One of my favourite quotes to succinctly explain personal branding comes from Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos: “your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
But how do make sure people know you’re someone they should be talking about?
There are the foundational elements, like building a magnetic brand, focusing on content marketing, and showing up consistently for your audience (on social media, for example). Then when you’re ready to level up your visibility, investing in PR (public relations) can be an effective strategy to reach new audiences.
Generating media coverage was a goal that leadership expert, speaker, and CEO of the Blueberry Institute Fleur Heazlewood wanted to focus on during her recent personal branding shoot. Understanding this before the shoot was super helpful because it meant we could make sure to capture a range of photos that would appeal to media outlets.
Creating PR-friendly branding images
While some things vary for different media outlets (like their ideal audience, format, and so on), there are certain things that will make your images appealing to any PR outlet. These include:
- Capture the essence of your story. Your story is a compelling part of your personal brand! So you want to ensure your personal branding images tell this story well, and reflect your expertise, values, and key messages.
- High quality, professional images. As well as looking polished and professional, you want your photos to be high-resolution too. This is where investing in a professional brand photographer will pay off, because they will provide you with crisp, well-lit photos that meet industry standards and look great too.
- Versatility. Yes, you could provide that killer headshot you have. But what’s better is when you can provide a range of photos that can be adapted for various media formats. This should include not only a variety of looks, but also a mix of portrait and landscape layouts.
- Image rights and use permissions. Media outlets will want to be confident they can use the photos you provide without any copyright issues – so ensure you have the rights to use and distribute your personal branding images any way you want to.
- Tailored for your target media outlet. Different outlets will have their own preference and publication requirements (for example, a print magazine might need different images than a podcast with a digital presence). Ensure you understand their needs and adapt your images to suit.
Fleur’s personal branding shoot became an excellent example of how a well-planned session with a professional photographer can boost your visibility and open doors to new opportunities. More than beautiful images, we created a visual narrative that tells her story. And in Fleur’s own words…
It has been a wild few months since our photo shoot together, and the PR interest for both my books and thought leadership for feature articles across both Australia and New Zealand has been huge. Your fabulous photos have helped me to get a larger page share and better placement with the print media. The PR campaign resulted in a magazine cover, 25 + articles running across magazines and newspapers, 3 radio interviews, 1 TV interview, and 7 podcasts.– Fleur Heazlewood, Blueberry Institute
I’d say we can call that a success! So remember, when you understand how PR and media outlets will use your personal branding images, you can craft a photo shoot that serves as a powerful gateway to your story.
The images in this post were shot for Fleur Heazlewood, an expert in creating sustainable healthy high performance for leaders and their teams. Having personally led three large corporate turnaround and business transformations, she understands the challenges of leading people through change, building high performance resilient teams, and developing leadership accountability for workplace mental health and wellbeing.