Guest Blog: Is PR photography worth investing in?

Guy Newman, Devon-based PR photographer, examines why good PR photography is important.

Importance of good PR photographyCan you imagine a world without photographs? Newspapers, magazines, web sites, and adverts would be very dull, wouldn’t they?

Good photography will draw people’s attention to a page or a screen. It may shock them. It may surprise or delight them, it may even make them laugh or cry.

Great photography will touch people’s emotions and communicate a message.

This is a very powerful tool for marketers trying to make their clients products stand out in a crowded world but all too often the PR budget doesn’t stretch to hiring a skilled and experienced photographer. So after spending a fortune creating a new service or product and all the associated costs of launching and bringing it to market, a few ‘amateurish’ photographs are often all that are offered to the media to illustrate this investment.

It seems mad but it happens every day.

Every Business Editor will tell you that not only will your story stand a better chance of publication with a photograph but with a great photograph, it could make a page lead story, giving your product or service excellent exposure and therefore great credibility.

The former Chairman of Carlton ITV Television, Michael Green, when quizzed about the cost of producing publicity photographs to promote his many TV programmes, would compare them to party invitations, saying “You may have organised the best party in the world but if you don’t send out any invitations, no one’s ever going to come.”

So what makes a good PR photographer?

I think a good PR photographer should have a solid background of working in newspapers and magazines. This is because they are:

  • Experienced at working with people, making them look good and often encouraging them to pose or do things that are outside their comfort zone.
  • Skilled at working quickly and efficiently, often having to ‘think on their feet’ to adapt to changing situations.
  • Used to working to tight and exacting deadlines.
  • Able to understand the story you are trying to convey and will know how to capture the sort of eye-catching image that Editors love to use.
  • Well connected with a good ‘contact list’ and will have knowledge of how the various publications like their images delivered.

The investment in a good PR photographer will pay dividends because they will provide you with images that will help gain you great publicity and as my Dad always says “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Guy Newman photographerGuy Newman is a PR photographer based in Devon near Exeter. He’s had pictures published in every national newspaper, from front pages of the Daily Telegraph to ‘interesting features’ for the Sunday Sport.

Guy has worked with Straight Marketing for two years and you can see examples of his work here.