I had to giggle at a little email rant I received from a mate of mine who just happens to be one of the region's finest PR and marketers. Having spotted Saturday's Journal story about a new exhibition at the Baltic, http://bit.ly/VXod9, she is evidently spitting feathers and from a practitioner's perspective, understandably so.
For any PR worth their salt who has tried to place a good story with a creative pic, there is nothing more galling than being told by a picture editor that they can’t use your image because “it’s blatantly focused on promoting your brand and not newsworthy enough”. (At this point cue many expletives and pulling out of hair.)
So what's the issue? Well my friend's argument is that the article might be fine, but the image could not be more salesy, not least because it takes up half a page of the paper itself, which means you can read every single word of the promotional copy on the exhibition in the background. It's also lacking in imagination, sticking the "founding father of punk" Malcolm McLaren in front of a large board. Was that really the best pic on offer? Slightly ironic that the exhibition is called 'Shallow'. Eek.
To be fair, the Baltic team must be pleased with the exposure and anything that generates footfall to one of the North East's biggest cultural draws should be welcomed. Theirs was a picture with (well not quite) a thousand words. But it just shows how tricky it can be to get the balance right...