Eight Pointers on Using Images for Public Relations

Cropping with Paint.net

Public relations, both traditional and online, is focused on creating content. However, to achieve its full effect, that content must be accompanied in a suitable and convincing way with images. Of course, some image elements must be created by a professional graphic designer, but there are many ways PR pros can use images on a daily basis. Here are eight useful pointers.

1) Use images as a tool to make your pitches more effective.

When pitching a press release, don’t send an image in your initial email pitch. By waiting, you create a reason to contact the editor again if you fail to receive a response. E.g., “I thought you might also be interested in this for graphic support.”

2) Use images to make your press releases more effective.

Reporters are awash in content but not quite as much in graphic support. By including graphic support with your press release, you increase the likelihood of coverage and also improve your chances of a prominent place when your story does appear.

3) Use Paint.net to manipulate your images into a suitable format.

Paint.net is a godsend. This free program is user-friendly, and its two main features of re-sizing an image or changing the canvas size let you manipulate photos in terms of file size as well as cropping any way you want. The re-sizing is a simple matter of inputting the percent of reduction or increase, while the cropping lets you anchor either the top, bottom, left or right side while you change the overall width and height.

4) Make your images clickable.

Many programs make this easy. Constant Contact, for example, a popular e-mail newsletter option has a special field in its image interface to let you make any photo a clickable link.

5) Use elementary html image commands including hspace.

Look up html image commands in Google for a full treatment of this topic. But basically, all you need to do is include the img src command with elements for right-align or left-align and hspace for the wraparound margin.

6) Include an electronic image of the CEO in promotional documents.

Even in this electronic age, people still like to see who they’re doing business with. Your web site, a tri-fold brochure and any other promotional document should include a professional electronic photo of your CEO.

7) Use image-related web sites for SEO.

Sometimes image-related documents on Flickr or YouTube can provide more juice for your SERPs (search engine results pages) than a press release sent over PR Newswire. Know your options and explore the best way of using these media.

8) Know when you need a graphic designer.

Don’t futz around when you need a really professional look. A graphic designer should be used for a tri-fold brochure, your web site layout and other documents where the presentation is crucial. Saving money on graphic design can lead to more headaches in the long run.

The above points represent a bare-bones approach to images in public relations. But these fundamental skills should be acquired by all practitioners and expected by their clients.