TAKE THE RIGHT LESSONS
||Posted by Will Gardiner, Client Services Director
An abridged version of the below was published in PRWeek on the 29th June 2012, on the Letters of the Week page.
Naturally, the recent news about the Scottish school dinner blog being restricted by Argyll and Bute Council has sparked all manner of PR debate, primarily focused on whether the council’s public retreat was as a result of a mismanaged situation.
But there is in fact another lesson here for PROs – the importance of a good picture.
The council did not ban nine-year-old Martha Payne from blogging overall, nor did it threaten legal action. She was simply banned from taking photographs of the meals. To the casual observer, this may seem to be a measure of minimal impact, but in the media world (which Martha is surely a part of), the adage of a picture telling a thousand words is as true today as it ever has been. After all, what easier way is there to describe a meal, other than with photography?
The visual nature of the blog has, in part, led to its wide following – in number and in global reach – and the same principle of visual appeal applies to PR materials. Even the strongest stories sometimes suffer when they are not accompanied by good photography to illustrate the message, and some weaker stories have enjoyed more coverage than they arguably deserved due to compelling imagery.
Imagine being the editor of a trade title, receiving hundreds of pitches every day for ostensibly the same story or article. How can you make yours stand out? Use a bright, dramatic, well-composed image – not a headshot (unless appropriate), but one that actually explains and adds to the story.
The PR industry therefore needs to be focusing on all the takeaways from this news cycle – not just the council’s management of the situation, but also what their initial action tells us about the enduring power of photography in media.
Visit our page on how to create news stories that stick in the press and deliver leads for a B2B PR campaign