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PR Pictures For The “Serious” Press

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PR pictures for the "serious" press

A former editor of The Sun once described the magic formula thusly:

Sex at the front. Football at the back. Lager in the middle.

The paper has moved on over the years, but that formula is resistant to change.

It’s not that different over at The Times, in truth, it’s just a bit less blatant.

That particularly applies when it comes to the pictures.

Which ought to serve as a guide to flaks trying to get their clients into papers with what they think are decent shots. They tend not to get it right.  

Let’s take Tuesday’s Times as an example.

There’s a pint of lager on the front, indeed it obscures the “I” in the famous masthead.

On page three is a picture of Benny Hill and three women in bikinis.

Below that, is a picture of a beaver. If you think that’s a coincidence you aren’t giving the editors of the paper enough credit. (Or perhaps you’re giving them too much.)

They are obsessed by sex and animals, at least when it comes to pictures.

On page four there’s a hare and two deer. The news value of these shots is zero. They just look pretty and were taken, supposedly, very recently.

Actress Emily Atack features on page 11. (She’s blonde, though that’s not obligatory.)

Page 15 is anchored with a Paris fashion shoot.

Page 19 is peregrine falcons.

How should a story in the foreign pages about environmental threats to the Dead Sea be illustrated?

With a picture of a women in a bikini slathered in mud. Of course.

The business pages are straighter than this, but they are still taking plenty of trouble to have attractive images. Which are generally miles better than the ones companies might supply to go with their annual results, say.

Get past obits, where the pics tend to be dry but don’t have to be, and you are in to Sport.

An action shot of Harry Kane is used to illustrate a Fulham v Spurs match report. But it is surely a matter of regret for the editors that a picture of a woman in a swimsuit could not be justified on this occasion.

The Times of London, ladies and gentlemen, founded in 1785.

Those are the pic choices with which you are competing.

Press release of the day

The rising cost of monthly bills including broadband is the biggest concern to Brits across all pay bands, says this from

Even the relatively well to do say their mental well being has been affected by increased costs of nearly everything.

The tables are clear and well presented.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) Does Wizz Air still want to merge with easyJet?

2) Do the GDP figures suggest the US will avoid recession?

3) What’s happening to London house prices according to Foxtons?

4) Are tonic drinkers trading down from Fevertree?


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