Regular contributor Linda Donaldson is the founder of Geometry PR, one of the most respected agencies in the South West. Here Linda discusses the importance of images accompanying press releases.
As someone who spends a lot of time writing for a living, I really do enjoy the written word. I am perfectly at home reading pages and pages of text without an image in sight but for many people that is really not the case. The reality is unless our words and ideas are hooked into an image they tend to go in one ear and out the other.
Researchers can pretty much prove anything but a recent study indicated that 93% of all communication is non-verbal. Well I don’t know if I fully believe this but certainly if you consider the way we intuitively use technology today it would suggest we are genetically wired to respond differently to colourful visuals than words. You need only consider the small, picture-led leaflet Apple produce as the operating instructions for its most sophisticated products, to get this point.
Ask any journalist and they will confirm that very often the reason one news story will make it into press over another is because it has been supplied with a good or striking image. Read the headlines and main stories in the national newspapers and while most are genuinely news of national interest, there are plenty of examples of articles verging on the lightweight to the “of no real interest” at all, except for the fact they have been supplied with a startling accompanying image. On the flip side of this a poor quality image can discourage and may even cause an editor to overlook what is essentially a good story. The temptation to skimp on paying for professional press photography never pays off. This reluctance is perhaps symptomatic of the number of handheld devices that come with inbuilt cameras. Mobile phones undoubtedly replaced the need for cameras for most snaps some years ago. The convenience and ease by which they allow sharing of images has entirely changed the way we use pictures to communicate. But while anyone can take a picture taking a quality press picture requires more skill than just a steady hand. It requires a good eye, an ability to frame a shot and when taking pictures of people it requires the knack of making people feel relaxed. This is no mean feat at times. Photography is often seen as an unnecessarily expensive cost but it can be value for money. If you are hiring a photographer for a press shot then make sure you get a variety of images that you can use elsewhere in your marketing collateral.
If professional photography still seems too expensive then consider using infographics. These have been around for years and as the name suggests they are graphic visual representations of information. The London Underground tube map is a good example of an infographic. When designing an infographic you should consider the appeal and comprehension of the design. It needs to have appeal to engage with its audience and if you are using it for editorial purposes then it must be easy to comprehend at first glance. There are a number of specialised and free online services such as Infogr.am and Easel.ly that you can use to generate your infographic but the quality of design is key to it being effective. Overall infographics can be a highly efficient and effective way to convey large amounts of information in a visual manner.
Whatever you use to illustrate your communications make sure you invest the time and the money in getting that visual just right otherwise you risk your written words being completely overlooked.
To find out more about Geometry PR visit their website at: www.geometrypr.co.uk or call 01225 422051
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Pictured above: Linda Donaldson of Geometry PR