A Picture Equals a Thousand Words
One of the important things I learned early in my PR career was the power of great photographs. My PR mentor, Chip Carey, taught me to always try to include a photograph with a press release for the media. Sometimes that slowed me down (and those of you who know me know that I don’t like to be slowed down at work!), because I had to look around for a good photo, and back in the day, I had to make duplicates (sometimes by myself in our own darkroom!….talk about time consuming!)
I am now more convinced than ever that a great shot adds enormously to a press release. Sometimes, particularly in dealing with travel editors, having a great image means the difference between a cover story in the travel section or being buried in the back of the section. Or sometimes it means your story being placed above the fold rather than below the fold. And obviously when dealing with television news, they need great video. When pitching a story to a TV news editor it’s important to describe what the visual images will look like. TV people thrive on images, not on words alone.
The photo above is the Saddleback Maine Base Lodge at night. Isn’t it beautiful? It was taken by my friend and professional photographer Gary Pearl. I think it’s very appealing. It would definitely draw me in if I were to see this image in a newspaper or magazine story. By the way, Saddleback is one of my clients for PR so I’ve enjoyed spending more time over in Rangeley this past winter than ever before. What a great area of our beautiful state!
The reason I was thinking about photography today is that I was reviewing some photographs submitted to us by our client at the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. They sent us the photo at left of the kayakers looking a cows. This photo was taken by Northern Forest Canoe Trail board member Lisa Dyslin. I think this is a great shot because it’s quirky. You don’t think that you can go canoeing in the wilderness and get this ‘up close and personal’ with a bunch of cows standing by a quintessential old New England barn.
But that’s just the kind of experience that the people at the Northern Forest Canoe Trail are trying to promote….the opportunity to paddle along a water trail from the Adirondacks of New York to Aroostook County, Maine and pass through wooded wilderness, charming villages and towns, and farmland like you see in this photo. So I believe that this is a perfect photo for us to use with our press releases about the canoe trail.
The next time you are trying to tell a story, think of how you can complement your words with great images. A picture truly is worth a thousand words. Sometimes I fail to include a photograph with my blog posts, but then when I look back at the blog, I always regret not taking the extra time to post a photo. I believe that blog posts with photos are far better than those without, don’t you?