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Are Your Utility’s Photos Up to Snuff?

image credit: Photo 8184085 © Emrahgultekin |
Andy Gotlieb's picture
Editor of a specialty publication, former public relations practitioner Freelancer

I hold 34 years of experience in communications, mostly in journalism, with a decade in public relations, too.  The first 17 years were spent in print journalism, where I covered, at various...

  • Member since 2016
  • 1,004 items added with 508,627 views
  • Apr 6, 2022

Given how many pictures people take today and how cellphone cameras are improving all the time, you would think that overall photographic quality would be improving.

You would be wrong.

It seems more so now than ever that many businesses, government agencies and other official concerns have poor to mediocre photographs emblazoned on their websites and promotional materials.

Some companies get it right, such as those selling foods and commercial products. But nearly everyone else has a lot to learn.

How often do you see businesses (and utilities can be lumped in here) offering photos of rigidly posed employees or employees in clichéd poses, such as those involving giant ceremonial checks or golden shovels at groundbreakings?

The good news is that this kind of thing is easy to correct. All it takes is a bit of creativity and regular updating.

Make sure your photos of key officials are up-to-date. New photos are warranted every year or two. Otherwise, you run the risk of employees wearing leisure suits and wide ties or something the members of Duran Duran donned while making videos in the 1980s.

For non-headshots, creativity is a must. People may think utilities are dull, but there are plenty of cool images you can offer.

Any form of power generation – especially wind, solar and hydroelectric -- offers great visuals. WInd turbines, rows upon rows of solar panels and hydroelectric operations all present “wow” possibilities.

So, too, do workers in the field, when repair operations in bad weather or afterward surrounded by damage can be dramatic.

Don’t forget regular operations. How often do you see people staring at crews in a bucket truck? More than you might think.

Even power lines and transmission towers can be captured artfully.

And at otherwise mundane events, think action.

Show your employees doing something rather than standing around. Employees handing out food around the holidays isn’t exciting, but it’s a whole lot better than your team standing in a couple of rows with forced smiles on their faces.

When it comes to sending out those improved images to the media, be sure they are high resolution and are labeled clearly, with key people identified. Offer numerous shots. And include the photographer’s name; if a nonemployee shoots the photos, make sure you have his/her permission to distribute them.

Andy Gotlieb's picture
Thank Andy for the Post!
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