Eight Rules for Pitching Your Property Pics to Travel Media

We’ve all heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

And while a thousand might be just a bit of an overestimate, pictures are incredibly valuable currency in the PR world. It’s rare to see an article without an accompanying photo these days, and it’s all about the visuals in the era of social media news.

The nightly view from Aloft Ocean City, Ocean City’s first lifestyle hotel.

Among their many powers, images can:

  • Efficiently and effectively reinforce the main information you want to convey, as mentioned in this previous blog on event coverage.
  • Make it more likely for media to share your news across their social channels, where the Pew Research Center reports roughly two-thirds of American adults say they at least occasionally get news and, subsequently, share it themselves.
  • Catch the attention of print media scanners, website clickers, and social feed scrollers practicing text avoidance.

Given this, it’s not only essential for PR pros to provide images – even if just a logo and headshot – with any and all news they’re pitching, but to also do anything and everything they can to make it as easy as possible for media to use them.

Here are eight simple rules our PR team employs when pitching property news from Blue Water Development, a leading real estate developer on the East Coast, to travel media that, not surprisingly, are all about visuals:

  1. Upload your selected images to Dropbox or Google Drive so they’re easily accessible through a single hyperlink. Never attach photos in an initial pitch, as they may be too large to deliver and, worse yet, can trigger spam filters or journalist annoyance resulting from a clogged inbox.
  2. Discuss your image needs and wants with your client as early as possible to ensure that you have what you need when pitching time comes. This might mean hiring a professional photographer and providing him or her with a full list of shots and a deadline, or maybe even planning for you or a colleague to take images yourself.
  3. Be conscious of how many photos you offer. While you do want to put all of a property’s most Instagram-worthy aspects on display, and it’s better to err on the side of too many than too few, it won’t do you any favors to send duplicates or low-quality images.
  4. Download full-size, high-resolution JPGs of all photos you choose to offer.
  5. Organize the images into commonsensical folders so that recipients can more easily find what they’re interested in using. For example, if you’re promoting a new hotel, create folders for amenities, rooms, exterior, etc.
  6. Label the images with captions, even if relatively simple ones like “Aloft Ocean City front” or “Aloft Ocean City bar.” However, if the images depict specific events, people, or dates that you hope are mentioned, provide much more detail, for example “Todd Burbage, Blue Water Development co-owner, delivers remarks at the company’s newest hotel, Aloft Ocean City, on May 21, 2019.” Don’t force the media to ask and wait for answers to who, what, and where.
  7. Before sending your email, make 100% sure recipients have all necessary permissions to access and download the images. Our team always tests this by sending them to a colleague who, very importantly, is NOT signed into our Dropbox or Drive account.
  8. Include in your email whether or not recipients need to provide photo credit(s) if and when they publish the images.

While following these rules won’t guarantee coverage of your property news, it will definitely help your chances by preemptively answering journalists’ would-be questions (for example, “what, or who, am I looking at?”) and countering their would-be requests (for example, “please send high-res”).

A bonus tip, to reward you for reading this far, is always considering using any and all new or better property images that you can get your hands on as an excuse to follow-up with travel media that are always looking for more – you never know what type of picture may push your news from a “maybe” to a “yes!”

Blue Water Development leadership, Aloft Ocean City staff, and community members celebrate the hotel’s opening at its ribbon cutting on May 6, 2019.

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