Stand out from the crowd

By Adrian Toon, director of a2n.

How do you get editors to pick up your press release for publication? How do you make your copy stand out from the all the rest?

You should always supply a picture with your copy. If you don’t, it is less likely the copy is going to be used. The image should stand out and be of interest, so it should be one of the best or quirkiest you can take.

Remember, this is the first image we see when scanning or reading a magazine, and if it is of interest we look at the strapline for the copy, then we read the copy. It is the image sets this process off, so it is important that it grabs the reader’s interest immediately. Avoid using stock images wherever possible.

Quality is also very important to the editor. A 72 dpi image on a computer may look fine, but do check the size of the image as magazines require a 300 dpi resolution for printing, so what seems OK for a 100mm square image on the screen could end up less than 25mm in size in print.

Most computer screens these days are twice the pixel rate they used to be and have a resolution of 144dpi, so this is less of a problem, but if you can, ensure the image is sized correctly. I would suggest a minimum of 1,400 pixels for the shortest side of an image.

Make sure that the image is not embedded in a Word file as they can be difficult to extract and lose much of their data as a result. It is fine to use the JPG format and supply separate files at a compression ratio of five or above.

The image supplied with your copy is the key to getting your copy used by the editor and so important to catch readers when they pick up the magazine. Make sure you get the image right to stand out from the crowd.