The no.1. best photo for PR is the one that gets you the coverage, it tells the story and there’s no need for you to really say anything else. But we’re rarely on the scene when the news is happening and have to rely on our clients to send us a snap after the fact. So, here’s our no-nonsense guide to the top 3 types of photo that will make the grade.

  1. Swap the grin & grip with the show & tell

The ‘grin and grip’ photo of the MD shaking hands with the new client, the local mayor, the employee of the month… I could go on… is boring and says very little. What can you do to summarise the press release in one photo? Is the MD drowning in award wins? Are you having to piece together a new Ikea desk because you’ve got a new team member? Have you been fundraising in a silly costume?

Caremark Winchester was invaded by Easter chicks – have fun with your photos!

Tell the story in the photo so the reader almost needn’t read the article. This type of photo is also likely to get you more engagement on social media too.

  1. Subtle branding

Some of the media will instantly reject a photo because it has a prominent company logo in the background or contains a blatant product placement. We’re all business people here, we know that the reason we’re pitching out some PR is to raise our personal or brand profile, but we can do this in more subtle ways.

You can see the activity in the salon, the mascot supporting promotion, customers checking-in and the salon style – it just so happens that the company logo is in the background.

Or, think about an organisation like Cancer Research UK. They don’t need to stand people in front of a logo or a research building. Their brand culture is all about the community pulling together to fundraise to find a cure for cancer:

You can see the finish line of a race, the pink t-shirts, the supporting crowds and a mum hugging her two children – even without the headline, we could guess that is Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.

  1. The one where no one knew about the camera

In a world full of selfies, it’s nice to see a few photos where people aren’t thinking about posing for the camera. This is sometimes called ‘reportage’ or ‘documentary’ style photography. This style captures a moment or event in a narrative fashion and helps the reader understand what it might have been like to have been there too.

Watch out – you might get splashed! Water Babies taking part in a Splashathon.

The trick here is to forget the photographer is there – be in the moment. You can take plenty of shots, and then you can let the team choose their favourite (normally the one where I don’t have a double-chin!) before you send with your press release.

And here’s your checklist for the technical side of photos:

  • At least 1MB and 300dpi – if the photo is good enough for print then it can be used for everything else too
  • Portrait and landscape – give the option so your photo can fit any space
  • Nothing dodgy in the background – be aware of your environment and remove that half-eaten sandwich unless you’re photographing a picnic.
  • Take your finger off the lens – you know we’ve all done it at some point!

Whether you’re a David Bailey, more Bill Bailey or just prefer a glass of Bailey’s, remember that a picture is worth a thousand words – so make it count!

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