Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Tea & Tips - Advice from a PR Expert on How to take newsworthy photographs..


Welcome back to my Wednesday mini series filled with marketing tips from my PR expert friend , Rachel Burks.

If you missed Rachel's previous posts in this series, you can catch up by clicking the links here:

How to take newsworthy photographs

While you might think a media release is all you need to get your information out there, there is one small detail that will really help lift and get your story or product covered – a picture.

A picture really is worth a thousand words in the worlds of journalism and public relations. One perfect press photo can make all the difference to editorial and online coverage.

There are a few rules that need to be followed in order to snap the perfect pic. We’ve put together some useful tips you can follow next time you find yourself with a camera at the ready. But the best thing you can do is ensure you get a professional involved. After all your image means everything…

Say cheese

You’ll be half way to snapping the perfect photograph if all of your subjects are looking at the camera, with their eyes open and their best smiles on.

Limiting the number of people in a photograph is a great idea as it will be easier to ensure everyone is smiling and looking directly at the camera. A photograph of people looking the wrong way or with closed eyes just won’t be taken up by the media.

Please, no cheque presentations

Believe it or not, newspapers really don’t like cheque presentation photographs. They are possibly some of the most boring photographs to receive. Again, it’s all about putting your quirky hat on and thinking of a fun and interesting way for a person to receive their cheque or donation.

Cute, cute, cute

Everyone likes to see a picture of a lovely, smiling child or a cute, fluffy animal. Cuteness pays off. But it must relate to your press release/story.

Oh so glamorous

Glamorous ladies and VIPs really make attention grabbing photographs. If you’re planning an event see who you can invite to be in the press shots that fits this bill.

Pick up a prop

A photograph of someone holding an item is always much more interesting and the quirkier the better. But it must relate to your press release/story.


Small, bad quality photographs are useless. Newspapers and publications need big, high quality, colourful photographs. 

It’s all in the details

Local publications always need the full details of everyone in the photograph. This means full names, ages of children, job titles and where they come from. These need to all be spelt correctly and need to be done from left to right, back to front as the people appear in the shot.

Ensuring you have permission from everyone is also key, nobody wants to open the newspaper and spot a photograph of themselves that they didn’t give permission to be printed.

Strike a pose

A good press photograph is always posed. Whether someone is presenting a person with a prize or there are a group of people.

It’s behind you!

Always keep in mind your setting and the background of the image. Make sure there is a nice, clear background, preferably without signage or other people ruining the shot behind you.

It’s a good idea to make sure everyone in the photograph is close together and there are no gaps or empty spaces.

The quirkier the better

A fun and interesting photograph is more likely to be used alongside your media release. Have your subjects posed in an interesting way or find a funny angle for your image. Let your imagination run wild and you’ll be sure to chuckle when you see it in print. But it must relate to your press release/story.

Thank you Rachel – next week she will be sharing some Tea and Tips with me about the importance of a good headline, I hope you can join us.

Best wishes