kosh
A great way to stand out
Journalists receive hundreds of press releases and pitches a day – and nowadays they prefer to be contacted by email rather than phone. All media outlets need images to run stories. Newspapers and magazines, and online outlets, are highly visual media. More than one journalist has told me that those pitches they receive which are accompanied by a strong (colour) image will go to the top of the pile, and in many cases, pitches without images will be discarded.
The human element
This is as true for a story about a non-visual business as it is for businesses with a graphic product on offer. People make wonderful subjects for photographs, and journalists almost always want people to feature in an image somewhere. An image of the person behind the business engaged in some way with their business will always be of interest to a journalist. A story about a new retail or hospitality business will come alive to a journalist if there is a powerful image of the owner of that outlet in situ – behind the counter, sat at the restaurant table, laughing with a customer, demonstrating the product.
Coach House Kitchen at Hatfield House
A variety of formats
A choice of photographs is also important; the journalist may have a specific space to fill – you will need to have images of different dimensions, and a mix of lifestyle and cut-out images is also a good idea, especially if you are selling a product such as a homeware item, or fashion. Also, with the trade media, in particular, one title might not want to run the same image that a competitor title has used – so having plenty of options increases your chances of coverage.
Lifestyle brand Hooded Owls
Photos that tell a story
Animated images with plenty of colour and personality work best. Static corporate style photos are not so alluring to the media. Nor are trendy, abstract images – the best photos are immediately understandable and relatable. It’s important to tell a story with the image; to try to capture the character of the brand and the human story behind it.
A great return on investment
An investment in some great quality photography, by a talented photographer, will pay dividends in terms of publicity and is not a place to cut corners. We always emphasise the importance of great photography to clients as part of their marketing toolkit, but it is surprising, and frustrating, to us how many business owners do not have enough images of their business. We struggle to get even the best stories noticed by journalists without a really strong image.
Do you need fresh imagery for your business?
I offer environmental business portraits, commercial photography, event photography and lifestyle product photography throughout Hertfordshire.
It’s always a big bonus to editorial staff if you have great images to use. I spent 25 years in magazine production and I can vouch for the need for professional photos the add to any editorial.
What fantastic images and its great to see the image and then the final magazine cover
What a great blog and some amazing tips :)