A Publicity Hound who just started reading this newsletter emailed me last week, asking if I have any clever suggestions for an interesting check-passing photo.
Sorry, I said. There is no such thing. Every check-passing photo looks alike. Two people stand shoulder-to-shoulder, each clutching one end of a check and staring into the camera with a stupid deer-in-the-headlights look on their faces. If they’re really trying to be clever, they recreate the giant check on a huge piece of cardboard.
If you’re guilty of this publicity sin, please stop. You might be able to get this type of photo printed in your local shopper, but any major newspaper will laugh you right out of the newsroom.
Instead, how about a photo that shows people doing something? In this case, it was a check for a local food pantry. So ask a photographer to come to the food pantry and take photos of volunteers stocking shelves with food. Or unloading boxes of food from the back of a truck. Then the caption can mention who is donating the money and what it’s being used for.
Photos of ground-breakings and ribbon-cuttings photos are ghastly, too. Dan Collins, media relations pro at Mercy General Hospital in Philadelphia, offered dozens of great alternatives to these cliche photos when he was my guest on a teleseminar called “Fun Alternatives to Boring Ground-breakings, Ribbon-cuttings and Check-passings.”