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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

Fund to launch and grow a business will help black entrepreneurs in the UK

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Blacl barber looks after a client and his business
Applications are open for funding of up to £15,000 for the most innovative new business ideas and exciting existing companies in the UK 

Future 100 Growth Fund, a programme backing Black British entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses is now open for applications. The £1m partnership between Europe’s leading media and entertainment company, Sky, and the newly launched independent civil rights group, the Black Equity Organisation (BEO), aims to provide funding and support over three years to help overcome the significant barriers faced by young Black entrepreneurs in Britain when setting up businesses.

“We want to share our platform and capability to create lasting change for Black British entrepreneurs. We are pleased to be working with BEO to provide direct assistance and advice from Sky to help make the UK a great place for Black businesses.” – celebrated Dana Strong, CEO of the Sky’s Group. The company has made £30 million commitment to tackle structural inequality and make a difference in communities impacted by racism.

Driving economic empowerment and equity of opportunity for Black people and businesses is one of six key areas Black Equity Organisation will focus on. Research has highlighted that in the 10 years between 2009-19, only 0.24% of the total invested in UK start-ups from venture capital funding went to Black entrepreneurs. Just 0.02% went to Black female entrepreneurs.

Besides offering funding of up to £15,000 for the most innovative new business ideas and exciting existing companies, the initiative aims to create a network of mentors and community organisations to advise and assist new enterprises through direct financial support and products nurturing talent and innovation.

”The Future 100 Growth Fund will back the next generation of Black founders to thrive and succeed. We can’t wait to see what the applicants achieve through this programme as they drive growth across their businesses and for the UK economy.” – says Dame Vivian Hunt, Chair of Trustees at Black Equity Organisation.

The programme is open to applicants between 18 and 30 years old of Black African, Black Caribbean, Black British and/or Mixed-race descent who are UK residents. The fund will support Black entrepreneurs who are looking to bring a business concept to life, have a fledgling business that they want to scale or have the beginnings of a thriving business.

To find out more about the Future 100 programme and for details on how to apply visit the project here.

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Hospitality industry in the UK threatened by staff shortages

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Two housekeepers making a hotel bed
Housekeepers are expected to receive a 7.4% pay rise, but UK businesses still struggle to recruit staff | Photo: Liliana Drew

The hospitality and leisure sector’s post-pandemic recovery, in the UK, could be severely hampered by the lack of staff, a new report from a British bank has revealed.

“UK Hospitality’s Next Challenge”, a study from Barclays Corporate Banking, shows that the release of pent-up consumer demand for socialising, holidays and experiences following the pandemic has given a boost to the sector. Over three quarters (77%) of H&L operators are confident of growth this year, and had predicted an average 30.5% uplift in revenue compared with pre-pandemic levels. This equates to a £36bn² rise in annual turnover over 2019, and a £54bn increase on 2021.

However, the predicted growth could be stifled by soaring supplier costs and a scramble for talent. Hospitality and leisure businesses report that their transport costs have already spiked by over 38% year-on-year on average, and their utility bills by 37%.

Meanwhile, over nine in 10 (94%) hospitality and leisure businesses are struggling to recruit personnel, with vacancies for cleaning staff (20%), front of house staff (18%), and delivery staff (16%) causing the most issues. There are particularly acute shortages of cleaners in the East Midlands and the East of England (28%).

Almost a fifth (16%) of bars and restaurants are finding it difficult to hire waiting staff, and over two fifths of gyms and leisure centres (42%) cannot find fitness instructors. Recruitment issues also extend to back-of-house and C-suite roles: 17% of operators are having trouble sourcing finance staff and 16% said the same about senior management positions.

“Crucially for the industry, our research shows that talent shortages are also a major concern, with businesses in every vertical finding it challenging to fill their vacancies. It means there is now an added imperative for hospitality and leisure firms to find new and novel ways to recruit, reward and retain their staff.” – says Mike Saul, Head of Hospitality and Leisure at Barclays Corporate Banking.

Hospitality and leisure operators are already establishing new incentives to recruit and retain talent, including permanent work flexibility, the introduction of bonuses, and an increase in staff welfare budgets.

Almost one in five employers (19%) have also increased wages given to staff. Senior managers are set to receive the biggest boost to their pay packets, with an average increase of 7.7% – equivalent to £2,014 a year for a full-time worker. Delivery riders, housekeepers and kitchen staff are also expected to see their wages rise in 2022.

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Contemporary artist Demit Omphroy partners with GAP for NTF collection

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Artists Demit Omphroy on the streets
Partnership: the limited-edition is Demit Omphroy’s first digital series of NFTs | Photo: Instagram

Contemporary artist and former professional soccer player Demit Omphroy is partnering with GAP for its third collection of limited-edition non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

As the brand, founded in 1969, continues to explore new channels to engage customers in the rapidly evolving digital ecosystem, this spring, Demit launched a limited-edition graphic tee collection featuring his unique and recognizable work, and now the artist is launching his first NFTs with Gap. Demit’s art depicts life through vibrant colors and an expressionistic style, seeing the world through his inner child.  

“My work is playful, expressive, and simplistic, yet loaded with emotion. Being able to express myself through a new digital medium and collaborate with Gap, one of the most iconic brands in history, is exciting for me as a creator.” – celebrates the American artist who is also a citizen of Panama and the Philippines through descent.

On June 15, the One of a Kind digital auction will begin, featuring single edition digital art and a custom, hand-painted Gap denim jacket by Demit.  

In July, Gap x DOGAMÍ NFT wearables will launch as the first fashion collaboration in the petaverse. Digital Gap logo hoodies specifically designed for DOGAMÍ avatars will engage players to express their virtual pet’s individual style that will have a direct impact on game stats. 

“Partnering with unique artists and creators is a cornerstone of our NFT program,” – says Chris Goble, Chief Product Officer at Gap. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Demit and to create this vibrant collection of NFTs and product that amplifies his voice and represents his distinct individual style.”  

The Gap Threads marketplace and DOGAMÍ are both built on Tezos, a more energy efficient blockchain, allowing for minimal energy consumption and a low carbon footprint. Customers can also join Gap’s Discord server to connect, engage, and foster a community with other fans of Gap NFTs. The Discord server can be accessed at discord.gg/gapthreads.

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