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10 photos you should never send to a journalist if you want good PR

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Woman checking photos on a newspaper
Bad choices of images reduce your chance of being featured in the media | Photo: Keenan Constance

I feel sorry when I get an image to illustrate a quote for an article that has exceptional quality, but the completely wrong pose, background, or concept. I think about how much effort went into it (often a few hundred dollars, too). And, in the end, what very often prevents a photo from being published alongside the quote of the person featured isn’t the fact that it wasn’t shot by a top photographer – it is simply because people try too hard and miss the point while shooting a clean image to represent a serious business.

After years of working with corporate communications, mainstream journalists, and content creators all over the world, I have learned which photos do not work. Therefore, here are the 10 PR photo styles that are going straight in the journalist’s bin.

 

1

Avoid cropping images too much

Close up of a young woman

Let’s start technical: when choosing the image you will send over to a journalist with a press release or quote, opt for a clean image that has, at least, a bit of space on top of your head and below your shoulders. This will allow the editors to slightly crop your photo, if needed, without the published image ending up being a botched close-up that will make your head look excessively big.

 

2

Skip overly artistic or photoshopped images

Artistic photo of a woman

There are amazing retouchers out there. They are digital mavericks spending hours in front of their laptops to make us look better and our photos sharper. However, too much tampering with an image may result in something that barely resembles a human – and that is not what you want on a journalistic piece. The only occasions when artist images are allowed is when the article is about digitally enhancing files, or artistic related topics themselves.

 

3

Why group photos aren’t used

Group shot of your entrepreneurs

Time is everything. You have probably heard that journalists are busy people with tight deadlines and increased workloads created by staff cuts. So, think twice before sending a photo of your whole team unless you have been requested to do exactly that. Truth is: if I have to write a caption to help the reader identify you in a photo, then chances are I won’t be using that particular image. The rule is simple: a quote is attributed to one person. Even when someone is talking on behalf of a whole company, it is still one person.

 

4

Don’t cover any inch of your face

Woman covering her face partially with her hands

Photo: Christian Ferrer

Keep your hands away from your face. This is a tip that may sound like it is Covid advice. However, it is actually about credibility. Readers want to see you in order to believe what you are saying. Hands, large accessories, or shadows covering any part of your face are unwelcomed. The only exception is if it is a fashion feature and these things need to be on display to convey a message.

 

5

Avoid black and white images

Black and white photo of a man

Photo: Harris Memovic

I really like black and white images – but I also like them kept away from a journalistic piece.

It is 2021 – the world is technicolour. If you still send black and white photos to any publication you are reducing your publication chances by 95%. Just don’t.

 

6

Keep your holiday-style images to yourself

Woman posing in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Here is something that no one dares to say: even travel-related features don’t need many photos of you in front of a tourist landmark.

If a journalist needs an image of, lets say, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, there are thousands of image banks with professional photos better than any attempt made by an amateur photographer on holiday. Most of the travel features aren’t even about a destination but the journey (how did you plan it, getting there, etc.) or a very specific thing (a traditional dish, the local lifestyle, your struggles, etc.).

Most importantly: If the topic you are submitting a quote for isn’t related to travel, this is one more reason to keep your photos of you wearing sunglasses, or sipping cocktails by the beach, solely to yourself.

 

7

You are not a 40s Hollywood star

Man smoking a cigar

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio

Images holding cigars, or any beverage, rarely will make the cut (even if the feature is about smoking or drinking). It just doesn’t look good. Well, unless you are a Hollywood star from the golden age, like James Dean or Rita Rayworth – but they are both dead.

 

 

8

No to awkward poses, please

Woman posing with her arm behind her head on the street

You would be shocked by the number of people submitting images holding their chin, flicking their hair, or with their arms behind their head. Let me put it bluntly: photographers that recommend awkward poses to business owners and their teams should not get paid – they should be sacked for good. Keep it simple and don’t accept suggestions of poses that make you feel unnatural.

 

9

Side portraits are a big no-no

Woman posing sideways

Photo: Viviana Escobar

Unless it is a feature about someone being arrested – and, in that case, I doubt very much I would be getting that image from you when I can easily have it directly from the police files – please never send a picture of you in a profile position. It will be deleted in less than a second.

 

 

10

Avoid distracting expressions

Man distracted and looking away in a coffee shop

Photo: Austin Distel

I have received pictures of interviewees winking, blinking, wildly laughing, or looking away from the camera pretending to be in a candid pose.

Guess what? The more you try different things, the more you increase the possibility of distracting readers. Also, avoid fake, candid images of you looking away (it is very 2015, even if you are an influencer).

 

The bottom line and the main takeaway here is: less is more.

A simple clean image with good lighting is the only thing you need to professionally represent yourself while being quoted on a publication, be it a newspaper, a magazine, digital portal or business brochure.

Any distracting element or pose will cause more harm than good.

Ignore the basics of a good image to be sent to a journalist and it will be deleted, without publishing, faster than it took you to say cheese while taking the awkward photos you have been sending to media outlets with your quotes and press releases.

 

And here is how to do it right

Portrait ideas for entrepreneurs, artists, consultants and businesses owners wanting to leave a professional impression.

 

Are you a coach or writer? these portrait ideas would suit you:

 

Portrait ideas for fearless entrepreneurs:

 

Portrait poses for seasoned business partners:

 

Portrait ideas for consultants and self-employed professionals:

 

Also some portrait ideas for artists, architects and designers:

 

Proud small business owners, we have got your back:

 

Professional Portrait ideas for any niche of business:

 

 

Business

BT lands £70m IT services deal with South West Police

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Police woman standing next to a police car
Ten-year contract with Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police will see BT manage IT services for the two forces.

BT today announced it has secured a ten-year, £70m IT services deal with Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police. Together, the two police forces handle more than a million emergency and non-emergency calls and respond to more than 118,000 incidents of recorded crime each year. The new long-term agreement will strengthen the forces’ technology estates by creating a future-fit infrastructure to support more joined-up policing, with the potential to extend the contract to neighbouring forces in the South West region.

The managed service contract will underpin a range of the police’s information, technology, and communication demands, including field mobile, airwave vehicle and handheld connectivity for emergency services – alongside security and customer service desk applications.

It will see BT work with both police forces to support public contact and staff collaboration platforms, delivering efficiencies for 101 and 999 services, whilst improving intelligence gathering and data sharing for staff. Frontline officers will benefit from improved connectivity for devices such as mobile phones, body-worn cameras and vehicle radio systems, delivering benefits for local policing by giving officers access to critical real-time information.

BT will also assist the forces in staying compliant with security frameworks, supporting measures to strengthen their security protocols against external threats. Together, these services will support Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police with their digital policing strategy and strengthen crime prevention efforts, whilst also delivering expected financial efficiencies.

More than 5,100 police officers and 3,500 police staff work within the two forces, and they employ more than 550 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and special constables. As part of the contract, BT has agreed to progress social value initiatives for both forces, implementing measures to improving transparency on the environmental impact of police activities in the South West.

“Efficient and resilient technology infrastructure is crucial to support the police in tackling both current and emerging threats – so we’re proud to have the back of South West police forces by delivering exactly that. This new managed service from BT will help future-proof connectivity in all areas of policing, from those on the frontline to behind-the-scenes support staff, helping them to protect the public and keep pace with the changing nature of crime,” says Ashish Gupta, Managing Director, Corporate and Public Sector at BT.

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12 steps to create inclusive presentations for any audience

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presentation
Encourage questions from the whole crowd. This fosters engagement from players who are not as confident or remote.

A varied work environment requires presentations that everyone can enjoy and learn from. And In today’s diverse and interconnected world, providing inclusive presentations is more important than ever, as they can ensure that all audience members, regardless of their backgrounds, abilities, or learning styles, can engage with and understand the content.

Besides aligning several levels of expertise and increase audience engagement, as everyone feels respected and able to participate fully, inclusive presentations also enhance productivity, as audience engagement, as everyone feels respected and able to participate fully in any setting.

Here experts at a presentation design agency share essential tips on how to build engaging presentations for all audiences, regardless of background, abilities, or learning styles. These inclusive habits can help you improve your communication skills and create a respectful, inclusive atmosphere.

Understand your audience

To provide an inclusive presentation, first understand your audience. This requires investigating your target audience’s age, culture, career, and any limitations. Understanding these elements enables you to personalize your presentation to meet their individual needs and experiences.

Customizing Content to Meet Different Needs

Tailor your content to your target audience’s demographics. Use inclusive language and avoid technical jargon unless everyone knows it. Consider your target audience’s cultural and educational backgrounds to avoid alienating them via content or delivery.

Knowing your audience enables you to provide a more informed and engaging presentation. This first step establishes the presence of your presenting style.

Making content accessible

Making your information accessible goes beyond words. Speak plainly and simply to individuals with diverse backgrounds and skill levels. Summarize complicated concepts and provide handouts or visual aids to supplement the spoken information. Make your papers screen reader accessible and provide various formats for visually challenged audience members.

Planning your content around these features can make your presentation more inclusive and maximize the event’s advantages for everyone.

Making Slides Accessible

The visual style of presentation slides determines their accessibility and efficacy. Learn how to make presentations that everyone can comprehend.

Visually Accessible Slide Design Tips

To help visually challenged folks, use high contrast text and backdrop colors. Black text on white, or vice versa, is simple to see.

Simple Designs: Avoid layouts that are distracting or confusing. Use white space around text and pictures in a tidy way.

Use big letters for easier reading from a distance. Headings should have a larger font size than body text, which should be 24 points.

Selecting fonts and colors

Color schemes: When choosing slide colors, keep color blindness in mind. Avoid hazardous color pairings like green and red.

Choose readable fonts. Sans-serif types like Arial and Helvetica are ideal for screen readability.

These features allow you to design presentations that are attractive and accessible to everyone in your audience, even those who have visual impairments.

Inclusive Language and Delivery

Using inclusive language and careful delivery makes everyone in the audience feel valued and involved. How to do this in presentations.

Language Matters in Inclusivity

Avoid jargon: Use clear, straightforward language that all audience members may comprehend. Avoid utilizing technical or industry-specific jargon unless it is explicitly explained or clarified in the presentation.

Use Gender-Neutral Language: To neutralize gender-specific phrases, use “they” instead of “he/she” and “team” instead of “guys”.

Cultural awareness: Cultural variations might affect how your message is perceived. Avoid using idioms and words that may lose significance between cultures.

Clear and Respectful Communication Methods

Clear, Moderate Speech: Maintain a moderate speaking tempo so that everyone can grasp the information, particularly those who process auditory information slowly.

Pause to emphasise: After making crucial statements, pause momentarily to ensure that your audience understands them. This increases understanding and accentuates the point.

Restate To help you remember crucial points, repeat them throughout the lecture.

Inclusive language and thoughtful delivery improve the accessibility of your presentation and make attendees feel appreciated.

Using various learning styles

Recognizing and engaging audiences’ learning styles improves presentation inclusiveness and effectiveness. How to Support Multiple Learning Styles:

Engaging Everyone with Your Delivery

Use a range of teaching strategies in your presentation to suit various learning styles. Use imagery, narrative, and interaction.

Polls, question periods, and small group discussions make presentations more appealing to interested students.

Notes and takeaways: Provide attendees with specific handouts for use during and after the presentation. This allows all students to study and review at their own speed.

Accepting these many learning styles can help your presentation be more inclusive, memorable, and powerful for everyone.

Tips for Inclusive Q&A

Facilitating an inclusive Q&A session engages audience members while making them feel heard and appreciated. Here are some tips for making your Q&A sessions more inclusive

Set Clear Guidelines: At the start of the Q&A session, establish clear expectations for question handling. To encourage involvement, ask polite, concise questions.

Ask questions utilizing an audience microphone if one is provided. This elevates their voice and ensures that the whole audience hears the query.

Always repeat the audience’s questions before responding. If some people did not hear the question, this will help them to comprehend it.

Encourage all attendees to participate.

Encourage questions from the whole crowd. This fosters engagement from players who are not as confident or remote.

Provide other questioning methods: Throughout the session, attendees may submit written or digital inquiries. Shy people or those who dread public speaking may benefit from this.

These ideas will improve the effectiveness and inclusivity of your Q&A sessions by enabling everyone to participate.

Use assistive technology

Assistive technology may help make presentations more accessible, enabling everyone to participate. Integrate these technologies effectively.

Feedback Collection and Use

Continuous progress demands feedback, especially for inclusive presentations. Discover how to gather and use feedback to make future presentations more interesting and accessible.

In today’s globalised society, presentations must reach and engage a wide range of audiences. This article’s eight phases, which range from audience knowledge and content production to assistive technology usage and feedback, provide a thorough approach to inclusive presentations. Presenters may utilize these techniques to make their message more accessible, resulting in a welcoming and polite environment. In order to accomplish ongoing progress and flexibility, input must be solicited and absorbed. Take the following measures to enhance your presenting abilities and promote inclusion in your professional community.

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Fred Olsen Cruise Lines awarded for beekeeping tour

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Fred Olsen Cruise Lines awarded for beekeeping tour
Georgina May, PR Executive, Tabi Winney, Destination Experience Assistant, Martin Lister, Head of Itinerary Product Development | Photo: Michael Newington Gray

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines have been awarded ‘Consumer Favourite for Excursions’ at the inaugural Sailawaze Excellence Awards 2024.

The cruise line received the award last night at a gala ceremony held in central London, attended and hosted by Patrick Grant, presenter of hit BBC show, The Great British Sewing Bee.

More than 150 entries were submitted across the award’s eight categories, which were then shortlisted by a panel of cruise line industry experts. The final shortlist was then voted for by consumers.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ rural beekeeping tour in Lithuania was highlighted by the award. This tour allows guests the opportunity to learn more about village life and the cultural significance of bees by visiting a family-run apiary to see how honey is produced, with the chance to sample various honeys and locally produced mead.

“We were incredibly proud to have received this award. It’s testament to all the work that our Destination Experience teams, both ashore and on board our fleet, put in to making each one of our guests’ excursions an incredible and unforgettable experience,” said Martin Lister, Head of Itinerary Product Development at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. “We believe it’s all about the people and we believe that giving our guests the opportunity to connect with credible local people, who aren’t just providing information on a subject, but are passionate about sharing their personal stories and insights into their real lives, is the best way of engaging our guests and the communities that we visit”.

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