It sounds obvious but what makes a good press release image depends entirely on the content of the press release. A new product release will be lost without a quality packshot of the product, a new store opening needs a picture of the shop frontage and a recipe will need an image of the dish.
Your image should summarise the content of your press release in a single shot. It is generally found that a press release with a good accompanying image will receive a much better response than one without. Online SEO rankings are actually improved by the existence of a relevant accompanying image. Writers are more likely to run a story that is complete with high quality available images.
Make sure your image is visually appealing this may mean that you need to get creative. If you story is about how a craft brewery has switched from bottles to cans then an image of the cans in production will be ok for trade publications, but the more consumer facing publications will prefer to see the final products with the managing director that has brought driven this decision.
For all print publications images need to be 300dpi as a minimum that’s (300x300pixels-px) anything smaller does not work well in print. The ideal format to send your image is a Jpeg but GIF and TIF is often accepted as well. For online publication images need to be minimum 72 dpi.
Edit your Images:
The best way is in an Adobe programme called Photoshop, where you can edit, crop, resize and check all the image values when saving.
Name your Images:
Don’t send over images named Picnic230417.jpeg as it doesn’t mean anything to the publication, save the file with the brand name included such as “TaittingerPicnic2017”. Send a caption with each image identifying anyone in the image and crediting any photographer if required. Generally royalty free images are preferred.
How to send Images:
Once of the first mistakes I made in PR was just after I had graduated and was working in a lovely PR agency as a Junior Account Executive. I was asked by a very well renowned journalist for an accompanying image of a story he was running for one of our prestigious clients. Knowing as I did, even then, that the image needed to be high resolution I searched for the biggest image I could find and proudly sent over a 19MB image to his inbox! In those days technology wasn’t quite was it is now and I succeeded in blocking up ALL ingoing and outgoing messages for the rest of the day. Needlesstosay I was not flavour of the month. Since then I only ever send images directly to someone’s email address if specifically requested. For all other times, I send over a link to a cloud based file share, or I use Wetransfer. Both methods allow you to know whether your contact has accessed the files or not and therefore gives an additional indication as to how likely they are to cover the story.
The rule of thumb I work to is, if they haven’t requested an image, they’re unlike to run the story.