Amanda Brown specialises in PR and deals with journalists every day. Competition for column inches is fierce so it's frustrating when we have an opportunity to get media coverage for our clients but they miss out because the basics aren't in place.
Here's what Amanda says about photography:
If you read the travel sections of national newspapers or online features, you’ll find you gravitate towards the stories where there’s a cracking photo next to the article. Good images get people to read more, buy papers, and stay online for longer.
Such is the importance of good imagery that many newspapers and magazines like The Times or Country Living will have a specific team or desk dedicated to sourcing pictures. These teams don’t have any hand in writing the stories as their sole remit is to ensure the publication looks good and the words zing off the pages with high quality, appropriate pictures.
This week I was reminded how much time I spend sourcing photos when the picture editor of The Times asked me for a selection of photos to go with a piece on UK wildlife adventures. What should have been a two-minute job took two hours once I’d spoken to the experience and accommodation providers, discounted the poor quality images as well as those taken in summer, despite it being a winter theme...
So why am I sharing my woes with you? Well because irrespective of whether I’m sourcing the pics (when the time I spend on the task eats into a client’s fee) or you are asked directly for images, not having the right pictures could result in your story being dropped from the feature.
The quality of images needs a whole separate feature to do it justice but a few things to bear in mind:
Note from Susan Briggs: I'd definitely echo all Amanda says above. Similar tips also apply to websites. I once had a double page spread in Conde Nast travel magazine ready to go - a huge amount of free publicity for a tourism business - but the editor decided the images were not good enough, and said their readers would click through to the business' website and when they saw the lack of decent images would click out again. The feature was spiked, dead and forgotten. Don't let it happen to you!
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