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Optimize Visibility with Quality Photos

Including photographs can place your news release at the top of the pile.
May 2, 2007

Photographs are becoming a fundamental part of public relations and other communication vehicles. With the internet serving as a global newsroom, adding professional photos will enhance your news and create visibility for your story. To take advantage of this opportunity, you should have several publication-ready photos at your disposal.

Want to enrich the appearance of your company's materials by adding eye-catching photos? Dan Hennes, director of photo services at PR Newswire, discusses what's needed to produce exceptional photographs to complement your news. When should a company include photos with news?
Dan Hennes: A company should use a photo or graphic every time it distributes news, even if it simply includes a logo. This will create an association between the image or logo and the company.

In most situations, however, a logo isn't enough. For example, if your company announces the addition of a new executive, headshots of those involved in the personnel change should be included. If you release a new product, include a photo with your news story. Also try to add action shots or non-posed photos with a news release about an event.

What are the requirements for publication-ready photos and how can you increase the chances of reprints?
Hennes: Obviously, photos shot by professionals have the best chance of getting picked up. To ensure that your photograph is publication-ready, make sure the photographer supplies you with photos that are at least 300 dpi. The longest side of the photo should be 9 inches.

How do you prepare for a photo shoot?
Hennes: Keep these things in mind when planning for a successful photo shoot:

Are photo captions necessary and what should be included?
Hennes: A caption is needed when dealing with the internet. When posted on websites, captions can be optimized for search engines, which index the words associated with the photograph, drawing more readers to your company's story.

The caption should tell a concise story describing what's happening in the photo. It should include the company name, the products by name, important people in the photo and popular industry keywords. This will allow for greater search engine optimization.

What are the benefits of incorporating photography into corporate communications?
Hennes: With the emergence of multimedia and social media, more public relations professionals are distributing their company's news releases through the web every day. Simply using a catchy headline will no longer make your release stand out among others.

Differentiation is particularly important for smaller businesses looking to get noticed amid larger companies. The ultimate goal of incorporating photos in your communication is to encourage the media to pick up your story and attract the attention of consumers, both online and in print.