You’ve put a lot of effort into your latest art show, performance or business event. You’ve written your press release and you’re ready to send it to Tampa press outlets and share it on your web site or beyond. Then, you get an email from one of the press outlets asking for an image of you. You quickly scan through your drive of selfies and photos friends have taken. You send a few that aren’t too bad. The editor replies asking if you have anything with larger dimensions or that isn’t a selfie. If your release is lucky enough to get a response, it might ruin future credibility if you aren’t ready. This could pose a real problem for you. I wrote about how professional photography can help your press release stand out here, but I’d like to elaborate on this topic for people promoting themselves or a business service. Here are some important things to think about.
Professional business photos in two orientations
It doesn’t matter if you are an artist, a freelancer, a business professional, a doctor, a realtor or in some other occupation where you are the service provider. You should have high quality professional headshots of yourself. It’s also of benefit to have business related photos of yourself in action. I have already shared a post about reasons you need a professional headshot or corporate photos here, but you also need to have print and web ready professional images to send along with your press release if you want to take advantage of potential free marketing through the press.
It’s best to send small versions (less than 4 mb) and let them know in the email that you have higher resolution photos available if they need larger ones. When you have a headshot or photography session, your photographer will show you various options to choose final images from. You’ll want some in landscape orientation (think of it like horizontal) and some in portrait orientation (think of it like vertical). This gives publication editors a variety to choose from for their layout needs. Sometimes, they pick a story and images from what will fit in a certain space they need to fill when they go to layout.
You’ll want headshots and action photos for press release photo variety
Give the press even more variety. If more than one publication is planning on covering your news, it is nice for them to have a variety of images to choose from and less chance of using the same ones as another publication. Corporate headshots are great if the news is about you or a staff member, but if the story is about you doing something or a service you provide, then having action shots is great.
Here are a couple images I might send with a press release.
Let’s say you are an artist. Photos of you at an easel painting are good - having a headshot, an action photo of you painting that shows your face, and one over your shoulder showing your work is even better. It will allow the editor to choose which image best helps tell the story they want to shape. If you have to budget and choose headshots or action photos, think about the stories you will need to tell the most often and go with the type of photos you imagine would best help tell people who you are or what you do.
Professional high resolution photos are best
Whatever photos you send to a publisher or editor will be representing their publication. They will be judging your photos and determining if they are the kind of quality they want to be associated with. Sending low resolution or photos that are obviously shot with a cell phone or by a non-professional may mean your images are passed over.
“Finally, pictures, video, and sound files are worth a million words. If you add these intrinsically viable multimedia elements to your press release, they will aid you in gaining that desirable, palpable, and viral tenacity that equates to good content marketing, effective branding, and enhanced credibility. Ultimately, the future of your public relations – and your brand’s reputation – is in your hands. So tread carefully and make the most of it.” - Kissmetrics.com, 12 Ironclad Rules for issuing Press Releases