Meeting Martin: Let me paint you a picture

How many press releases do you think I receive each day? Five? Twenty? Several thousand? I don’t know myself to be honest, but it’s a lot.

More interestingly, what percentage of these press releases do you think are sent with associated images? Now we’re on to something…

Read more: Rubbish! Your airport does matter.

Every story, feature, blog, poem or epistle needs a picture to go with it, and not just the first one that springs to mind.

When I receive a news release about your new building, furniture, valet service, or accounts figures, I have to take it apart and rebuild it in a special journalismy way and ensure it complies with ‘house style’. I then have to copy it into the content management system, set all the meta tags, double check the formatting, proof read it, choose a publish time, and select the right category. This can take several minutes.

Then I go to add the picture and, woe betide, there isn’t one.

This means I have to either go back to the PR, search the bottomless pit that is our archive or, if the story is none-too-specific, have a ferret around iStock.

This takes time, time I don’t often have.

If, however, you have remembered to send a picture, there is the prickly business of ensuring you have sent an appropriate one. I’m not talking about pictures depicting your MD parading around in a wig and suspenders, but rather ensuring that it is a suitable resolution and, just as importantly, the right way round. A tiny 45kb thumbnail of a blurred man in a suit isn’t much use to me. I may as well break out the easel and oil paints and work on a description.

How many websites do you know use a portrait image as their banner picture? None. It has to be landscape.

This is the issue we always face when we receive press releases about people. We get a lovely portrait shot of them, all smiles and teeth, but to make it usable we have to hacksaw off their foreheads and chins.

It’s chaos.

So, with this in mind, here are some useful tips to cut out and keep for when you send in your next press release:

  • Remember to attach a picture
  • Which is landscape
  • And 72px resolution – at least (300px if it’s going in the print version)

Oh, and one more thing. Your logo doesn’t count as a picture. It has to be a picture picture.

Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard: journalist, presenter, producer. Martin is the Deputy Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines. He leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

Martin Fullard

Author

Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard: journalist, presenter, producer. Martin is the Deputy Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines. He leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

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