Courtesy navigation

The importance of images in PR

The importance of images in PR

April 18, 2011 by Ceri-Jane Hackling

The importance of images - pile of photosMany people think that PR is about press releases, text and words — which, to a certain extent it is. However, the importance of images cannot be underestimated.

Pick up a newspaper or magazine near you and have a flick through — what catches your eye? I would guess that the stories with accompanying images are the ones that get your attention, which should be telling you that good images are essential when trying to achieve press coverage.

As PR professionals, one of the biggest problems we face is clients who don’t understand the importance of images, so here some guidelines on images and how and why to use them.

  1. A picture says a thousand words — whether it’s a product image, an image of you and your team or images from an event. Including an image in your press release will grab a journalist’s attention and help you tell your story.
  2. Think about the different images you might need. It’s useful to have a variety of shots — from your product in action, to cut outs to your product on a plain white background. That way, your shots will be appropriate for most uses.
  3. It’s always a good idea to invest in a proper photo shoot. Never underestimate what a photographer can do for your brand. Outside of the business of actually taking the photos, a good photographer can advise on the kind of images you need to show your business to its best advantage, provide lighting and professional backdrops and develop creative ideas to really make you stand out from the crowd.
  4. Avoid amateur Photo-shopping – if you can’t afford a proper shoot, it’s best to avoid making the shots up. Badly Photo-shopped images are obvious and won’t do your brand any favours.
  5. Finally and most importantly, newspapers and magazines can only use high-res images, so it’s essential that any images you send have a resolution of over 300 dpi (dots per inch) and are at least 1MB.


Ceri-Jane Hackling is the managing director of Cerub PR.

Posted in PR | Tagged press releases, PR, photography | 7 comments


jhulott's picture

I would also sugest having these images on a some kind of online media centre on your sites with links (Hi Res and Low Res) to them from the PR you send out.  The number of times I get PRs sending me a press release with 50mb of files attached - I didn't ask for is just wrong. 

Michael59's picture

Hmm, an article on the importance of images in PR that doesn't use images..... :-)

Rachel Miller's picture


Thanks for your comment — you are so right! To that end, we've just added an image.

Tim TNR Communications's picture

Also manage the branding in your pictures. Over-branding, whatever market the image is aimed at, will just kill the picture in an editors eyes straight away. Be subtle and try and make your branding integral to the picture by building it into the shot not just adding it at the end.

Gemma fabian's picture

Don't forget to use key words in alternative text to ensure
Your images are optimised for the web. And if your
Sending images to a jorno make sure you check if them
It's ok to send them through via email so you don't clog their email account.

I would also recommend contacting the art editor/photo editor at publication
To see what they think would be appropriate

publicity_oxford's picture

And don't steal other people's images either! Even if you think they'll never find out!
Also, if you need good corporate pictures I can't recommend Jackie Cross ( highly enough - sorry for the plug! She's done ours and many of our clients, she's incredible.

devonphotoman's picture

I cannot agree more. the amount of times I am told "oh we have someone in the office with a digital camera who can do this for free"!! Arrrghh!
As soon as that picture lands on an editors desk, he will bin it and their story will never be told. What a waste of everyones time. Do it properly first time round and you will be saving yourself a small fortune.

Add a comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <p>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Links to specified hosts will have a rel="nofollow" added to them.

When you click 'Register' to create a new account, you accept our terms of service and privacy policy