The use of photography in PR

Leeds University student Chloe Flatt has joined us on a week’s placement. Here, she delves in to the role that high quality images play when liaising with the media…

We live in an age where everything is instant and attention spans are often short. So whilst we obviously fully appreciate the extent to which PR is about the careful selection of words, the value of photography can certainly not be underestimated. Good quality and interesting images can be overwhelmingly successful at grabbing both an editor and the target audience’s attention.

We often hear the cliché “a picture paints a thousand words” being thrown around. But what exactly does this mean to the PR industry?

Providing quality images can contribute to telling a client’s story or delivering a specific message. Stories with interesting images are likely to grab a journalist’s attention and may influence the final decision to publish a client’s material. Photos can add a whole new dimension to a story, giving it a wider appeal. It is essential to think of photographs as a shop window; the appearance of this window can either encourage or discourage an individual from delving further.

In an increasingly fast paced society it is important to take full advantage of the impact photography can have on an editor and a target audience. Images generally tend to take up the largest space within an article or advert, some people may avoid reading the accompanying text if this image fails to seize their focus. Humans are visual beings, a trend exacerbated by the rapid expansion of social media usage. Both editors and readers alike enjoy seeing images which really bring the brand or message to life. Photographs can make stories seem far more attractive and add recall value to individuals who simply do not have the time to read the full story.

However, it is important to remain selective when deciding appropriate images to fit with the text. Low quality photography can have an adverse effect and deter an editor from launching a feature at all. For this reason, it is essential to choose a photographer who fully understands the message that is being conveyed. A professional photographer has the ability to provide creative ideas that allows a brand to stand out from the crowd whilst delivering an appropriate message. Images sent to the press should also be at least 300dpi to prevent pixelation.

It is important to remember that text and images are a package. You cannot feature a quality image without well written text and vice versa. Text and images within an article or advert can work as a collaborative partnership in which they contribute to telling a singular story or providing a specific message.

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