The importance of press photography in PR campaigns – top ten tips to make your PR photos stand out
September 23, 2022
As Frederick R. Barnard, famously said: “One picture is worth a thousand words”. A compelling picture can sell a campaign – it can also give you an edge in the competitive world of news generation.
Good photography can give a campaign emotional appeal and help to forge a connection with the audience. For example, several years ago, we ran a campaign recreating images of the racehorse Red Rum with racing ambassador Chris Hughes. The photos were taken on the beach that Red Rum used to train on and were used widely across the national press.
Having the right set of images can convince an editor to run one story over another.
What are the main considerations? Read on for ten top tips to make your PR photos stand out…
- Keep the branding in your photography to a minimum. You should have one visual reference to your brand, otherwise picture desks – particularly on newspapers –might view it as advertising and might not use them.
- When issuing your photos to the media make sure to include a caption that describes what is happening. A caption is a condensed version of a press release and you can include a brand reference. Don’t forget to tag the name, place, and event details thoroughly.
- Make sure you have people in your event pictures. Human interest is really important in news photography. For example, if you are taking images of a new restaurant opening, a PR stunt, or a product launch – it’s all about the movers and shakers.
- Your pictures should be able to tell a story on their own. When looking at them you should be able to see that story unfold: what the campaign is about and why, the key people involved, and the location.
- When commissioning photos consider shooting them from a different viewpoint that makes them more visually interesting than a standard angle. Consider shooting from the ground up towards the subject or shooting down on them.
- It’s worth cultivating relationships with picture editors at the national papers. They are the ones that understand the value of a great image, so remember to include them on any pitches.
- The days of relying on one hero photograph are long gone. The media usually prefer a varied selection of images from different viewpoints, locations, and with different people. Consider setting up your shoot location so that your photographer can take a suite of images.
- You don’t need to send out your pictures first thing in the morning. They can go out at any time during the day – photos are usually the last thing to be added to the paper layouts.
- All picture emails get viewed. Usually, the best protocol is to attach (not embed) two great images. Include a link to all the others, so it’s not overwhelming.
- Having the right brand ambassador matters. If you are shooting with celebrities or talent, you have to ask yourself if they match up and marry with the brand.
Press photography is a powerful tool for getting your brand and content noticed and shared.