Posted by: loveleigh | April 27, 2009

Ch. 14: More about News Releases and Publicity Photos

Along with learning the Anatomy of a Press Release in class, chapter 14 in the text book, Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th edition), offers some additional tips for writing a news release.

  • Use short, succinct headlines and subheads to highlight main points and pique interest.
  • Don’t use generic words such as “the leading provider” or “world-class” to position your company. Be specific, such as “with annual revenues of”
  • Don’t describe products using phrases such as “unique” or “total solution.” Use specific terms or examples to demonstrate the product’s distinctiveness.
  • Critique your writing by asking yourself, “who cares?” Why should readers be interested in this information?
  • Don’t throw everything into a release. Better to break your news into several releases if material is lengthy.
  • Look for creative ways to tie your announcement in with current news or trends.
grip-and-grin

The standard "Grip and Grin" publicity photo.

Studies show that more people “read” photographs than read articles. New product news releases often include a photo of the product in an attractive setting. Here are some suggestions to help select what photos are best suited for media use:

  • Quality. Photos must have good contrast and sharp detail so that they reproduce in a variety of formats, including grainy newsprint.
  • Subject Matter. The standard “grip and grin” photo of a person receiving an award or the CEO shaking hands with visiting dignitary has been the staple of publicity photos for years.
  • Composition. The best photos should be tight shots with minimum background with an emphasis on detail, not whole scenes and limiting wasted space by reducing gaps between individuals or objects.
  • Action. It’s better to show people doing something like talking, gesturing, laughing, or running.
  • Camera Angle. Interesting angles can make the subject of a photo more compelling.
  • Lighting. Product photos should always have the light on the product and the background is usually dark or almost invisible.
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