Before pitching a story to a journalist, you should always think of the visuals that could support your story. Regardless of the strength of your angle, a photo can make the difference as to whether a journalist picks it up or not.
Make sure you understand the pictorial policy of the publication you want to approach. Some daily news outlets only use photos taken from their own staff photographers. Sending a picture through with a pitch will not serve your purpose. Simply pitch the image as part of the story idea.
On the other hand, when approaching regional newspapers and online sites, seeing the photos when pitching the story to an editor may sway them to cover your story.
When looking to use photos, always remember:
- Talk to the journalist first. You should always check if they want a photo, and if so, what format they require it in.
- Always check the publication specifications and only ever provide images that fit these specifications. There is nothing worse than seeing your coverage appear with a photo that is substandard or has sections cropped out.
- Ask for the photo deadline. sometimes these can differ from copy deadlines and they often need to be sent to different contacts within the publication.
- Review past issues of a publication to work out what type of style is preferred. It can be worth sending sample styles to your photographer to ensure you get the right look.
- Don’t forget to clearly label the image in the file name to make it easy for journalists to find it on their system.
- Keep to the news angle and stay clear of the cheesy shot.
If you have a news room on your website, it is also worth adding some unusual and interesting shots in quality formats for pictorial editors to download directly from your site. Encourage departments to think creatively about how they present products and try different locations or angles for the typical senior management head shot.
Photos are powerful communications tools. A good photographer can be an invaluable investment in your brand communication strategy.
Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.