You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2009.
Flicking through a local newspaper, I came across a full page spread (yes, full page) about what was essentially a toddlers football academy.
In the wake of Obama’s plans for Afghanistan, the Tiger Woods scandal, Coleen Rooney’s fab post-baby body and the ever-gripping Peter Andre / Katie Price will-they-won’t-they-oh-who-cares-anyway saga, it was a surprise to see such a light, fluffy story being given such extensive coverage. However, there was one key ingredient that guaranteed column inches – the picture featured the most adorable assembly of toddlers kitted out in mini football kits. It was the kind of photo that would make the most cold-hearted go gaga.
It should never be underestimated how powerful a good photo can be. It can turn a fairly uneventful press release into a photo story, or in this case, big news.
When I was training as a broadcast journalist I had to learn a hard truth – that my carefully crafted words would always play second fiddle to the pictures being flashed on screen. It was a big learning curve to adapt my story to the pictures, rather than the beginning-middle-end format I was so familiar with. But, for good or bad, that’s just the way the industry works.
Now working in PR, I find that people still underestimate the power of the picture. The truth is, unless you have the biggest scoop of the year (we’re talking cancer-curing, recession-overcoming, discovering life on Mars type of stuff) a good picture will always give your story the edge.
Hiring a photographer for an event or opening is not a luxury, it is an investment. Plus, you own the pictures, and anyone who has tried to get a picture from a press photographer will know just how difficult that is.
So, the lesson here is, do not let your story go unnoticed because you have not got a picture to go with it.
Oh, and if you are going to invest in photography, do not waste it on cheque presentations (so last decade).