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Smile! - Are your PR images picture perfect?

08 August 2019

It’s often said that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and in the world of 21st century PR and content creation it most certainly is.

In today’s digital age, content doesn’t just apply to words and text (think blogs, articles, white papers and guides), but images and videos (think infographics, GIFs, memes and the rise of purely visual channels, such as Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube).


And we’re not the only ones saying it either. According to:

  • Social Bakers - 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook are images
  • Skyword - content that includes compelling images attracts on average 94% more views
  • HubSpot - 65% of users prefer emails that are mostly made up of images
  • Psychologist - Jerome Bruner, people remember 10% of things they hear, 20% of what they have read and 80% of things they see or do


But the purpose of this post isn’t to simply share stats with you that demonstrate the power of pictures (as much as we enjoy sourcing them and as interesting and as plentiful as they are).


This post is aimed at helping you make sure your PR and online campaigns are no less than picture perfect.

So, we’re assuming by now that you’re aware of the power of images and visual content. And if you didn’t already know it before you starting reading this post, then you do now, thanks to the bullet points above which, we hasten to add, are literally just the tip of the iceberg.

But before we move on from the bullets, we just wanted to spend a minute focusing on point number two, which refers to ‘compelling images.’ It’s all very well having a bank of images in your back pocket, but how good are they? In other words, how compelling are they?

In our experience, pictures can make all the difference between securing a smattering and a blanket of media coverage

Or, as we like to look at it, picture perfect campaigns that deliver on multiple levels and across multiple channels, from email marketing and content marketing to social media.

Good photos:

  • Illustrate what’s being said in the accompanying press release, blog or other piece of content
  • Have everybody looking at the camera (everybody’s smiling – if relevant – appropriately dressed and not blinking, mid-speech or eating or drinking)
  • Include people in them
  • Incorporate relevant props
  • Aren’t too dark or too light
  • Have ideally been taken outside
  • Include branding, where possible
  • Look professional – i.e. make sure the MD isn’t wearing a hoody in the PR pic or the Sales Director hasn’t uploaded a wedding day shot as her LinkedIn profile image
  • Should be of a high enough resolution, ideally over 300dpi/at least 1MB in size, so that they can be reproduced by the media without becoming pixelated (i.e. grainy)


Bad photos:

  • Don’t relate to the text/story/article
  • Have been taken in a bad light (i.e. somewhere that’s dark and dingy)
  • Involve shots where people aren’t paying attention, look awkward and are inappropriately dressed
  • Don’t have anybody in them – this is real faux pas as people make the pictures and people like to see people too!
  • Include masses of people
  • Look too staged
  • Have clearly been taken for something else
  • Are too small and aren’t of a high enough resolution
  • Have been taken against an inappropriate backdrop (messy backgrounds)


How to make sure you fall into the good pictures camp

In this day and age, taking a half decent image has never been so easy, thanks to the fact the quality of smartphone cameras is so good. According to InfoTrends, people took 1.2 billion more photos in 2017 than they did in 2016 and figures published by Statista reveal the vast majority of them were on their smartphones.

Taking shots on your mobile is ok every now and then if you want to grab a picture of something as it’s happening (i.e. to provide live social media updates), but if you want to do things properly, then you should ideally invest in professional photography that will represent your business in the best possible light.

In half a day or a day, a professional photographer can take a bank of shots for your internal and external comms that you can use time-and-time again. This can range from new starter head and shoulder images, to work-in-action shots and pictures of your site/facilities/products, as well as pictures to illustrate your upcoming news stories/press releases. They’ll also instinctively know the type of shots and angles that are most likely to be used by the media and are best suited to your other communications channels.

The camera never lies, but it can help your business stand out and be remembered for all of the right reasons. For more information or if you’d like help creating picture perfect PR and marketing campaigns, contact us on 02476 520 025. 

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