Why Product Publicity Photos Fail

Ironically, the last step in creating effective product release photos is actually taking the picture. This is because the photograph should reinforce the main feature, benefit, or application of your product or service. What is it that your prospective customer will learn or gain from your product publicity? What’s in it for them? If it is size, then your photo ought to communicate that. If it is ease of use or comfort, then your photo must communicate that. And if you are appealing to a specific market niche, that should be communicated as well.

Most product news releases fail to achieve their objective of being selected by editors because of incongruence; even if they are reasonably well written. Either the message and photograph don’t match or the photograph and audience don’t match. A chief reason for this incongruity is because product news releases are often prepared as an afterthought and use photographs that were intended for other purposes such as a website, brochure, or direct mail piece.

A photo targeting OEMs will differ from one targeting distributors, and the approach to end-users requires a certain presentation too. For example, if your product helps people do their job better, then you’ll want to illustrate that. Here are several examples using the same products.

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Misunderstood by most people is the photographer’s role. He or she isn’t responsible for art direction. Think about your favorite movie. Would an actor have performed effectively without the director? Definitely not! It is the director’s vision that paves the way for an actor to excel.



The same applies to product photography. It is the creative director’s vision that must be interpreted by the photographer and reflected in the image in order to create an effective, communicative photograph.

In conclusion, the photograph needs to communicate and reinforce the headline and copy in a news release in order to be really effective. Congruence is critical. Remember, the object of a product news release is to help an editor inform his or her readership. Only after you help the editor will you reap the powerful benefits of product publicity.


© 2015 Steven M. Stroum

7 Myths Product Publicity

Steve Stroum

Steve Stroum

Steven M. Stroum, founder and president of Venmark International is a seasoned publicist, marketer, and entrepreneur who has been featured in INC Magazine, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, Industrial Marketing, OMNI Magazine, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, The Middlesex News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other media outlets. He has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs, addressed many business and civic groups, and been a guest lecturer at Boston College, Babson College, MIT, and his alma mater Northeastern University.

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