The hidden value of powerful PR photography

by Chris Fairbairn

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

The digital age offers up unprecedented value – for the right shot

THERE was a not too distant age, when a great PR shot could go as far as a feature in a print paper – and be quite rightly considered an outright success. Job done as it were.

Throughout our month of photography, we’ve highlighted many fantastic examples of eye-catching snaps that have made the press and helped deliver quality coverage.

Yet in 2017, PR photos can do much more – so much so that we’re willing to put our necks on the line and state that ‘never has a good PR snap offered so much potential value to a business.’

What is PR/commercial photography?

For the purposes of this post, we consider PR photography to encompass any series of images that are taken with the intention of sharing or supporting a business or organisation’s story or announcement to a public, whether that is broad or specific.

This is typically to accompany media releases or announcements, however crucially can now include website uploads or social posts – all aimed at providing a visually interesting and reputation enhancing impression on your audience.

Traditional Snaps Retain Their Impact

First and foremost, the original goal of PR photography still holds the most potential power and should be central to any PR photoshoot.

Why is that? Take a few minutes at a newspaper stand during your next visit to the Canaries and it is soon evident that UK and Scottish newspapers, driven by the readers, love images – and that is because we, the readers, love high-impact shots.

A great series of images, like those from the Bupa campaign in the below link – can therefore appear in front of an audience of tens of thousands print and online readers – and as a direct result, go on to reach millions, through highly shareable social channels of national news websites.


With the help of heart-warming pictures, we told the incredible love story of John and Edith, who met after Edith was rescued after a close run in with the Nazi’s – making front page news, primetime features and achieving more than 35 items of coverage.


We’ve established that images that successfully appeal to the media undoubtedly remain an incredibly powerful tool. Now the digital revolution has brought forward a golden age for eye-catching images, offering multiple benefits.

Getting rid of ‘strangers’ and freshening up stale websites

Strong PR images by their very nature draw the reader into the story. Most businesses now have public facing websites – and images taken to support your communications should find a happy home online – whether that be on the homepage or in the news section.


PR agency in Edinburgh shows why you should use stock picture to promote your companyWho are the random strangers appearing on your website – and what are they doing for your business reputation? Read our post that delves into the mysteries of ‘stock images’ and the damage they could be doing to new visitors


Just as the images attract the reader’s interest into the story, the same should be achieved for your website.

As well as looking lively, professional and relatable, an interesting snap will help to lower ‘bounce rate’ – the rate of clicks instantly away from the site – and something Google still factors highly in search engine rankings.


Image of PR Photography banner, camera and two photos in a cinefilmWant to find out more about the power of photography to bring in business, boost your website, enliven your brochures and win over social media followers? Check out Picture Perfect, our essential guide for businesses


PR Photography Banks Advertorial grabAs well as simply being good housekeeping, a regularly updated news section, such as that demonstrated by our client Banks Group, along with captivating images, also shows that a firm is active and engaged – and has a personality.

Banks’ has been able to use high quality images arranged by our team to achieve incredibly powerful press coverage, as well as for use at public exhibitions, in advertorials as well as throughout its website.

The video below provides a quick snapshot to showcase how versatile photography has been for the renewables, property and mining firm:

Getting Social

It is widely accepted that social media has had a transformative effect on marketing. Highly visual platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have enjoyed continuous growth, with Twitter and Linkedin making a real effort to catch up by being more image friendly.

PR photography Boroughmuir share of Commsworld postIt now goes without saying; businesses looking to reach a target audience through social channels have to think visually. Telling stories through images (along with video) is now effectively essential.

Our client Commsworld, allowed us to tell the story of its renewed support of Boroughmuir Rugby Club, with a photoshoot along with the press release.

As well as generating bumper, highly visual coverage, those images were shared across social media channels by the firm – and by Boroughmuir RFC to its 1,900 Facebook followers. It was also shared on the Commsworld website – bringing substantial extra value above and beyond the stellar media coverage.

A snapshot of those that have reaped rewards of PR photography         

The below selection of videos, for a range of our clients, will help you further visualise just how effective a well-considered PR photocall can turn out to be:

Get in touch for expert PR photography

Our team of award-winning practitioners is adept at identifying images, arranging photocalls and liaising with photographers.

Get in touch now, simply by calling 0131 561 2244, or by using the form below:

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Chris Fairbairn of Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

Chris Fairbairn

Chris Fairbairn is a PR account manager with award-winning public relations agency Holyrood Partnership. He is part of an expert PR team delivering PR services to a wide range of clients from headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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