Chapter 8: Selecting Publicity Photos and Graphics


This information is found in PUBLIC RELATION WRITING AND MEDIA TECHNIQUES, 6th edition, by Dennis L. Wilcox

The Importance of Publicity Photos:

  • Photographs and graphics are important components of news releases and feature stories.
  • They add interest and variety, and they often explain things better than words alone.

Components of a Good Photo:

  • Publicity photos are not published if they are not high-resolution and if they do not appeal to media gatekeepers.
  • Components:
    • Technical quality
    • Subject matter
    • Composition
    • Action
    • Scale
    • Camera angle
    • Lighting and timing
    • Color

Working with Photographers:

  • It is important to use a skilled photographer with professional experience.
  • It will cost more money to hire a professional but it is worth it.
  • Consider:
    • Contracts
    • The photo session
    • Cropping and retouching
    • Ethical considerations

Writing Photo Captions:

  • Caption – the brief text under the photo that tells the reader about the picture and its source.
  • Written in active, present tense
  • Two to four lines long

Creating Other Graphics:

  • Charts, diagrams, renderings and models, maps, line drawings, and clip art are all widely used.
  • Charts:
    • Pie chart
    • Bar chart
    • Graph

Maintaining Photo and Art Files:

  • Without properly indexed photos and illustration files, negatives, digital images, or artwork can be lost for future use.
  • Necessary pertinent data:
    • The date of the event
    • When the photo was taken
    • The location
    • Releases from people portrayed
    • Complete names and titles of people shown
    • The name and address of the photographer, including any restrictions to use the picture

Distributing Photos and Artwork:

  • First approach – simply e-mail a news release or an advisory to a specific journalist or editor and let them know that you have photos and artwork if they are interested.
  • You can offer four different formats:   
  1. A thumbnail
  2. A slightly bigger preview image
  3. A low-resolution version
  4. A high-resolution (300 dpi) one
  • Second approach – mail a media kit that includes a CD that contains at least two files.
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Filed under Chapter Notes, PRCA 3330

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