Archive for the ‘public relations’ Category

The power of professional photography

Importance of professional food photography

Professional food photography makes these pancakes look so appealing (Phillip Shannon Photography)

I have been lucky enough to spend several years working on newsmagazines for companies like Procter & Gamble and Honda, the pages of which were adorned with beautiful, professional images of their employees and their products. For organisations like this, a photography budget is often a given when embarking on a new magazine, brochure or website.

For a smaller company with a limited marketing budget, professional imagery might be lower down on their list of priorities. But in my opinion, it is one of the most important items to spend money on. A company that produces, for example, food or high-end products that they make themselves, should think twice before taking their own pictures. With the best will in the world these pictures often turn out dark and unappealing. And why would someone want to spend their money on a product that looks like that?

If you are planning to send out a press release about your business then sending a professional image with it significantly improves the chances of your story making it into the press. Check out my previous blog post for more about this.

I spoke to Phillip Shannon of Phillip Shannon Photography based in Leeds to find out his opinion.

He said: “Choosing the right person or trade for the job is a rule which most people adopt. When you are running a business, you would hire the right staff, accountant or managers to make sure that the running of your enterprise is economic, successful and, of course, profitable.
 
“When it comes to photography, the ‘image’ of your business, brand and reputation rests upon the quality of the work produced. In times when you may be looking at saving costs, don’t be tempted to go down the DIY photography route. Unless you possess the experience, skill, and equipment of a professional photographer then the result may be far from acceptable. Marketing and promoting your company’s product is all about the visual and how it looks to the potential customer. The power of an image should not be underestimated.
 
“Say you run a food business, for example, and you may use the finest ingredients from local sources, but if the food photography on show to your clients and customers is poor and shots are produced without the skills of an experienced food photographer then the results could be terrible for your business.”
 
Mike Tattersall of Indie Ices, Leeds, is a client of Phillip Shannon Photography. He said: “Working with Phillip to produce the images of my product is always money well spent. You receive the great skill of a professional which reflects in the images produced. I often receive great comments on the images and, as people eat with their eyes, I get sales and leads into companies when we produce them.”
 
So, from a client’s perspective, the costs associated with buying commercial photography is an investment in the future success of your business. The results achieved by using a skilled professional photographer with the right experience is money well spent, and can produce real, measurable results.
 
Why not get in touch with a photographer, chat through your brief and at least find out how much the charge would be? It may well be less than you think and, in my opinion, the question you should be asking yourself is: “Can I afford not to use professional photography?”.
 
For more information about Phillip Shannon Photography, visit http://www.phillipshannonphotography.com/ 
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How to… get in the local press

The professional image which got the attention of the local press

So I’m launching a new business/product/event – to me it’s the centre of my universe, surely my local newspaper will want to cover it…

Nope. To them it’s not news – loads of new businesses launch every day. Thousands of new products hit the market each week. So how do you get decent publicity for your business without paying a fortune in advertising?

Well, all I can tell you is what worked for Words by Fiona Kyle. Obviously to me launching a brand new copywriting and proofreading business was a huge deal. But let’s be brutally honest – my business is not newsworthy. Plenty of people offer a similar service (although not in quite the same way or to the same standard I would obviously argue!). Yet my story appeared in the Yorkshire Post and on thebusinessdesk.com which my fellow Yorkshire-types will know is a fairly big deal for the Yorkshire business world.

The simple answer is you have to work out what is newsworthy about your particular story.

Case study – the Yorkshire Post

The Yorkshire Post did a fantastic article about my business and those belonging to my friends Gaby and Emma. I got in touch with a journalist who works for the paper and explained that we were all mothers who had set up our businesses after working together on a local event as volunteers and that I was keen to set up a local networking group for ‘mumpreneurs’. The paper was interested in the debate around the term mumpreneur and we got a great feature out of it.

Case study – thebusinessdesk.com

I was lucky in this case that I went to school with a key player at the businessdesk.com so I had an easy ‘in’. Building relationships with journalists can be a great way to learn about what they really want from a story and for them to come to trust you as a source (so don’t just ply them with any old stories!). Again though, my story is not newsworthy on its own but combined with Gaby’s much more glamorous business, the human interest of our friendship together with a professionally taken image of the two of us and we got some more great coverage from it.

Hints and tips

  • Think before you start out on a PR campaign – is my story newsworthy? If not, is there another angle I can approach it from which makes it seem more unusual.
  • Write a press release but keep it to one side of A4. Email it through to a contact at a local paper. Follow it up with a phone call a few days later to check it was received and see if it was of interest.
  • Get a professional image taken  – resources in local news can be really stretched so if you send a great picture they can use, your story is much more likely to get in.

If you would like to chat about more tips like this, or need help writing a press release or finding an interesting angle to approach it from, please get in touch on info@wordsbyfionakyle.co.uk