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Chapter 5: Supporting the Story With a M... > PUBLICITY PHOTO TIPS - Pg. 77

Supporting the Story... n 77 N Remember that the Web is global in reach. Spell out dates unambiguously. One European reporter in Jakob Nielsen's study dismissed a company's news as old because it was dated 10-3-2000, which to him meant March 10 rather than the intended October 3. Avoid country-specific acronyms and insert the kinds of background explanations that would be found in a quality news story. P UBLICITY P HOTO T IPS "You should build your publicity campaign around strong pic- tures," advises Joan Stewart, who spent more than 22 years working as a news reporter and editor before becoming a media relations con- sultant. "With pictures, your words become three-dimensional, and they leave a lasting impression." Great photos included in a media kit or online media room can persuade editors to cover events that they might otherwise skip over and can convey emotion that influences viewers to become customers. In fact, even if you're not ready to pro- duce a full-fledged media kit, take the steps necessary to commission a professional portrait of yourself as soon as you put down this book. "Three out of four of the people I approach to publicize in my Publicity Hound newsletter have poor-quality photos or none at all," says Stewart. "Forget about snapshots that show you with friends or family. Editors won't bother to crop out babies, husbands, or friends. They just won't use your photo." Your photo should fit the image you want to project without look- ing clichéd. According to Nat Starr of Troy, Michigan, who special- izes in advertising for professional speakers, overdone poses include holding a trophy, posing on a platform with your mouth open as if you're talking, shaking hands with someone else, pretending to write or talk on the phone, and pointing at something, such as your prod- uct. To that list I would add, for highbrow types, the "Thinker" pose (chin resting on knuckles). Jeff Davidson, author of Blow Your Own Horn and 17 other books, updates his photos often and keeps differ- ent pictures on hand. "It's boring," he says, "to see the same picture of someone used over and over for years."