A great way to increase the visibility of you and your photography business is to get featured in the media.
If this is something that you are interested in, then you’re in the right place! I specialise in helping photographers get featured in the media. I have almost two decades of practical PR consultancy experience, plus I’ve been working exclusively with photographers since 2015.
Boost your visibility with PR
As you’ll know, media outlets and print and online publications have large and established audiences; readers, followers, and subscribers.
So, you can safely assume that you’ll be able to significantly boost awareness of yourself and your brand if you secure publicity in the media about your photography business.
PR coverage in the form of newspaper or magazine editorials, features in print and online publications, and radio, TV or podcast interviews are all potentially very valuable to you.
Getting featured in the media can create incredible exposure for you. If your photography is featured in a print publication, it can help to get your photography seen by hundreds, thousands or perhaps even hundreds of thousands of people.
Plus, it’s also great PR – an endorsement of you and your brand – and a fabulous credibility boost!
It could even lead to other benefits too. These include increased website traffic, enquiries and sales, more people following you on social media, and much more!
Don’t miss my free press release template download
So, with all that in mind, in this article, I’m going to talk more about what press releases are and why they are important.
I’m also going to share my top tips on how to write a press release for your photography business. A free press release template is also available to download – keep reading for more details.
The press release template download is a resource that I hope you will find useful when crafting your own news stories ready to pitch to the media.
Why write a press release about your photography business?
Let’s start at the beginning…why would you want to write a press release?
Well, there are many reasons why you may want to write a press release about your photography business.
- you may have news to share about a significant landmark (maybe you’re celebrating a milestone year in business),
- or you’ve won a photography award (well done, you!),
- or you wish to share the news about an exciting collaboration, perhaps.
What’s so great about press releases?
They help you to structure your news story
The reason why a press release is the best way to present this information to the media is that it’s constructed so to communicate the key information first.
When you write a press release, you take a top-down approach; the important information is at the top, and the less important information is towards or at the bottom.
An engaging title summarises the story. Then, in the first paragraph, all the crucial information is included; the who, what, when, where and why.
A press release template, such as the one I’m sharing, provides a layout and framework to follow. This makes it easier for you to write your news story. Templates are so handy, aren’t they?
2. A press release makes life easier for journalists
Press releases are also useful in the sense that when news stories are written in this format, the reader (the journalist) can quickly determine whether they are interested in the story. Then, they can make an informed decision about whether to continue reading or not.
With a press release, you won’t waste their precious time because they’ll understand your news immediately without having to read lines and lines of copy.
Press releases are always written in a particular way too – in the third person. If you follow this format, you’re making life so much easier for journalists.
Should they like your news story, a journalist could literally copy and paste the wording if they wished and use it in their publication. There would be no additional formatting required on their part to make your photography press release into tomorrow’s news!
3. Journalists will likely appreciate the effort you’ve gone to communicate the story clearly
By submitting a press release, you’re also demonstrating that you’re taken the time to present your story in a way that works best for them. This effort may well be rewarded! A press release can potentially increase your chances of securing that valuable press coverage you’re after.
Ultimately, a well-written and well-structured press release will be preferred by a journalist.
They receive so many poor quality, rambling and lengthy email pitches every day, so if you provide your news story in the format they prefer, that’s an instant tick in their book!
Are press releases still relevant today?
Now, you might have heard some people claim that “press releases are dead”, but I would disagree.
A news story, presented in the format of a traditional press release, is still generally the best way to present information to journalists and the media. It’s a format that PRs and business owners have used for decades because it works!
What’s important for you to remember is that journalists, and those working in the media, are incredibly busy and under a lot of pressure. They do want to hear from you because they need news, stories and images for their publications, but they don’t have time to read the detail of every email pitch that they receive.
If your approach begins with a long incoherent introduction to who you are, and waffles on about your photography business, who you’ve worked with etc., then you’re likely to lose their interest within the first few seconds.
This would be a shame if you do genuinely have something interesting and newsworthy to share!
So, always get to the point quickly. Make it clear what the news hook or story is within the first sentence or two.
Craft your news story using my press release template
I would strongly advise that you write any news story that you plan to share with the media in the format of a press release. Don’t just jump on the phone or send an email to a journalist you’d like to connect with without fully thinking through what you will say.
Instead, prepare your pitch carefully before reaching out to them. If you take the time in advance to craft a considered press release, it will likely pay dividends later.
Forcing yourself to write the story in the format of a press release will help you to clarify in your mind what the ‘hook’ or key aspects of the story are. It will also potentially be the difference between an approach that leads to coverage and one that doesn’t.
Related reading: Three ways to secure free publicity for your photography business
How to write a press release for your photography business
Writing a press release is a great way to summarise the story you are keen to share. I’ll now walk you through how to write a press release for your photography business.
You can also grab a free press release template from my Freebie Library, exclusive to my email subscribers.
Click on the image below or sign up here to get instant access to this and other free downloads that will help you market and promote your photography business.
Writing a press release: My top ten tips for photographers
Define the news value of the story
What genuinely is new, unique, unusual or different about the story you want to share?
The media won’t be interested in a promotional story about how “amazing” your photography is. There’s no news value in that. But, if you can demonstrate how you are the first to achieve something in the industry, or that you have created some truly remarkable images, then they are more likely to sit up and take notice.
The other key thing to ensure is that your news is timely. A journalist will be wondering why is this story relevant now?
Make sure that you have considered the story from the perspective of someone unrelated to your business. Will the wider public really care or need to know this?
Related reading: PR 101: Using the media to promote your photography business
Pay attention to the headline of your press release
The press release headline you choose could be the deciding factor between whether your email gets opened or not. So, spend time crafting a headline that will appeal to the journalist you are contacting. It should make them want to know more.
With literally hundreds of emails being sent to journalists every day, the harsh truth is that not all emails get opened.
If you can, be super clear about what’s contained in your email. Make it sound as compelling as possible to increase the chances that yours will be one of the ones that does get opened.
If it’s a news story, say so. In the email subject line say “NEWS STORY” followed by more information that is intended to trigger their interest. For example, “NEWS STORY: Local photographer chosen to photograph the King on his upcoming visit to Dorset.” An extreme example, but hopefully you get the idea!
Get to the point, quickly!
One thing journalists don’t have a lot of is time. So, when they open your email or take your call, they will need you to get to the crux of the story quickly. This is why a press release is a great formula to follow when pitching to the media.
As I’ve mentioned above, in a press release, you summarise the story clearly and succinctly and include all the main details in the first paragraph. Then you can provide more background information as the press release goes on. The first paragraph is the crucial part and what the journalist is most likely to read.
They’ll want to immediately be able to understand the key details.
If your story doesn’t capture their attention in the first paragraph or seem relevant to them, it’s unlikely that they’ll stick around to read more.
Write in the third person
Never write in a press release: “My photography business has achieved something wonderful this week. I am the first business to…”Instead, you should write in the third person, so for example: “XYZ Photography, based in Farnham, has been awarded….”
This may seem a bit impersonal and formal, but it is the style that the journalist will write in. So, if you write your press release in this style you are proving them with the information in the format they like to receive it in.
This will also save them time. If minimal copy editing is needed, a journalist will look more favourably at your story than one that needs a complete rewrite.
Many a time have my own press releases had sections from them literally copied and pasted into news articles, proving this very point.
Keep it concise
Press releases for your photography business ideally should be around one A4 page in length, and no more. The key information should be summarised in the first paragraph with extra detail provided in the second and third paragraphs.
If you cannot summarise the story to approximately one A4 page, it’s likely that you are including unnecessary information. Go back and edit down your press release, leaving in no detail that is not essential to the story.
Much like in blog writing, a good practice is to use sub-headings to break up the text. This makes it easier to read.
And, don’t be afraid of holding back some information. For example, the background of how your business was started may not be relevant to the story. If it isn’t don’t include it.
Remember, a journalist can always get in touch with you if they need to know more.
Include a quotation
You should also include a quotation in your press release from a relevant spokesperson. This is in case the media want to include one in their write-up of the story.
The quotation shouldn’t simply replicate what has already been said in the press release though. It should add some additional insight that’s relevant.
The quotation should be something that you would genuinely say if speaking to the journalist direct. Don’t make it sound too formal or full of promotional waffle!
This is the one section of the press release where it is OK to be written in first person. For example: “I’m thrilled about….It means so much to me that….”
Include a ‘Notes to Editors’ section in your press release
At the end of the press release, you should include a ‘Notes to Editors’ section. This is where you should include your contact details. It’s important that the email and phone numbers you include are ones that you check regularly.
If a journalist does contact you about the story, either to request more information, and images, or perhaps to arrange an interview, chances are they will want to be able to get hold of you quickly. You may not get a second chance if you miss their first call, so do ensure that you are available on the number and email you provide after sending out your press release.
Do also take calls from unknown numbers as it could well be a journalist contacting you, not necessarily a prank caller!
The Notes to Editors section is also the best place to include relevant web links where more information can be found. I suggest you include your photography website URL and links to your active social media profiles. Also, don’t forget to include links to any relevant third parties you may mention in your press release.
By including these here, the journalist can do their own research if necessary. And, then they also have these links handy should they decide to include them in an article about you.
Define your media targets
With your press release for your photography business written, now the work begins to define your target media list. This is likely going to take some time. You’ll need to research which publications are potentially relevant to your story and identify which journalists or email addresses you should contact.
Journalists working at a local newspaper, for example, will likely have different sections that they are responsible for. While most have a generic newsdesk@ or news@ email address, that may not be the best way of getting to the journalist you want to reach.
If you know which specific section your story is relevant to, or which journalist covers that section, then seek out their specific email address so that the story goes directly to them. For example, is there an email specifically for the business news team? Or is your story more appropriate for the Picture Desk?
If you’re unsure, definitely check the advice on the publication’s website as all media outlets are different. If they have a preference for where press releases are sent, they will usually make this clear on their website. See their Contact page.
Don’t spam or become a pest to journalists!
Never spam journalists with irrelevant news. This is going to do more harm than good.
Also, don’t become a pest. Don’t send and resend your photography press release until you get a response. Unless they plan to run the story, you probably won’t hear from them!
Great PR is about building relationships and so taking the time to identify the most relevant journalist(s) for your story will be time well spent.
Once you know who you want to reach out to, genuinely aim to help and serve them rather than hassle them. Think about how you can assist them and how your story is of value to them.
On a similar point, if you have a local news story, identify your local media. Only if it’s genuinely relevant to a wider audience should you consider pitching it to regional and national press!
Don’t blitz your press release out to hundreds of irrelevant journalists thinking that there’s safety in numbers! This will just result in you getting blocked or black-listed by journalists and won’t help you in the future if you need to ever approach them again.
Don’t send high-resolution images with your media pitch
As a photographer, chances are you will have some brilliant quality images to support your story, but even though it might be tempting to want to share your photography with the journalist, along with your pitch, do not send high-resolution images at this stage!
Journalists’ inboxes get clogged up with hundreds of press releases every day and some have spam filters that will block any emails over a certain size. For this reason, do not ever send high res images as attachments.
Send a small number of low-resolution images initially:
- as attachments,
- pasted into the email,
- or, send a link to a Dropbox folder where the journalist could take a look if they wished.
That way, they can view the available imagery and can come back to you to request higher-quality versions if they are needed.
How to write a press release for your photography business
So, those were my top tips on why and how to write a press release for your photography business. I hope this has been useful.
Do let me know in the comments below if you’ve any questions about press release writing that I haven’t covered here.
Also, don’t forget to grab your free press release template by subscribing here or by clicking on the image below. You’ll also get access to other PR and marketing freebies that I’ve created for photographers as well!
Related reading: Six steps to securing media coverage for your photography business
Join my free Facebook Group for Photographers
You’re also very welcome to join my Facebook group for photographers. In there, among other things, I’m regularly sharing PR tips and encouraging you to promote yourself in the media. Join me!