Connect with us


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



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.




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.



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.




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:




Eight Secrets to Closing the Sale




Listening and building meaningful relationships will help you to sell to the right customer

As an entrepreneur, one thing I struggle with is selling. And yet…that’s the very thing we all need to do every single day. Otherwise…poof. Bye-bye business. So, how do we overcome the fear of selling, particularly as women? How do we take the ick-factor out of it? And, most importantly, are there hidden secrets to closing the sale?

If you are like me, money conversations can be tricky.

I grew up as poor as a church mouse and for years, I just didn’t think I had the right to ask to be paid what I was worth. Even if I was providing a killer service. Not only that, I didn’t have the vocabulary to conduct such conversations.

My journey into entrepreneurship has been unexpected, as it is for a lot of us. Selling is everything. So, how do you sell, if you don’t know how to sell? And how do you sell when everyone else around you is selling too?

Here are eight entrepreneurs who sell every single day. These are their eight secrets to closing the sale:


1. Listen, listen, listen

“In my intro calls, I focus on listening to what my potential client is struggling with. It sounds so simple but most of us just want to be heard and often we are not. From that conversation, conversion to client will mostly flow easily, as they realise you genuinely care and can help. I have a personal policy that I only work with clients that I feel confident I can help. So I go into sales calls knowing that it needs to be a win-win match rather than a sale to everyone.”

Jo Morrison – Career specialist and personal coach at Go Go Mojo Coaching


2. Use the 80/20 rule

“I used to hate selling. It made me feel sleazy and opportunistic. But then I stopped seeing it as “taking” and started to see it as “serving”; as finding out what the prospect actually needs in order to solve their problem.

In practice, to actualise this, I follow an 80:20 ratio on my social channels. So, 80% of my content is free advice and tips, and only 20% promotes me/my services. I like to show the value I can add, by giving something for nothing, and I find that this keeps me top of mind without forcing me to ask for a sale.

People remember how you make them feel, so try to convey the authentic sense that you could potentially be a partner for the entity, group, brand, or even individual person you’re pitching to, into a long and happy future.”

Tiffany Markman – Copywriter, SEO specialist, and writing trainer at Tiffany Markman Copywriting


3. Connect with joy and purpose

“The part about “selling” that doesn’t jive with me is if it 1) isn’t something I truly believe in and 2) feels like I’m “pushing” something. It has to be genuine!

Where selling comes naturally and feels good is when I’m talking about something I’m truly passionate about and making an opportunity visible. When I can connect with it with joy and purpose. That genuine passion comes across and does all the “selling” without so much “convincing” needed.  If I can connect my offers back to free content and tips and value and not always be directly focused on “sign up for my course” that feels better.”

Katie Anderson – Leadership coach, consultant, speaker, author at Katie Anderson Coaching


4. Value yourself

“When I first started coaching, I really struggled with selling, I gave so much away for free and became the freebie queen.

When I moved to online business coaching and I worked with clients on their sales blocks and helped them put themselves out there I started to connect the dots differently.

Helping them helped me realise that when you come from a place of abundance and you realise the value you have to offer (actually mapping this out), suddenly selling has a different feeling. You can still offer massive free value, but valuing myself and the difference I make means selling took on a new positive meaning.”

Emma Sidney – Business coach and mentor at Emma Sidney


5. Raise your rates (yup!)

“When I started out in business, I was charging a similar amount to what I was paid as a supply teacher. I got great feedback from clients, but I didn’t get much work. It turned out that I was massively undercharging, which meant that people thought they’d get a below par service. When, after seeking advice, I tripled my price to the going rate, I got more clients!

Raising my price didn’t come easily to me, even though I knew I was still offering great value. However, with comments from clients telling me I’m so much more than a copywriter, telling me that working with me has transformed their business and how clear and confident they now feel about their message, I’ve realised that charging the going rate is the way to find and help the people that need my services.”

Sarah Davis – Copywriter at The Parenting Copywriter


6. Build relationships

“What I’ve learnt is that selling is much more than asking for a sale and promoting yourself. It’s about building relationships, making other people feel good and helping others to achieve their goals.

If through my online presence, I can show I have the right expertise, I understand my ideal client and my solution to their problem works, the sale comes naturally.

With the right groundwork in place, good relationships turn into good clients.”

Becca Clark – Copywriter at Powered Up Content


7. Avoid selling

“I focus on helping people when I’m speaking with them – how I can help them and the value they’ll get from working with me. I explore any reservations they have around the process and their commitment to it but never discuss a fee or cost. In most cases, by the time we get to the end of the call, they will usually ask how much I charge and I will state my fee confidently and without apology or explanation. If they don’t I’ll end the discussion with a statement of my fee. I will say it and then remain silent. It’s is then up to them to decide if they will get value for their money.”

Debbie Lucas – Coach and NLP specialist at Maximise Life


8. Pretend it’s someone else’s business

“If you were representing someone else’s business you’d have no problem praising their services or products. So in your head pretend you are talking about someone else’s services or products and notice how much more confident and enthusiastic you are when describing the benefits. The best way to sell is to always tell the story “Be the Feature, not the Ad”. This way you’ll draw people in, not frighten them away. You’ll encourage conversation and interest which will build loyalty, community, and the all-important know, like, and trust factor.”

Triinu Holman, Instagram Coach and Jeweller at Creative Puddles

Secrets to closing the sale (my thoughts)…

You are your business. There’s no one else like you on the planet. Isn’t that incredible? Use that in your content creation and your marketing. It’s gold. In fact, of all the secrets to closing the sale, it’s probably my top one.

Continue Reading


PayPal now allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrency in the UK



Customer using PayPal Crypto
The UK became the first international expansion of the company's cryptocurrency offering outside of the United States

Paypal has announced the launch of a new service enabling its customers in the UK to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency through the platform.

Users can start by buying as little as £1 of cryptocurrency and are able to choose from four types of cryptocurrency – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. By accessing their PayPal account via the website or the mobile app, they can view real-time crypto prices, access educational content to help answer commonly asked questions, and learn more about cryptocurrencies, including the opportunities and risks.

The UK became the first international expansion of the company’s cryptocurrency offering outside of the United States.

“The pandemic has accelerated digital change and innovation across all aspects of our lives— including the digitisation of money and greater consumer adoption of digital financial services. Our global reach, digital payments expertise, and knowledge of consumer and businesses, combined with rigorous security and compliance controls, provides us the unique opportunity, and the responsibility, to help people in the UK to explore cryptocurrency. We are committed to continuing to work closely with regulators in the UK, and around the world, to offer our support – and meaningfully contribute to shaping the role digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce.” – said Jose Fernandez da Ponte, Vice President and General Manager of Blockchain, Crypto and Digital Currencies at PayPal, which is available in over 200 markets.

Customers can also choose from pre-determined purchase amounts or enter in their own purchase amount, before following the prompts to buy the cryptocurrency of their choice. Customers will be able to fund their PayPal account for the purchase using their bank account or debit card. If customers choose to sell cryptocurrency with this new service, funds are normally available quickly to spend in their PayPal account. There are no fees to hold cryptocurrency in a PayPal account. There are transaction fees and currency conversion fees for buying and selling applicable cryptocurrencies, though.

In addition to providing these cryptocurrency services, PayPal has been exploring the potential of digital currencies through partnerships with licensed and regulated cryptocurrency platforms and with central banks around the world. For the past five years, PayPal has increased its focus on, and invested resources in, its internal blockchain research team. They have done this to explore the next generation of digital financial services infrastructure and enhancements to digital commerce.

Continue Reading


Illy coffee gets exclusive position at Summer at The National Gallery



Young man drinking coffee in a yellow mug
The year-long partnership sees Illycaffè support the Gallery's Contemporary Art Programme and summer pop-up catering | Photo: Chris Benson

Visitors to The National Gallery will be able to enjoy Illy coffee at the Illy Espresso Bar inside the Gallery until 30th September 2021. The opening of the café coincides with the launch of an outdoor exhibition in Trafalgar Square showcasing over 20 life-sized replicas of some of the most famous and treasured paintings in the National Gallery‘s collection. Running from 3rd of August to 2nd of September 2021, the open-air exhibition will be part of London’s Inside Out Festival – a celebration of art and culture to encourage visitors back into London’s West End.

The range of beverages to be served will include Illy’s Cold Brew, a 100% Arabica coffee cold brewed for 12 hours, which is naturally sweet, thirst quenching and offers a uniquely refreshing taste.

As part of the partnership, Illycaffè will also be supporting the upcoming Kehinde Wiley exhibition, scheduled to run from 10 December 2021–18 April 2022.

“Through this new partnership, Illy extends its commitment to promote beauty in all forms, especially through contemporary art. For over twenty-five years, the company has sustained art and culture, supporting artists, institutions, and international exhibitions. Sponsoring The National Gallery’s Contemporary Art Programme is a source of pride for us.” – says Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO at illycaffè.

To find out more information on Illycaffè and The National Gallery, click here

Continue Reading