Irish Examiner Photo Editor Paddy Barker says

Rule No. 1: Use your head and break the rules sometimes!

Sunday is actually quite a good day to release PR pics for Monday papers.

Release pics the day before and on Bank Holidays -the Monday and Tuesday editions cry out for Business pictures in particular. For those of you with a long memory: release picture in the week between Christmas and New Years day – you will have little competition and readers will spend more time reading papers.

A few years ago all photocalls were at 3pm, and after repeated calls for a change the entire PR industry settled on 11am! 11am is a good time but if you want Photographers from the papers or agencies to attend they can only get to one event each. Try 9.30, 10am, 10.30am even!

Listen to your Photographer, if he says Paper X won’t use a cheque presentation don’t do it except for your in-house use.

We all accept budgets are very tight but that is all the more reason to make sure your Photoshoot gives a good return and has the best chance of being PUBLISHED. With this in mind don’t skimp at the last hurdle and try to relase the images yourself. Photographers / agencies know how to caption and submit the images in a publication friendly manner. Images submitted that are not correctly formatted or captioned will often be binned never to see the light of day. Yes it does cost a bit more, but try agreeing a fixed release fee with your photographer for this valuable service.

Models: Yes, they do help but PLEASE let’s see some new faces! Most models on agency books will do an excellent job and possibly have a better chance of publication than the “Names” and save you money into the bargain.

Keep follow up calls to a minimum, you would be surprised how many calls Picture desks receive to confirm if a Photocall e-mail has been received even when a response has been sent!

Sometimes you can do all of the above, have brilliant images and still not get any “hits” due to competition from other Photocalls or a busy news day, so think of other “homes” for your images like Trade mags and On-line forums, Facebook and You Tube etc.

Happy shoots and remember Rule 1 !

Paddy Barker, Irish Examiner Image desk

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