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Photographs for Publicity

from the Official Football
Fund-Raiser's Guide

Photographs often make the difference in whether an article is reduced to a calendar item or run as a feature story.

Some newspapers, especially in small towns, send a staff photographer to cover big events in the lives of major organizations. Prestigious fund-raising events may be automatically presented in a big story. For other organizations and events, there are other options.

Sometimes the paper will be happy to print a photo, but will not be able to spare a staff photographer for the time needed to get to your event, photograph it, and return. In this case, the paper might be willing to have appropriate people come to the newspaper office for the shot. This is often true for photos of elections of officers, appointment of committee chairpersons, and award recipients.

Another method of obtaining photos for your news release is to take them yourself. If there is a club member who is good with a camera, appoint that person to the official position of club photographer.

The club photographer needs to remember certain rules to get pictures accepted:

  1. Pictures must be exciting and must graphically present the story. For instance, if the boosters raise $1,000 for sports equipment, a picture of a pile of new equipment and some happy players is much more effective than a picture of the booster club president handing a check to a coach.

  2. Group photos are rarely exciting. Unless there is an absolute necessity for more, photos should not have more than two or three people. In feature photos many papers set the limit at two.

  3. Photos should be in black and white.

  4. Photos should be exceptionally clear, sharply defined, and have good contrast.

  5. Photo essays, where several photographs tell a story that requires no words past the captions, are sometimes an effective method of attracting attention.


About the Author:

This article is reprinted with the permission of the Booster Clubs of America and comes from the book: The Official Football Fund-Raisers Guide by J. Alden Briggs, Jr.

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