You want to raise your profile. You want your business mentioned in the media. You might have the story of the century to help do that but without a strong image, you are seriously reducing your chances of getting that story picked up.
I'm lucky enough to have secured a number of front pages in my career and each time, it's been the picture that has taken centre stage.
If you are going to contact the media with a story of any kind, make sure you have a fun, lively picture that will grab the attention of the picture desks and online editors.
If you're posting something up on Facebook, include an image. It's simple, posts with images stand out better compared to simple status updates. Try scrolling through your news feed and see what you are drawn to.
Here are my top tips for using photography as a PR tool.
- Think about what picture will portray your story. If it's the launch of a new youth programme, can you have those involved staging up the activity?
- Props. A fun, eye-catching prop can make the different between a boring static shot and something more dynamic
- NEVER use a giant cheque
- Avoid groups of people standing still, especially if they are wearing suits
- If you can't afford a professional photographer, take your own picture but make sure it's high resolution, in focus and isn't too dark
- Try to take shots outside rather than inside - and not with the sun behind your subjects
- Don't be scared to get close up - and send a couple of different shots to the picture desks.
- If you have a really great pic, simply send it in an email with a few sentences about what is going on to your target media - and include the names of the people in it.
If your picture isn't good enough to be used then it won't be used, but it's worth trying. I recently sent a selfie taken on a smart phone to The Dundee Courier and it was given almost a full page. The media is on the lookout for eye-catching content - so why not be the one that gives it to them?