One of the most effective tools for getting positive news coverage
is the still photograph.
Whether aimed at community newspapers, or the larger dailies, PR
photos that get picked-up by publications can powerfully convey
your organization's message. But there is a real art and science
to the news photo.
Ron Welch is General Manager of CPimages, ( www.cpimages.ca)
a division of Canadian Press, one of Canadas prime news gathering
and dissemination services. Mr. Welch says "editors know the
value of good pictures they draw readers attention,
they sell papers and they can make or break your chances of getting
your point across."
Welch, who has been in the photo business for 23 years, offers
ten tips to help communicators get the best out of their news photo.
- Hire a photographer with editorial experience they understand
what photo editors are looking for and will deliver them in the
correct digital format, colour corrected and ready to go.
- Good photos are new and in some way unusual.
- A good photo shows action the instant it happens.
- Strong photos portray people and appeal to the emotions.
- They always relate to some important person, event or place.
- Photos should wrap-up a story and provide an overall view of
- Remember context excellent news photos tie in with a
current story, the season, the weather or a fad.
- Large empty spaces should always be avoided in news photos
the entire frame should contain useful information.
- Stand-up group shots, unless filled with VIPs, dont work.
- The digital format of choice is an 8X10, 300 dpi JPEG.
PR photos can be distributed in a number of ways through
paid wire services such as CNW or CCN Mathews and directly to photo
editors via E-mail. The latter distribution tactic should not be
overlooked, because some community newspapers and smaller dailies
do not subscribe to paid wire services, and they tend to be heavy
users of photos generated by PR, especially of local events or people.
The caption that accompanies the photo should be under 50 words,
and explain the photo and its context. It should not be overly commercialized,
but help the photo tell the story.
Mark LaVigne, APR, is President of the Canadian
Public Relations Society (Toronto) and runs a media relations and
media training firm based in Aurora, Ontario. He can be reached
at (905) 841-2017 or firstname.lastname@example.org