magazine magazine Archives - CarsonPR

Photos are important for publicity

Before you send out that press release or article to the editors or publishers of a magazine, make sure you analyze the photos. This means to make sure the photos are:

  • Not boring
  • Has a visual that is of interest
  • Captures the mood you want
  • Is creative

These are a few tips to consider when submitting photos in any publicity campaign for pr clients.

Another tip is to make sure when you include people that the photos are not showing a smiling person if the release, or article is of a serious nature. A book titled "How to use Photos and Graphics in your Publicity Campaign" sums up a lot of the mistakes publicity people make too often. Whether are in the publicity industry, working for a pr firm, or happen to be a pr client doing your own stuff, this book could help. It is not telling you things you probably don’t already know, but it will keep you in line with the things to look for when including photos with your pr campaign.

In addition, you need to consider different angles of the subject. Of course, if the release is about a product, there are only so many ways to shoot it, right? Wrong. Be creative, but not too creative. The purpose of the photos is to help visually get the message across and offers the publisher, or other media, an option to use when publishing the release or article.

Just like a good ad has more potential of being noticed and read, a well written release with good photos has a greater chance of being published.

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Publicity and Media Buying

We all know that publicity can generate good sales, and most of all establish a positive image/branding.

So why do so many advertisers, primarily the big companies, spend thousands on wasted media. Wasted media? Let me explain my definition of wasted media money.

We all know the publication industry makes money from its advertising. And the most costly ad placements within publications are the back cover, inside covers and specified placement.

Take this test. Pick one of your favorite magazines. It doesn’t matter what industry, the example will apply. Turn the first page. See the inside cover? It is probably facing another full-page ad, right? Or the ad is a spread. Now turn the page again. Another full-page ad, with another facing ad!

This can go on for 5 to 6 pages, or more until you get to the contents page. Now imagine, these advertisers all paid a premium to be in the front, especially the company that bought the inside cover.

Most consumers open the magazine to find the table of contents to see what interesting articles to read. So as you open the magazine, you skip all those colorful ads, and spreads. The winner is the advertiser who bought the placement next to or across the contents page.

The other smart media buyers are those who bought space next to articles, or within an article.

Imagine, if the company that paid a premium would have bought the space next to an article and put the savings into the publicity campaign, the results would be greater all around!

I’m probably going to get hate mail from publishers, but the reality is that the inside covers no longer get viewer ship or create leads as they did 20 years ago. In my book, it is money wasted. Spend more with the publicity and see the positive results.

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What gets the attention of editors to publish your article

Everyone wants to read a good book. But what about an article that a reporter, or publisher or editor must put in their magazine, or other print media, do they prefer fiction or non-fiction.

It should go without saying, but the fiction stuff is what they really want. Sometimes publicity people, or pr writers get a little too close to the topic and want to make it more interesting so they add some non-fiction stuff to fluff up the story.

This is what gets you in trouble.

Fiction is what reporters want. Something that has a hook to it is not boring and yet has interest.

Ok, not every article you read is like that. And yes, a few boring articles enter this media.

I saw a pr article by Peter Turkington where he uses the 5 "w’s" to describe what you need in a good article. These are the who, what, where, when, why and how that we all learned in school and journalists classes. Peter goes on to say that the media looks for another "w". It is the Why should anyone care?

He explains that you need to make articles newsworthy. Well, we already know that. But I still feel as much as this is important, you also need to build relationships with the media. Because not everything you write, or read is full of newsworthy stuff. It just isn’t possible.

If you happen to have a unique product or your timing is good with the introduction of a product (such as security items since 911) you have a good chance to get some ink.

So as much as it is important to be newsworthy, it needs to be said that relationships with the media, and the timing of your story are also factors in getting something published.

You can expand on this further by knowing the publication, or the news media you are approaching. Know their readership and audience. Then make sure you have written the story for that audience and the editor/reporter to read.

These are some tips to getting in the news. Other ways exist, but for now consider these as a first start.

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