Posted on Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
Good photography can be a powerful addition to your PR armoury. Poor photography will often be ignored. If you see a page of print in a newspaper, magazine, on your website, on social media pages or other publication, the eyes are immediately drawn to any pictures on the page. At this point, the viewer can make an instant decision to click the back button, turn the page OR read the text. After all, it is usually the text that carries the real message that you want the viewer to read. My message is that photographs help business press relations.
However, the eye can grab an image and process it in the brain in less than a second. So if you want the reader, wherever they are, to carry on and engage with your content in more depth, it really does help to have great imagery. If your photographs evoke a quick eye scan and nothing more – your chances of further engagement are severely diminished.
If this article was just using this photo, it would be terribly uninspiring – after all how many head and shoulders shots do we see? Just another mug-shot with a tie. Would it make you want to read further in this article? No, because you have seen this type of shot time and time again. Rather than having a simple mugshot, it would be far better to include a photograph that says something about his business or him. Something to grab the eye and make you think, “Well what is this all about? What does he do? What is his company? Is he a one man band or the CEO of a bigger company?” None of these and many other questions answered visually. And the photo is not great quality.
So what do these folk do? Is there a team? What is their company? What are their corporate colours? Do they look friendly? Does your eye get pulled towards this photograph? Do they look enthusiastic? All these questions are answered in less than 2 seconds and if you are interested in their services and want to find out more you are now more likely to read the editorial content, whatever it is.
Another factor is that if you want a newsroom or editor to run a story about your business, they will be looking for something to engage their readers. They are desperate for copy, but they are even more desperate for great copy supported by good photographs. In my experience press releases and stories without good images to support them get fed in as fillers or little short pieces – often referred to as NIBS (News In Brief).
If you want your PR package to have an impact when it lands on an editor’s desk, you have got to understand that an editor is looking for. Well first understand how they make decisions – the first one, “Is there a good reason to include or exclude your story?”. That gets the story into their decision pile and they will often have loads of press releases crossing their desk. So want can you do to get them to choose your story? My experience is that one factor that increases the odds of selection is having a great picture because that is more likely to catch their eye. Next, make sure that you get the story into the photograph. If your photo looks like old passport photo above it says nothing. Whereas the taxi image leads straight into the story that it is designed to support.
You can bet your life that a low quality photograph will reduce your chances of not only engaging with the editor, but more importantly the readers of article, webpage etc. From my past experience in the press industry, I know that it is not unusual for a great story not to be published because the photos accompanying it were poor. Your photographs have to help the busy editor seeing the potentials in your piece. Not only will it get your current story better coverage – BUT they are more likely to ask you again for other articles because they can rely on getting quality from you.
So, this leads me to my next point, it is well worthwhile investing in a professional photographer who is able to understand your subject area. It is also important that you do not think of a photograph as a one shot use. It can be used on websites, uploaded onto social media sites, in marketing collateral and even potentially in future press material to display a consistent branding message. However, you should always check the photographer’s terms and conditions to ensure that you can re-use the images. .
Firstly, as I said avoid head and shoulders photos, they should be appropriate for the position and industry of the person being photographed. A good professional photograph will find a way of bringing the image to life. They are very likely to offer suggestions about location, dress, poses, and they will light the image well to give it some atmosphere.
So, with the photograph on the right you can have the executive or staff of a restaurant chain pose in a kitchen. The photo has personality and is more likely to stand out from hundreds of other similar pictures.
Firstly, they should be high resolution with a quality of at least 300 dpi and, ideally, be nine inches (or more) on longest side. The reason for this is that larger, high-resolution photographs keep their quality when they are resized, usually downwards. Mobile phone cameras are getting better, but the photographs produced by a digital SLR are going to give you the quality required.
Another consideration is that an action picture is going to have more visual interest. I find standard posed shots of groups can be uninteresting because they are less likely to grab the viewer’s attention. This is where a good professional photographer will come be invaluable. They have the right equipment and they have the experience to get good innovative photographs for you. They know how to make sure that your photographs help business press relations for you.
Call me now on 07973 638591 or on 01455 271849 or CONTACT ME to find out how I can provide your business with PR photography to make your business stand out and explain how photographs help business press relations.