Formatting question: including an infographic with a press release
March 1, 2013 6:04 PM   Subscribe

I work for an advocacy organization and we're getting ready to send out a press release. I know this will make me sound old fashioned, but I'd like to include an infographic we've developed and I'm not sure what the right way to do it is. I know sending images and graphics with press releases is very common now, but I've never needed to do it before. I usually send things like that as a follow up to interested reporters. In this case, we want to send the graphic to everyone off the bat.

We're in between communications directors, so I don't have guidance within my organization.

Do I include it as a part of the press statement before the ### or include a link to it or include as an attachment? I usually do the press statement in the body of the e-mail I send instead of an attachment.

I'm just looking for advice style-wise as to what is the norm.

If anyone on here is a journalist, I'd love to hear what you prefer and any other things I can do to my press statement to make it more useful/attractive to you.
posted by dottiechang to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: As I understand it, you're distributing direct to the media via e-mail rather than using a wire service. If so, you can choose whether to embed, attach, or link the file; there's no standard for this. As an ex-journalist and current communications professional, however, I recommend providing a description of the infographic with your release, then providing a link. This keeps the e-mail to a reasonable size.
posted by commander biscuit at 6:27 PM on March 1, 2013

Include it as an attachment in an easily recognizable format - a .jpg, for example. Make sure it's print ready - 300 dpi - and reasonably sized. I have been the communications manager for two museums (and with museum press releases, you always send at least one image) and that's how I did it. I also always included a caption for the image and a photo credit at the end of the press release itself, i.e., Attached image is St. John the Baptist with Watercooler, acrylic on canvas, 1994, 3' x 4', photo courtesy XYZ Gallery. Not only does that make it easy for the journalist and the photo editor, but it lets them know that you did in fact attach an image on purpose. Sometimes people get really strange about clicking on attachments - that's another reason for using a very recognizable file format like a .jpg as opposed to something they may not have encountered before like a .tif (no seriously.)
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:30 PM on March 1, 2013

If you're sending as an image attachment, use PNG at least or PDF. If you're sending out emails it may also make sense to send a thumbnail with a link to a high-quality download, since your file may end up being too large for the recipients' inboxes.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:59 PM on March 1, 2013

Best answer: I'm with commander biscuit on this one. Include it as an external link. Advantage to this is you can actually track referring links. My guess is you'll find your click throughs to be so staggering low that you'll put your time into other manners of promotion.

I'm going to come out totally against mygothlaundry's advice. 300 dpi is for color print ready, so that means it's going to be a large file size. In the unlikely even this made it past the corporate spam filters I'd be pissed when it arrived. If I want a print ready graphic I'll ask for it. I don't think I've ever seen a legitimate paper run submitted graphics. It may happen; i don't pay too much attention to these sorts of things.

I doubt if 1 in 10 press releases are read. Or those that are I doubt if 1 in 10 are acted on. Even the majority of review books, CDs, DVDs, and products go unlooked at.

If you want to actually draw attention to your organization the best way is to cultivate relationships with the reported who covers that beat. Call and ask if you can send an email, follow up after to make sure it was received, offer to answer questions and to be available as a resource if needed.

The emailed press release is pretty much a fax machine at this point. They still exist, but few people use them. Producing press packets isn't much more effective and is a lot more expensive. Stick with the phone calls, research your contacts (I see mail addressed to reporters that haven't worked at my paper for 15 years), and be passionate.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:15 AM on March 2, 2013

Attach a low-res version so they can see what it is and a link to download a high res (at least 300dpi) version if they want it.
The bane of my life as a journalist was PRs sending out unsolicited large attachments that eventually jammed my inbox if I didn't have time to clear it out (which I never did).
posted by penguin pie at 10:12 AM on March 2, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. It is good to know what is generally accepted as good form.

My organization is a little bit old fashioned, my director still insists on formal press statements and "blast" style outreach. I do also try to cultivate relationships with reporters that write about our issues. It is getting harder because reporters rarely attend meetings anymore. Many watch webcasts of hearings and I never get to meet them in person. In the past, I'd recognize the reporters or they'd be sitting in a press area and I'd get a chance to chat with them during or following hearings.
posted by dottiechang at 10:52 AM on March 2, 2013

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