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Do you remember playing the Memory game when you were a kid?

You would try and remember all the items everyone before you had added to the list … and then added one yourself. Did the bathtub come before the fish or after the mitt? That task soon became quite difficult!

The best thing about photo captions is that you only need to remember one thing. You are selling one message. One idea. That’s easy enough to do!

These three simple tips will help you stay on track and on message with your image.

1. A picture is worth a thousand words

You have seen them everywhere, in magazines, on bulletin boards, on your phone- pictures- tons of them! How do you pick the right one?  I have always tried to trust my gut. But here at Regan Communications Group, we believe in team work. Sometimes it’s a good idea to pull out two or three photos and vote by committee. Your colleague might just see that one thing that will make a difference.

2. Be concise, yet informative!

Every PR professional knows a good caption does more than tell the reader what is in the photograph. A good place to start is by making sure you have all the ingredients in front of you. The picture … and the who, what, when, where and why are also equally important and will be something the journalist will be looking for in your photo caption. The more information you provide, the more information the journalist will have about the event. But beware- too much information – especially information that does not relate to the subject  – will be distracting and could send your one message straight to the trash can.  So always try to be concise, yet informative.

3. Who do I send this to?

Examine your message. Does it involve breaking news or celebrities? Do the participants in the photo live in one city but vacation in another? The possibilities and choices are endless. Point is, don’t confine yourself to one city newspaper. There are a lot of different options, from magazines to community newspapers to industry publications to social media – they are all looking for the same thing- relevant content.  Your job is to take that one idea and get it in the right hands.

If you work through this process when you’re writing captions for your own photos, you’ll be able to create something compelling that’s also easy for readers to remember…no memory games required!

-Judith Goetz

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