A picture that speaks a thousand words is always going to be worth money, but having a journalist write a thousand words about one of your pictures is worth gold. Putting the name of your photography business in the press gives you free advertising, it gets you well-known and it makes you look like an expert too.
All of those things can give you more picture sales, more commissions and more jobs.
To land those appearances, all you’ll need is a one-page, double-spaced press release, a hard-hitting headline and… a good story idea.
That’s the tricky bit. Journalists aren’t interested in giving you free publicity. They’re interested in giving you publicity in return for a story. Here are five things you can do to attract attention from the media, local and national.
1. Mount An Exhibition.
Local newspapers like to feel that they’re not just reporting the news but delivering a service to the community. One way they do that is by telling their readers about cultural events occurring in their town. Put together a photography exhibition, tell the press — and offer them a photo — and there’s a great chance that they’ll help with the marketing.
2. Lend A Hand
Announcing cultural events are one way the local press likes to help the community, but what really excites reporters is a story about one member of the community helping others. Hold a photography class for local kids. Put on a charity photo auction. Help to digitalize old images at the local museum… and tell the press what you’re doing.
3. React To The News
Remember when Reuters got in trouble after one of their photographer doctored images of Israel’s war against Hezbullah? That was a golden opportunity for publicity-hungry photographers to get in the news. You could have written a press release explaining how the photographer, Adnan Hajj, had done it. Or how the effect of the photograph is rippling through the photography community. Or how to tell whether a photo has been altered. If you can give the inside track on a story in the news, you’ll be in the news.
4. Report A Trend
Journalists aren’t photographers, not even the journalists who have to write about photography. That means when something is happening in the world of photographs, they need photographers to tell them. If you know that wedding couples want to skip the family group portraits or that parents are buying school photos online, put together a press release and tell the media. Reporters will be grateful you’re keeping them informed.
5. Be Outrageous
The story ideas I’ve mentioned so far are pretty easy to use. With a good press release, you should be able to get in the news with them any time. But creativity always pays in spades. Do something photographic that no one has done before — like blowing up a giant image and hanging it from your town’s tallest building during renovation works or printing an image of the sidewalk on one side of a car and an image of the road on the other — and reporters will fall over themselves to report something genuinely new. Publicity artists depend on creativity too.