Whenever I send a news release about something I’ve done to my local newspapers or trade journals, I hardly ever hear feedback from my neighbors or peers, even when I know it’s been printed.
But when I send my photo with the release and it’s printed, I hear a chorus that sounds like this:
“I saw your picture in the paper!”
“Did you know you’re in the most recent issue of PR Tactics?”
That’s music to The Publicity Hound’s ears. That’s because in the majority of cases, a photo attracts readers’ attention and draws them to the news item.
Yet journalists remain continually frustrated by the inability of publicists and others who pitch to understand the incredible power of photos. Freelance writer Pat Luebke, who writes for the restaurant and aviation industries, says a lack of photos is one of her top pet peeves.
“People keep trying to get into more and more newspapers and magazines,” she says. “If they’d only understand that especially with the digital cameras that are available today, making photos available to editors automatically DOUBLES the space you receive.”
Gina Spadofori, who writes a syndicated pet page for Universal Press Syndicate, says she has a continual problem finding good images to fill a small hole on a page.
“The availability of high-quality, high-resolution art can tip a ‘maybe’ item into the ‘yes’ category,” she says.
In fact, one good-quality photo that accompanies your story pitch can automatically move a story from Page 21 to Pages 1, 2 or 3 in a newspaper or magazine. Craig Saunders, editor of Prism, Canada’s magazine for eye care, echoes what many other magazine editors say:
“In the front section of our magazine, nothing gets in without good photos–nothing!”
I have my own pet peeves regarding photos. A man in a photo looks as though he has a plant growing out of the top of his head. One woman gave me a photo of her in a sleeveless blouse, with her bra strap showing. One person gave me a snapshot of him and his dog. The dog had the dreaded “red eye” problem that we see so frequently, leading us to wonder if all dogs and even people have red eyes.
I became so frustrated with these problems that I wrote “How to Use Photos & Graphics in Your Publicity Campaign,” a 138-page ebook that walks you step by step through the entire process of how to take your own photos and create your own graphics. The ebook includes everything from a thorough explanation of camera equipment and the elements of great photos to things such as the pros and cons of prints versus digital photos, how to optimize photos for your website so it loads quickly, how to take photos at your own special event if the media refuses to cover it, and how to use creative photos for routine announcements like births, weddings and anniversaries.
Those of you who need to hire a professional photographer will find an entire chapter devoted to saving you time and money finding the best professional for the job. It also lists the important questions to ask photographers so you don’t find yourself in a legal battle over the use of photos years later.
You’ll find tips for pitching “stand-alone” photos, ideas on how to get an entire page of pre-event coverage, and 18 ways to stay on a photographer’s good side. Learn about dozens of bonehead mistakes you shouldn’t be making. You can download the ebook and be reading it in just a few minutes at www.publicityhound.com.