It’s often said that a picture tells a thousand words, but in PR terms – a good picture can make or break a story.
For example, at Source I recently wrote an ‘Employee of the Month’ story for Praesepe. The employee was awarded for giving up his Christmas morning and going for a sponsored swim in the sea, to raise money for charity. On the day of the presentation, I thought it would be a good idea to have him in his swimming trunks and goggles.
I had a call from one of the journalists who received the press release, saying that he read the story, and thought that it was worth a couple of lines in the newspaper. However, when he opened the photographs, he thought they were absolutely brilliant and decided to publish the full story and a few extra bits. A great result for our client, and for Source!
It’s the same with social media. Log on to Twitter, Facebook or even LinkedIn and it’s a fair bet that the posts that will catch your attention are the ones with the stand-out images. The reason? Humans are visual beings and are naturally attracted to the visual element of things. Therefore, it stands to reason that a good or quirky image in a newsfeed will catch the eye in a way that words sometimes cannot.
We are also in an age where information comes and goes and people’s attention spans are short. According to a study by Microsoft, the average person’s attention span in this world of technology and social media is down to eight seconds — which is less than that of a goldfish. With that in mind, you would think that in the press or digital media, the only way to capture that attention would be with great photographs or rich media.
My tips for a successful PR picture are:
- Be creative
- Use props
- Write a detailed brief
- Use a professional photographer
- Put as much care into planning the picture as you would writing the release
Anyway, here are a selection of Source’s favourites from over the years.