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Picking the Right Picture for the Media
Choosing the perfect photo can help your release get chosen.
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 by Simon Apps
Professional Images

Simon AppsIf you are not sending pictures out with your press releases, you are missing a vital part of your PR campaign. As any editor will tell you, a release with a photo has a much higher chance of being used and could elevate your story from a few column centimeters on an inside page to a more prominent position and possibly the front page.

Here are a few tips that could help:

As an absolute minimum, ensure you have headshots of all people mentioned in your press releases and spokespeople representing your organization, before you are asked for them by a journalist. Avoid white background studio shots.

Your main spokespeople, CEO, directors, VPs, etc should have a small selection of images taken which picture them in a natural working setting representing your specific business, both with your company logo and without. Make sure you get landscape and portrait orientated shots.

If you are 'telling a story' in your press release, make sure the photo also tells the (same) story. Ensure it has enough impact to immediately grab the attention of firstly the editor and secondly the reader.

Supplying a feature picture instead of a simple headshot is the biggest single thing you can do to bring your story to the top of the pile. Sometimes the most mundane story can be published as the lead story on the page thanks to a superb photo. (This is known as a picture led story).

Have some generic shots taken that represent your business and industry sector. Both internal and exterior shots should be produced showing your business at work. Sometimes having these generic shots available when a picture editor is looking for a photo to go with an existing story can result in your organization being asked to comment. (Make sure you are told what the basis of the story is before making the pictures available).

Make sure all your photos meet the media photo specs so you they can easily be sent by email and will not overload the mailbox of the journalist you are sending them to. (This wouldn't help your cause!)

Simon Apps is an ex-press photographer and founder of Professional Images,  providing PR and editorial photography and a full photographic
service to the business sector.

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