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‘Sure shot’, Part 2: fill the media photography void, gain a PR edge

Sometimes, such as those moments when parents congregate to take a team photo, cameras are bountiful. But what are you prepared to do when there are no media cameras at your organization's event?
Sometimes, such as those moments when parents congregate to take a team photo, cameras are bountiful. But what are you prepared to do when there are no media cameras at your organization's event?
Inside Edge PR

In the first of this two-part series, we explored the media's rising dependence on other sources to provide photographs for the stories they tell--and the potential for publicists to fill the void that is created by that shift.

Here we explore two of the more common reasons why publicists and marketers fumble the opportunity that this undeniable journalistic trend presents--and how you can avoid falling prey to this flawed approach.

The two mistaken notions:

A Photographer Will Surely Show Up!

With news outlets’ resources depleted, it’s best to operate under the assumption that neither the reporter nor the photographer will appear at your groundbreaking, ribbon-cutting, product-unveiling or any other occasion.

And if the reporter comes, and is taking photos, don’t be lulled into a sense of security.

For one thing, he or she cannot be on top of every possible angle, particularly with a duty to report on top of taking photos. In addition, photography isn’t their specialty—you may well be able to provide them with a better image to go with their story.

So get as many photos as possible, review them all, and then furnish the reporter with the best ones. In doing so, you will derive the additional PR benefit of your organization receiving photo credit.

Look, a Photographer Came!—We Are All Set

Sometimes, if you are good or lucky or both, you will attract one or more media outlets to your event. Collectively, there might be hundreds of photographs taken. It’s a beautiful thing (as long as your client wants the attention and it reflects positively on them). No need to join the fray and take your own photos, right?

Wrong!

In a day, a week, a month or a year—sooner or later, you will want to have a collection of photos that you took and, therefore, that you own. That way, you have absolute control over how to use them in any number of communications platforms.

Potential avenues include your web site, printed marketing materials such as a brochure, on social media sites, and for your archives so that you can share them with media devoting coverage to your company or cause in the future.

As long as you are on the scene, performing the full range of your PR duties, then you can turn both of these mistaken notions on their head. Indeed, the photographer showed up and, for sure, you are all set. That’s because you are the photographer.

What this brings to mind is a challenging comment from Greg Duncan, Amway Triple Diamond and World Wide Group organization leader: "I have good news for you--your financial future is in your hands; I also have bad news for you--your financial future is in your hands."

In other words, whether a turn of events is good or bad hinges on how well any given individual handles it. Along those same lines, the stage is set for you to reap great benefit from this simultaneous depletion of "official" photographic resources and expansion of grassroots photographic potential--as long as you take steps to improve your photography skills.