Picture perfect: a guide for using photos in PR
Pictures have always been an important element of PR – from eye-catching publicity stunts to photographs of celebrities endorsing a brand.
The public and picture editors are quick to see through staged corporate photos, so it’s important to look for a wider approach. Sometimes behind-the-scenes imagery can truly tell the story of a brand; or a good infographic may be more effective in getting a story across rather than bogging audiences down with a long-winded explanation of figures and statistics.
The power of visual communication has soared with the rise of digital and social media. Platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and Snapchat, as well as Twitter and Facebook of course, have underlined the importance of punchy images to help deliver effective communication. Social media can even give you opportunities to run campaigns based around your customers’ content, reinforcing their engagement with your brand.
So how do you make sure the images you use in your PR will tell your story? There are three things that will always stand you in good stead when it comes to PR photography:
- Use a photographer with the right experience for the project. If it’s photography for the media, use a photographer with newspaper experience and listen to their ideas: they’ll want their photo to appear in the paper just as much as you do.
- Take it easy on the branding. Some is OK, after all a photo is an opportunity to make your brand visible, but too much will mean the only place your picture will appear is in the recycling bin. Whatever you use, the background should be clutter-free and free of any potential for embarrassing captions to be made!
- Keep your options open. Take a variety of shots that can be sent to different media outlets and make sure you get a good mix of portrait and landscape images to give picture editors maximum flexibility.
Above all, remember to think in terms of the complete package. A strong story will always stand a chance of getting a small amount of coverage even if the accompanying image is poor, but even the most eye-catching image will struggle to get used when the story isn’t strong or relevant to the publication.
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