Archive for the ‘PR Photography’ Category

…Free photo and video support from the Press Association consultancy, TNR Communications

A competition was launched in March 2010, offering one UK charity a unique opportunity to gain valuable media exposure through a photography and video campaign, produced for free by a specialist part of the Press Association.

Any UK registered charity with an upcoming media campaign is invited to apply for their chance to win a free photography and video consultation with the Press Association’s in-house communications agency, TNR, who will advise on the best way to gain coverage in the UK’s print and online press.   A Press Association photographer will then offer their ‘Fleet Street’ knowledge to take pictures that support the winner’s campaign, the best of which will be offered directly to the Picture Wire.  The winner will also get a ‘Videocall’ of their story filmed, edited and uploaded to the UK’s top five video streaming sites. 

With over 160,000 registered charities in England and Wales, publicity to drive campaign awareness and increase public support is in great demand.  TNR’s consultants have hands-on experience of what works and what doesn’t within the media and are in an ideal position to advise how that crucial press coverage can be achieved. 

Multimedia content can have a substantial impact on PR coverage. However, on many occasions, charities simply do not have the budget for it.  The charity competition aims to give something back to the UK’s charity sector, with the gift of a £2,500 package of PR services aimed at increasing the chances of exposure for one worthy PR campaign.

TNR’s Managing Director, Claire Southeard, said “We are very proud to initiate this competition and hope we can offer some much needed support and guidance to a very worthy cause.  We have spent a long time building up our experience and knowledge of what works in broadcast, photography and online and are delighted to have found this opportunity to share the benefit of that expertise with a UK charity.”

Charities are invited to apply for the competition through a dedicated page on the TNR website where they can enter details of their chosen campaign and describe how winning this competition could benefit their organisation. The campaign must be scheduled to take place before the end of June 2010 and the deadline for submissions is Friday 16th April.  A judging panel will choose five finalists, from which one winner will be announced on Friday 23rd April.

Related Articles:

http://www.prweek.com/uk/news/993821/Week-Charities/

http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/news/Article/992653/Free-communications-support-charities-won/

http://www.consortcharity.com/news-details.aspx?newsID=27997

http://www.ccwa.org.uk/v2/index.php?section_list=News&subsection=CCWA_top_stories&content=2118

http://www.fundingcentral.org.uk/SchemeList.aspx?NB=2&RT=2&BK=4&ST=0&WCU=CBC=View,DSCODE=OTSSCMLIVE,SCHEMEID=248-S34853

This week saw PA Photocall (the sister company of  TNR Communications) work with Frank PR on an exclusive launch of a limited edition ‘Aleksandr talking toy’ due to arrive exclusively at Harrods in time for Christmas.

An Aleksandr Orlov meerkat 'talking toy' in the meerkat enclosure at London Zoo ahead of them going on sale exclusively in Harrods in early December.

An Aleksandr Orlov meerkat 'talking toy' in the meerkat enclosure at London Zoo ahead of them going on sale exclusively in Harrods in early December.

The star of comparethemarket.com’s TV adverts has brokered a deal with the world’s most famous department store to stock a limited number of the furry meerkat toys. Set to be the must-have toy for Christmas 2009, the talking Aleksandr Orlov replica comes complete with his trademark smoking jacket and paisley silk cravat.  Aleksandr’s ‘Simples!’ catchphrase can be heard with a distinctive squeak when his belly is squeezed.

A member of staff at Harrods in London handles one of the limited edition Aleksandr Orlov meerkat 'talking toys'. David Parry/PA Photocall

A member of staff at Harrods in London handles one of the limited edition Aleksandr Orlov meerkat 'talking toys'. David Parry/PA Photocall

PA Photocall were commissioned to capture the talking toy in Harrods department store and London Zoo’s meerkat enclosure with Aleksandr and his real furry friends being introduced for the first time. Photocall photographer David Parry was onsite at 9am to capture the various images, which were sent immediately through to the Press Association picture desk for distribution on the wire. It was no surprise the amount of coverage the celebrity meerkat received within the press including The Metro, Metro Online, Ok Magazine and Virgin media.

PA Photocall also received a 535% increase in visits to their website due to popularity of the images, streaming visits from Twitter, Facebook and forums. Photocall are commissioned for such a broad range of projects that appeal to a wide audience which makes their social media strategy a simple and effective one. This project is a great example of how PR Photography can be great fun and extremely powerful within the media.

Post by Penny Joyner (Marketing Executive for PA Photocall)

National Lottery Love UK Campaign June 2007. Geoff Caddick/PA Photocall

National Lottery Love UK Campaign June 2007. Geoff Caddick/PA Photocall

On this day 3 years ago PA Hostpics was re-launched as PA Photocall and to celebrate this occasion I wanted to take at look at some of vast and varied projects we have been involved with…

I thought I might begin with perhaps PA Photocall’s most iconic image which was commissioned by The National Lottery for their Love UK campaign back in June 2007. English National Ballet’s Swan Lake ballerinas enjoyed a practice session on the Millennium Bridge as part of the new Love UK campaign to celebrate the £20 billion raised by Lottery players for good causes. English National Ballet and the Millennium Bridge had both benefitted from Lottery Funding.

Our seasoned PA Photocall photographer Geoff Caddick captured this beautiful image…

‘As a photographer I am obsessed with symmetry, this image just worked perfectly. You always envisage how you want the photograph to turn out but sometimes it doesn’t always happen that way, this image was everything I hoped it would be.’ Geoff Caddick

One image which highlights the importance of planning your photocall was this shot commissioned by BAA and British Airways to announce the opening of Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport.

BAA and British Airways announce Terminal 5 at Heathrow opening. Geoff Caddick/PA Photocall March 2007

BAA and British Airways announce Terminal 5 at Heathrow opening. Geoff Caddick/PA Photocall March 2007

The effectiveness of the image is that it gives the impression of a news picture from what is actually a PR set up. The photo was featured in several national newspapers including The Times, The Independent and The Evening Standard.

An image which is my personal favourite and a testament to not having to use branding in your picture to get your message across is that of ‘Ripley’s’ photocall with the worlds smallest road worthy car which we ran riot with in London’s Piccadilly Circus.

The world's smallest car, the Peel 50, which is soon to go on display at Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum of oddities, in Piccadilly Circus, London. Carl Court/PA Photocall

The world's smallest car, the Peel 50, which is soon to go on display at Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum of oddities, in Piccadilly Circus, London. Carl Court/PA Photocall

The Peel 50 was to be exhibited in ‘Ripley’s Believe it Not’ Museum in London and they wanted to capture a photograph to mark the occasion. PA Photocall photographer Carl Court followed the little car around as it unveiled to the public and caused quite a stir. The beauty of this image is the reactions of the people to the Peel 50 against the London back drop. The image not only got into the national papers and online but was also featured in the BBC programme ‘Have I Got News for you’.

As far as spectacular PR stunts go this year’s highlight was that of Eden TV’s launch back in January. A 16 foot high sculpture of an iceberg featuring a stranded female polar bear and her baby cub floated on the River Thames. The stunt was to mark the launch of Eden, a new digital TV channel devoted to natural history.

 

A 16 foot high sculpture of an iceberg featuring a stranded female polar bear and her baby cub on the River Thames outside the Houses of Parliament to mark the launch of Eden, a new digital TV channel devoted to natural history. Geoff Caddick/PA Photocall

A 16 foot high sculpture of an iceberg featuring a stranded female polar bear and her baby cub on the River Thames outside the Houses of Parliament to mark the launch of Eden, a new digital TV channel devoted to natural history. Geoff Caddick/PA Photocall

After 3 years much has changed and will continue to do so but the ability to be creative, fun and varied will always stay true in the world of PR photography. No one day is the same and each job gives us a new challenge, to that end long may it continue.

Post by Penny Joyner (Marketing Executive for PA Photocall)

British cheese producer Peter Mitchell sits on top of a half tonne Mature Farmhouse Cheddar, which forms part of the World`s Largest Cheese Board record attempt in accordance with the Guiness Book of Records, Covent Garden Piazza, central London. Geoff Caddick/PA Photocall

British cheese producer Peter Mitchell sits on top of a half tonne Mature Farmhouse Cheddar, which forms part of the World`s Largest Cheese Board record attempt in accordance with the Guiness Book of Records, Covent Garden Piazza, central London. Geoff Caddick/PA Photocall

Although the history of the PA Photocall service goes back further under the guise of PA Hostpics and indeed PA Photos, this month sees the 3rd anniversary of the PA Photocall name.

PA Photocall

So along with blowing out birthday candles and wearing a big ‘I am 3′ badge we thought it was as good a reason as any to have a look back over the last three years & what we’ve been doing.

Three years might not seem a long time, but since our relaunch as PA Photocall in Oct 2006, there’s been some big changes in press & PR.

We’ve seen the londonpaper come, and go, a complete redevelopment of the the concept and content of newspaper websites, an industry shaking recession and the explosion of social media – Facebook in it’s modern form is only about a week older than us, while twitter was still known as ‘twtrr’ and had about as many users as vowels..

But however the industry has changed, photos remain important. Video & moving image has become more accessible and that’s something we’ll be doing more of next year. But great photos retain the ability to cut through complex information and campaigns, and convey stories in a way people intuitively respond to.

Our first PA Photocall commission was to photograph a giant cheese board. However random that might seem, I look at that shot 3 years later & it still stands up; bright, simple, quirky, fun. Any new PR shot that does the same will always have a good chance of succeeding.

Is it harder to get PR pictures into the newspapers now than it was 3 years ago? Yes and no. There’s more pictures around now than ever before & technology makes them easier and quicker to take & distribute. As a result the papers have become more demanding, a celebrity just standing there in a branded t-shirt isn’t going to do it anymore. But good launches, stunts, events and news, where the picture has been an integral part of the activity rather than just tacked on at the end are still in demand. In an age where papers are employing less & less staff photographers, PR photos are important again.

Looking through the files I also see later that first PA Photocall week in October 2006 we also photographed the Sugababes. Three years on the Sugababes have just announced another line up change, yet in a strange way remain exactly the same. There’s something similar with good PR photography. To a certain extent the more things change, the more they stay the same.

The Sugababes smile backstage at the Girlguiding UK Big Gig, an exclusive concert for Girlguiding UK members at Wembley Arena, London. Rebecca Reid/PA Photocall

The Sugababes smile backstage at the Girlguiding UK Big Gig, an exclusive concert for Girlguiding UK members at Wembley Arena, London. Rebecca Reid/PA Photocall

However they’re taken or however they’re distributed, or however they’re seen, at the end of the day the quality of the pictures & the ideas behind them are still the most important thing. Here’s to the next 3 years!

 

Post by Tim Kerr (Director & Picture Editor of PA Photocall)

Keira Knightley in front of the now infamous enhanced poster for King Arthur. Press Association Images

Keira Knightley in front of the now infamous enhanced poster for King Arthur. Press Association Images

After reading an article in today’s Independent about the Liberal Democrats’ call to put a curb on airbrushing in advertising it made me think of all the times that we, PA Photocall, get asked to’Photoshop in’ or ‘Photoshop out’, this, that and the other.

However, for newspaper pictures we draw the line at removing flabby waists, bruises and discoloured teeth.  There is an un-written rule when it comes to news pictures; ‘No doctoring’.  This is simply because once you manipulate the picture ­ removing things in background, adding logos, taking out wrinkles – it no longer represents the news scene as captured, but creates a biased fantasy. 

 

Newspapers rely on the integrity of their content and pictures are at the forefront of that. Glossy magazines might be able to have retouched cover stars but papers have to walk a tighter line.

This is something that is surprisingly not widely known outside the newsroom. Quite often, when a client has booked a ‘celeb’ to front a campaign ­ pictures of which are to be used for editorial purposes – it can quickly materialise that the ‘celeb’ is not so perfect after all. 

Post by Nicola Charalambous (Picture Editor of PA Photocall)

 

Mahomed-Abraar Khatri, 18 and Vargo, the first guide dog in the UK to enter a mosque, are welcomed into the Bilal Jamia mosque in Leicester by Head Imam Hafiz Rehman.

Mahomed-Abraar Khatri, 18 and Vargo, the first guide dog in the UK to enter a mosque, are welcomed into the Bilal Jamia mosque in Leicester by Head Imam Hafiz Rehman.

PA Photocall client The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association has won an award for their campaign on ‘Vargo, the first guide dog to enter a Mosque’ which aimed to tackle the misunderstanding of the work of guide dogs.

The organisation picked up the 2009 Excellence award from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, beating seven other finalists in the category of Best Campaign £10k and under.
With the support of his local mosque, a visually impaired teenager from Leicester applied for a guide dog and his story was used to highlight the fact that guide dogs are working animals enhancing a person’s independence. To allow Mohamed to take his dog Vargo into the mosque for worship, a historic fatwa was issued, changing ancient Shari’ah law. ‘A strong, well planned and managed piece of co-operative work which achieved enormous press coverage and is now being used as an example around the world. Profound cultural change achieved for just over £1,000.

PA Photocall were commissioned by Guide Dogs for the photography for the campaign. As a result PA Photocall’s pictures were central to the success of the launch, with coverage including The Times, The Daily Star Online, MSN, AOL Online and This is Grimsby to name but a few. It is a good example to the fact that there is no glass ceiling for PR.

Post by Penny Joyner (Marketing Executive for PA Photocall)

There’s an interesting Thought Leader Series supplement in last week’s PR Week on ‘Consumer PR’. Amid all the talk of PR’s response to the changing PR environment & multiple media platforms there was a good bread and butter question thrown at the contributors; ‘Has your attitude to the use of celebrities in campaigns changed over the past year?’

The general consensus was that celebrities remained very powerful promotional tools whatever the economic climate, but the connection with the client and the project needed to be right.

Speaking specifically from a photography point of view that’s something I’d agree with. Celebrities work in PR photos because they instantly give the picture something identifiable. Photographers and PR’s might sit around in client meetings and seminars mulling over the possible death of celebrity culture and how we’re all much more interested in growing vegetables, or knitting our own shoes or whatever. But then we’ll go for lunch & read Heat Magazine or talk about Peter & Katie like everyone else.

Diarmuid Gavin tend to tomato plants at Cooks Farm Allotment in south London for the launch of Morrisons' Let's Grow campaign which encourages children to grow their own fresh fruit and veg at school. Geoff Caddick/PA Photocall

Diarmuid Gavin tend to tomato plants at Cooks Farm Allotment in south London for the launch of Morrisons' Let's Grow campaign which encourages children to grow their own fresh fruit and veg at school. Geoff Caddick/PA Photocall


It’s a fact in our world that we connect with celebrities. We associate them with certain lifestyles, with certain characteristics that we aspire to. Celebrities are in effect ‘brands’ themselves and the best PR photos come when the brand values of the celebrity and the brand value of the client fit. Then you have a picture that works, that catches a Picture Editor’s eye and stands up.

Melinda Messenger launches Ultimo's latest in-shop boutique within Debenhams at Westfield Shopping Centre, London.

Melinda Messenger launches Ultimo's latest in-shop boutique within Debenhams at Westfield Shopping Centre, London.

To often we’ll see PR photos where you can tell straight away the client just went for the cheapest Big Brother reject available and there’s no obvious link & the picture feels clunky because of it. Picture Editors like PR photos to be simple. A good celeb with a good connection intuitively does that. If you have to explain too hard why the celeb is being used it’s probably not going to work, so always look for the fit.

Post by Tim Kerr (Director & Picture Editor for PA Photocall)

‘Silly Season’ is upon us - the time of the year when everything slows down and the media world lowers the bar on what it considers news, Parliament are on holiday and real news seems thinner on the ground. This is a great chance to take full advantage and achieve press coverage for your brand or service whether in print or online.

There is no doubt that the press will still be covering stories on Michael Jackson’s death and the rapid increase in swine flu cases, but throughout the long summer months all the media will be looking to cover more wacky and to some extent frivolous stories than usual.

Last year during ‘Silly Season’ the story of abducted gnome Murphy who travelled around 12 countries in 7 months went across the headlines in The Independent, The Telegraph and the Mirror to name but a few.

Undated handout photo of Eve Stuart-Kelso's garden gnome Murphy in New Zealand, who was returned to her after a 7 month disappearance, accompanied by a photo album showing him in the 12 countries he visited with his abductor.

Undated handout photo of Eve Stuart-Kelso's garden gnome Murphy in New Zealand, who was returned to her after a 7 month disappearance, accompanied by a photo album showing him in the 12 countries he visited with his abductor.

From cows with local accents, to the bank holiday cheese chasers of Coopers Hill, there is no end to the wonderful and down right crazy stories that dominate the press at this time of year.

The ladies race gets underway during the annual cheese rolling race at Cooper's Hill, Gloucestershire.

The ladies race gets underway during the annual cheese rolling race at Cooper's Hill, Gloucestershire.

This does not mean we have to abandon the rules of respected journalism, more that you should look at your everyday activities from a light hearted point of view. Consider potential news worthy stories that may be a little on the quirky side for your clients or business, with the recession keeping us firmly grounded, the chance to make light of any situation will always be welcomed by editors, especially now.

Look to utilise popular and regularly occurring events for example the cricket, the hottest day of the year, music festivals with some relevance to your brand, as they will always be topics in demand from editors. Generic shots will always have their place in the news but if you can add a little creativity and a wacky slant then all the better.

There has never been a better time to communicate to your audience about your product or service. A simple quote or a by-lined article in a national newspaper doesn’t automatically translate into sales, but positive media coverage no matter what form it takes can strengthen the value and position of the brand or service. Effective media relations, not only attracts new clients but can reassure existing ones.

 Post by Penny Joyner (Marketing Executive for PA Photocall)

I’ve been enjoying following AFP photographer Leon Neal’s ‘Tabascokid’ blog http://www.leonneal.com/blog/

His London photographer knowledge lists make for fantastic reading for a humorous insight into the life & struggles of press photographers in the capital.

For a photographer, he’s reasonably kind to picture editors. His belief that anyone on any picture desk “automatically has their sense of time/distance awareness removed” is probably fair comment..

It got me thinking about what a PR Picture Editors knowledge list might look like. So with apologies to Leon, in no particular order & for what it’s worth…

The PR Picture Editor’s Knowledge:

1. Keep it simple.

2. Picture Editors don’t care about the PR story, it’s all about the picture.

3. Photographers will always send their best shots in last.

4. In product shots, men holding things just doesn’t look right. Even if they have nice hands.

5. Big cheques are evil

6. The Irish Photocall staple of ‘M+M’s’ (Models and Ministers) is the PR photo equilivant of E=MC2.

7. Myleen Klass/Monkeys/Midgets

8. One good celeb = at least 1000 real people.

9. Tight, bright, landscape, portrait, then clever.

10. If you’re doing an aerial shot of people spelling out a brand name or symbol, you need at least twice as many people as you think you do.

11. The quickest way to find a Community Police Officer in central London is to hold an unlicensed photocall.

12. People outside London need pictures too. Don’t forget Scotland!

13. The more Z list the celeb the more trouble their agent will be with approving shots.

14. The more confidential something is meant to be the more people already know about it.

15. Stunts don’t necessarily make good photos and vice versa.

16. Captions: Who, What, Where, When, Why.

17. If you don’t understand the embargo details, no one else will.

18. No line ups, no handshakes, no town mayors.

19. If you can’t draw the picture idea on the back of a press release using matchstick men, it’ll probably be rubbish.

20. Remember it’s meant to be fun.

 

Post by Tim Kerr (Director & Picture Editor of PA Photocall)

There’s a picture on the cover of the Metro today which did what all great photos do – it made me stop & look again.

The Saturdays

The Saturdays at T4 on the Beach 2009

It’s a shot, taken by Karwai Tang for Alpha, of girl band The Saturdays performing at T4 on the Beach at Weston Super Mare, but the interesting thing is that they’re photographed from behind. Instead of the usual image of Vanessa, Frankie & the rest, dazzling us with their choreography & push up bras, we see five sets of long legs and hot pants.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say The Saturdays look better from the back, they obviously have the charms to impress picture editors from various angles.

But what the Metro cover gives us, is a classic unexpected angle that completely changes the dynamic and the impact of the picture.

You’ll see it all the time in the papers. Scenes photographed from above, from below, from the side using reflections.. Usually it’s photographers doing whatever they can to make a dull story vaguely interesting. 

Here it works perfectly. We suddenly see something we didn’t expect & by showing us something less obvious, we actually see a lot more.

 post by: Tim Kerr (Director & Picture Editor of PA Photocall)