By David Walker

We believe wholeheartedly in the power of language to change hearts and minds – it’s our bread and butter, and the lynchpin of effective integrated communications. Persuasive words drive our B2B public relations and marketing.

Superb writing grabs headlines, drives web traffic, powers calls to action and compels social media users to hit the “follow” button.

Well-chosen words are a catalyst for behavioural change, resulting in one product or service being favoured over another.

However, in PR, powerful language is often only as good as the imagery which accompanies it. A strong picture can enhance that media relations message, even define it, and make it newsworthy for your target publications.

That’s a particular bonus in B2B public relations, where stories can sometimes be a bit dry, even for specialist publications. So when it comes to capturing media interest, the provision of an effective image to supplement your press release makes huge sense. 

Photographs elevate clients' stories

First off, there’s the practical element. Pages – whether web, newspaper or magazine – are built around strong images. Whether a production journalist works in print or online, having a good photograph at their fingertips can elevate a blink-and-you-miss-it three-paragraph story into a striking page lead or picture hit that immediately draws the reader’s eye.

From a B2B PR point of view, it’s a win-win. The client gets crucial column inches, while a journalist is being given ready-made content and is more likely to come back to you for more of the same.

But there’s more to it than that. People connect with images in an instinctive, instantaneous way – they have an emotional response that either draws them in or turns them off. Language, by comparison, can take a little longer to work its influential magic.

Last week, we saw artist Rob Heard unveiling 73,396 plastic figures wrapped in shrouds at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, representing every British and Commonwealth soldier who died at the Battle of the Somme without a grave. One photo of the sombre scene wordlessly communicated the unimaginable scale and futility of the First World War’s bloodiest battle – and it rightly made headlines in every national newspaper going.

In effect, the picture was the story because it was so powerful. It’s a cliché, but it’s true – a picture paints a thousand words.

Occasionally, we find B2B public relations clients are reluctant to invest in professional photography. However, it can undoubtedly mean the difference between your press release being published or spiked – that’s “binned” in the language of newspapers – and we routinely advise them of that fact.

A good image may even be published in isolation, but as long as the client is mentioned in the caption – which they almost invariably will be if your B2B PR agency is doing its job properly – then the result is the same. Essentially, profile has been raised and a positive message has been communicated.

Showing our clients in their best light

We work hand-in-hand with a trusted pool of photographers to capture our clients’ media relations activities in their best light. We work hard to ensure those photographers have a strong idea of what we’re looking to achieve and how they might be able to achieve it. 

That can mean detailed scouting of suitable locations beforehand and ensuring that a range of creative ideas for imaginative shots are being offered to the photographer for them to then recreate with their lens. We’re also on hand throughout the shoot to advise on what we think is working and what is not.

Fundamentally, we’re there every step of the way to make sure that we’re realising real value for the client’s investment in B2B public relations – and very often capturing a wide range of great imagery that can be used again and again across multiple channels.

And picture this – a relatively small outlay in quality photography could mean a long-term boost to your business’s bottom line, creating imagery that’s indelibly linked in the public eye to what’s best about you. 

We are the B2B marketing experts. Contact us now on 0800 612 9890.