Random strangers appearing on your website could harm your business reputation

by Scott Douglas

Monday, May 18th, 2015

It’s time you ditched the big lie of website stock images. Find out how PR photography can help.

PR agency in Edinburgh shows why you should use stock picture to promote your companyHAVE you put the reputation of your business into the hands of bland and random strangers?

Think for just a moment – how weird is it for a business to promote itself with a host of fake images of people who look nothing like your real team in offices that look nothing like your real workplace?


Image of PR Photography banner, camera and two photos in a cinefilmDon’t let fake people and other fabricated images damage your business. Check out this amazing 30% discount deal to get professional images of your real staff and workplace while working with Scotland’s reigning Press Photographer of the year


Not only are real customers fed up of these hackneyed stock images, but such pics could actually be harming your business reputation. Whether you pin the blame on clueless web developers or lack of budget, these images tell a worrying story to potential customers that your business is:

  • Too lazy or thoughtless to see beyond exhausted clichés and to put effort into being proud of what you do and where you do it.
  • Too lazy or thoughtless to think of creative ways to tell the real story of your business, your people and your customers.
  • Too lazy or thoughtless to make the time to clear a few desks and spruce up your workplace for a day to show it in its best aspect for a photographer.
  • Too lazy or thoughtless to care about how you present the very essence of your business to the people who matter most – new and existing customers.

For just a moment, put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. A real person worrying why their teenage daughter is suddenly acting up. Or wondering why that mole has suddenly changed shape. Or mulling over what the latest downsizing at work might mean for the 10 years left on the mortgage.

credited to Business-Flickrtec_estromberg.Now let’s imagine that real person is shopping around for real business services. Do you really want them browsing your website and wondering why you pretend that your legal offices in Glasgow, dry-cleaning business in Perth or accountancy practice in Bathgate looks like a movie tower block, populated by toothsome and beautiful 20-somethings?

This is the curse of stock images.  Your website is the most important shop window for your products and services, why would you intentionally set out yours as a very obvious lie? Really?


A Scottish PR photo of a sheepdog puppy for wind farm company Banks RenewablesCheck out how these real businesses – similar to yours – enjoyed major benefits thanks to powerful PR photography delivered by our ward-wining public relations agency


An insane number of businesses have websites populated by an army of catalogue model fodder – maybe that’s what persuades decision makers that this is ok. Everybody else is doing it, so we’ll be fineWell here’s the reality check – it’s not ok, for multiple reasons.

It’s an insult to your staff. The real people, with pimples, squint teeth, bald heads, grey hair, dandruff and questionable dress sense. You know – the ones who do all the work and bring in all the money.

It’s a bare-faced deception about your workplace. Why mask the messy-desked reality of your base whether it’s in a gloomy city centre basement, a soulless, edge of town industrial estate or cheerfully over-decorated, serviced offices? What really matters is what goes on there.

Holyrood PR in Edinburgh highlight why you shouldn't use stock images to promote your websitePretending you operate in in a designer-inspired, feng shui friendly oasis atop a glittering high-rise with views over Manhattan doesn’t make you look aspirational – it makes you look delusional.

Of course any savvy business or organisation wants to present itself in the best possible light. But there is a fine line between careful presentation and complete fabrication.

Now for the good news. It needn’t be like that. It’s easy to find real employees and real customers who are willing to be photographed – and who are happy to help promote your business.


Professional PR Photography by Holyrood Partnership for Eagle CouriersWant an example? Check out this post which shows how we delivered cost-effective photography for Scotland’s biggest independent courier company – giving an amazing lift to the company’s website, while also helping it achieve major media coverage


Award winning PR photographer Wullie MarrNor is it difficult or expensive to get the services of a photographer who can help you carefully plan a one or two day shoot so you get the widest possible range of images.

Want even more good news?  When you entrust these tasks to storytelling professionals – like the team at Holyrood PR in Edinburgh – you don’t just get a quick website fix. You get valuable resources that keep on giving.

Of course, those client testimonials and staff interviews will enliven your website, but they might also make real and interesting content for your trade publications, local newspapers or client newsletters.

Those photographs of real staff in your real offices doing real work? They’ll work far beyond your website, giving you images to use for LinkedIn profiles, social media updates, brochures, newsletters and annual reports.

And there’s even more good news – for a limited period you can get the chance for a whopping 30% discount to get your new website photos – and you’re then free to use them as widely as possible, on newsletters, brochures, social media and in blogs and media coverage – just follow this link to get a whopping 30% off your next photoshoot – https://goo.gl/tWIpnu


Find out how our PR agency can transform your visual communications – on your website and far beyond

We’re proud to have helped many of our clients to transform their public image. including providing photography that graces websites, brochures, reports and media coverage.

You can find out more about our photography services as well as the many other PR services we provide to a wide range of businesses in diverse sectors.

We’re a chatty bunch, so feel free to call us and we’ll be delighted to hear about your business challenges and suggest ways we can help you solve them. You can call us on 0131 561 2244 – or fill in the simple form below and we’ll get straight back to you.

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Scott Douglas, of public relations agency Holyrood PR in Scotland

Scott Douglas

Scott Douglas is the co-founder of the multi award-winning Holyrood Partnership, renowned public relations agency in Edinburgh, Scotland.
As well as providing expert PR services in Scotland and the UK, the former journalist heads a team which offers a host of other professional media services.
Those include crisis management PR, photography for business PR, affordable business video, social media campaigns and strategic content planning and delivery for businesses of all sizes.

View Scott's Profile

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