Why You Need a Picture for Your Recent News


Sharing your career news/moves in the “On the Move” sections of local business journals, industry trade publications and even your alumni magazines is a great way to keep the business community abreast and engage your professional network. However, too often news of this sort is sent out without a photo. Editors have a twin objective: deliver the news, and do so in a layout that is visually appealing. When given the choice between two similar news items, one with a photo and one without, the one with will win every time.

Let’s delve into some of the reasons why photos aren’t being sent or aren’t being used when they are sent:

1)     Photos are out-of-date. We have all seen the black-and-white ‘80s mugshots that some professionals so desperately hold onto, perhaps in light of an ever-dwindling hairline (something I know well) or intractable insistence that they not be photographed again. We have actually seen situations in which the “master” takes are physical, not digital. Your clients and potential clients deserve to see the you of today, not the you of the Reagan Era.

2)     High-res versions are nowhere to be found. The photos that appear on your website are vastly scaled-down versions of a high-resolution shot. The full-size photo (sometimes slightly scaled-down) is what publications need. If you search-and-search and can only find the tiny pictures, you need to take a new photo. A good photographer should provide you with full-scale and small-scale photos. The real issue is that you can always size a large photo down without losing quality, but you can never do the reverse.

3)     Senior leaders refuse to be photographed. A high-quality headshot needs to be a prerequisite for all public-facing, senior-level professionals. By not setting – and holding individuals – to this standard, you are sending a strange message to clients. Frankly, you want to avoid the, “I think he is a recluse,” comments. Photographs personalize relationships, ever-important in an increasingly remote world, and convey subtle messages such as confidence and trustworthiness.

4)     The only photos we have are from the old firm or personal collection. The former is a copyright issue and should be avoided. The latter is rife with issues ranging from poor resolution to cropping out other people in a photo.

So, what should you do if you have news ready-to-go and no photo to accompany it? Wait. Non-pressing news will simply be more impactful if paired with a pictorial component. One strategy to avoid these sorts of scenarios is to create an “On the Move”/new hire checklist and add an entry for securing a high-res photo. A picture may not be worth a thousand words, but it will help your item merit greater attention.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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