Picture This…



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Picture This…


Photos: An Important Part of Your PR Program


A good photo makes the difference between getting media coverage or not. Make sure your event has a “photo opportunity” – an interesting visual that tells the story, not just people talking at the podium. If press photographers do not show up for your event, you can send your own photographs to newspapers, but this must be done on the same day for daily newspapers, and within a day or two for weeklies.




Make sure everyone who is photographed signs a release form. If the person is under 18 years of age, make sure a parent or legal guardian signs the release form. Always keep a supply of your own portraits or those of other important affiliate members handy, but do not limit these to only headshots. Action portraits make more of a statement and add life to any photograph. The typical head-and-shoulder poses that are taken by professional photographers are ONLY acceptable as a last resort.


FCS teacher Leigh Ann Yurasits and her students created friendship bracelets to foster patriotism in their community of Orange, VA.

For the print media, photo requirements may vary by publication, be sure to ask about photo requirements ahead of time. Keep in mind that the technology is changing

daily. Some are prepared to handle digital files, some work from slides, some like photos. Basic print media photo requirements are listed below:



  • Forget black and white! Color photos are used almost exclusively on the front pages of newspapers, always on TV and throughout magazines.




  • 5x7 photos are preferred, but 4x6 photos may be acceptable; sides and negatives are also acceptable




  • Digital photos should be submitted as 8x10 with at least 200 dpi in a JPEG format and no larger than 5 mega bytes.


Pointers When Shooting Your Own Photos

Before shooting, look at the subject while walking around the scene to find the best view. Try different camera angles to keep out background clutter. The Kodak Web site provides some valuable tips for taking great pictures in all kinds of situations.

  • Photos should be candids or action shots, showing people actively engaged. To avoid self-conscious poses, engage subjects in conversation. Wait for them to respond and assume postures that are more natural before squeezing the shutter. Try not to catch subjects eating, drinking, or smoking.

  • Limit the number of people in a picture to three; four at most.

  • Move in close, or zoom in, to make sure the image fills the frame, eliminating details that aren't relevant to the story.

Captions and Cutlines
Write a brief caption or “cutline” for each photo sent out. Include the most important fact in the cutline since the news release may not be printed, or readers may notice the photo and cutline but not the story.


  • Write the caption in newspaper style -- describe the who, what, why, when, where, and how.




  • Identify people in the photograph Left to Right.




  • Include the hometowns of the people pictured to increase interest in your photograph among papers that cover those hometowns.




  • Describe to editors what is unique about this topic covered in the picture. Give them some background information on your company. Of course, you want to include as much information in the caption as possible, but try to keep it concise -- 80 words is the wire service standard.

Photocopy the cutline on the bottom portion of half sheets of plain, white paper. Affix the paper to the back of the bottom edge of the photos with clear plastic tape. This will allow the captions to be read as the photo is seen. Then fold the sheet up over the photo.



Sending in Your Photo and Press Release

Never use a paper clip on a photo, which can damage the photo finish. Never fold a photograph. And do NOT make the mistake of writing in ballpoint pen or with a marker on the back of a photo because the ink can offset onto other photos, ruining them. If you did this by mistake, cover it with scotch tape to protect the photos.

When you’re ready to send your photos, slide a sheet of cardboard (such as the back of a writing pad) or very stiff paper stock (such as the double thickness of a file folder) into the envelope with the photo, caption and your press release. The envelope should be large enough to hold the content securely, without bending. Stamp or write PHOTOS DO NOT BEND on the front and back of each envelope that contains photos.
AAFCS




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