I’ve been a bit unconventional in my planning for the Rural PR Academy.

As members of the Academy hit the ground running by responding to daily journalist requests, it’s important that we have a solid foundation before we begin, so I ensure that audience and photography are the first things we cover (before we get into the nitty-gritty of what tourism PR even is)...

Pictures tell a thousand words and it’s vital to any PR strategy (no matter which sector you're in) that you have some strong images before you start putting yourself and your business out across the various mediums.

Most journalists won't even consider running your story without strong images (and increasingly without some form of video, as news becomes ever more social media-centric).

So, how do you create some strong images for your business?

Start basic. Get some professional photos taken of you and your business that cover the following:

  • A professional headshot. As your reputation in your sector grows, you may be asked to comment on stories and trends as an industry expert. Plus, people buy from people. If you're ready to PR your business then you must be proud of it, so own it.
  • Product shots. Get some lovely shots of your business/product. Choose a photographer who has a track record in your sector as they will know how best to approach your product shots, then change tack and think of your audience and what will drive them to buy from you.
  • Emotive photography is one of the subjects we discuss in depth in the Academy and making sure you tap into your audience’s emotions through a powerful image can be the key to making a sale or taking a booking through visual storytelling. As vital as pretty images of your B&B or a delicious breakfast are, it’s just as important to show people enjoying your product. And they don’t have to be cheesy, either.

Take a look at this example of Felicity from Hoe Grange Holidays. She rose to the challenge of creating an emotive image for her holiday homes. No prizes for guessing who her target market might be.

There are a few PR tricks and tips to creating a good bank of emotive images without it breaking the bank. If you’re a rural tourism business and would like to learn how, find out more about joining the Rural PR Academy and how you can join our tourism business community.

My cover photo was taken by Rutland Creative.