Impact Insights Blog

Elevating Your PR Efforts with Quality Photography

October 13, 2022

Kate WarkIn this month’s Impact Insights, Executive Vice President Kate Wark discusses the importance of photography in your PR, communications and branding efforts – both individually and as an organization or business. Kate is a 21-year PR veteran and a seasoned photographer. Her business, Kate Wark Photography, will celebrate five years in December.

Q. Why is photography such an essential part of a company or individual’s PR and branding strategy?

A. Consumers today have more ways of consuming content than ever before. From social media to television, podcasts, movies and traditional advertising, images are coming our way all day, every day. Professional photography stands out in a sea of imagery in this increasingly visual world makes messages many times more likely to take hold in your audience.

I uncovered a few stats that I found pretty compelling:

  • According to BuzzSumo, the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than any other information.
  • 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.
  • 40% of people respond better to visual information than the written word.
  • Finally, social media posts with images, on average, garner 2.3 times more engagement than those without.

Even anecdotally, we know from our own consumption what a great image does to our minds. We stop, we look, we may engage – and we are way more likely to remember that brand. Q: What do you say to clients who insist on taking and using pictures from a cell phone, or don’t want to spend already tight budget dollars on professional photography?

A: To start, I’d say that cell phone cameras are pretty great these days! They’re a resource we all have in our back pockets to record stories for social media, film video clips and take snapshots that can be widely shared. However, if you’re investing in a smart PR and marketing strategy, professional photography is an invaluable piece of the puzzle. If budget is an issue, there are a few key areas to focus – and spend – on that are non-negotiables and won’t break the bank.

  • A professional headshot of your spokesperson. If contributed articles and op-eds, or providing quotes for trending stories, is part of your PR strategy, a professionally captured and high-resolution headshot is a MUST. The outlets being pitched require a certain quality photograph that can’t be captured with your cell phone. As a bonus, a professional headshot does much to enhance a spokesperson’s credibility and can also be utilized on the company website, personal LinkedIn and other business collateral.
  • A professional photograph of the interior or exterior of your business. Only you know your unique business and your goals for it, but having one sharp, professionally shot image of the exterior of your business (be it an office, storefront, hotel, restaurant, soccer field, to cite a few examples) can also go a long way. You can use this as cover imagery on social media channels, on the Home or About pages of your website and you can share it with journalists who are writing a story about you or your brand.

Q. Can businesses utilize stock images in their marketing efforts?

A. A stock image can fill a gap or two on your website, or in a presentation, for sure, particularly when you’re on a tight time crunch. However, professionally captured photographs of your team and its leadership in action – both headshots and branding images of all of you at work – accomplish something entirely different. Those personal shots of your team – when used correctly and shot professionally – can add clarity to your messaging. Furthermore, these images bring depth, personality and warmth to your marketing campaign and show your audience the humanity behind your business. At the end of the day, people want to do business with people that they connect with. Photography helps make connections with your audience long before you’re face to face.

If you’d like to learn more about Kate, and from her, follow her on LinkedIn or check out her bio on our “About the Team” page.