Free Love


‘The best things in life are free’ sang Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson. And when it comes gratis images that can form the basis of a story, journalists are singing from the same lyric sheet.

In a world where money is always tight, if you can go to your editor with zero cost pictures, you’re going to gain massive brownie points.

If you are a PR who is in possession of said photos – be they of an interior, a celebrity, a place etc., here is what’s useful to think about.

1) Placement. Really think about your client’s needs and the publication’s needs. Where they should go is not about your favourite magazine or site, but where the brand will get the right exposure to the right people.

2) Realism. Look at your potential targets. Do they ever run images that aren’t generated in house?

3) Style. Do they have a house style and do your images fit with it?

4) Homework. Are there any restrictions on the images? Can they be cropped? Turned black and white? Is there an embargo on them until a certain date? Has the celebrity now got an entirely different hair colour?

5) Target. Your first shot at placement is the most important. Consider the options carefully. If journalist gets the sense the images have been schlepped around they start to lose appeal.

6) Exclusivity. Be honest about where else the images will be seen.

7) Quality. Is it high enough? Nothing more frustrating than finding it isn’t at the last minute.