Press photography, media relations, PR Words and pictures - PR photo tips - Pillar PR | Highlights

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Words and pictures - PR photo tips

Posted on 01/08/2013 by Lynne Burwell in media coverage PR media photography PR Yorkshire PR North East

Words matter and we make sure that ours always tell a great story with impact and insight. But good images can make the difference between striking a chord and striking out. In PR and marketing, words and pictures should work hand-in-hand to create a compelling whole. Here's our advice for PR photography:

  • Quality Counts  Yes, we are in the age of the citizen reporter and instant photo sharing but in planned PR photography, quality counts and having a camera (or phone) doesn't make someone a photographer. If you want to achieve media coverage, photography by a professional is almost always a good PR investment. (Just look at the image above by Doug Jackson, one of the terrific professional photographers we work with.)
  • Use your imagination  ...but remember what works for different publications and mediums. So try out a few quirky shots if they're appropriate to the story but make sure you've got the basics covered too.
  • Tell the story   Your image should illustrate your story or at least an element of it. Complement not complicate.
  • Attention to detail  If you're on social media sites you've probably seen plenty of examples of corporate photography 'howlers' so make sure you look at the whole shot to weed out any unintentional pitfalls.
  • Get options  Make sure you get a variety of shots to suit different outlets. Plus, you'll have something to offer publications who want exclusives. And try for some landscape and some portrait images so that you'll have something to fit every space.
  • Think targets  Keep in mind who your key audiences are and research what kind of images they like. Then give them what they want!
  • Logo-light  Including a brand identity in shot can be a good way to anchor the image to your business but keep it low-key. Overdoing the brand imagery can switch off editors and infuriate viewers. 
  • Check format   If you're emailing photos, make sure they're in an easily readable format (most of the editors we work with use jpegs) and don't zip. One of the most basic lessons of media relations is to make key information easily accessible so don't give your recipients extra work to do.
  • Check size   Too big and they could take too long to load or even bounce back and too small and they won't be usable. Think about where you're sending the images and remember that print requires high definition. 
  • Sharing sites   Think about using one of the sharing sites (dropbox, mailbigfile etc) to disseminate your photos. Most have free options and you can set controls to make sure only the right people see your shots.

Last but definitely not least: talk to your photographer, share ideas and make sure you both know what you need - before you start.

Any other tips you'd add?