Ten Ways To Get Your Picture in the Local Newspaper

Visibility equals credibility. If people see your picture in the newspaper, they often assume you are either someone important or very good at what you do. We might live in a world where most people get their world news online, but local news is often best covered by the weekly or daily newspaper in your area. This strategy does not work if you live in Midtown Manhattan, but if you live in a suburb, smaller town, resort community or semi-rural area, getting your picture in the newspaper is not so tough.

  1. Pay to play The simplest way to get your picture in the local paper is to buy an advertisement. This might align with a seminar (or series of them) you are hosting. This is obviously an ad, but it accomplishes the objective. You are seen by others, well dressed in your professional capacity.

  2. Write a column. This requires Compliance department approval, but it might be easier if you were writing on a non-financial topic. It has been done by others before you. Our local weekly newspaper has a column explaining basic investment principles on the front page of an inside section. In addition to providing your contact information, the paper will likely request a headshot. Now your picture is in the paper.

  3. Become active with a nonprofit that gets good press coverage. Depending on their size, they either have a public relations staff person taking photos or the newspaper sends a photographer out to cover several events. Dressing well is key. Most organizations want to convey “classy people with money support us.” This delivers the message, “If you aspire to inclusion in this category, join and show up at events.” Be the profile of person projecting their desired image.

  4. Attend nonprofit events, stand next to high profile people. This works! You intended to network with these community leaders anyway! Dress well and make the rounds. The staff or newspaper photographer wants photos of the big donors for publicity purposes. They often want several people in the photo. This is the old story, “Be in the right place at the right time.”

  5. Befriend the photographer. This might be the on staff photographer. If you always dress well, they should keep you in mind for photo opportunities If the newspaper sends someone around, you will start to be familiar faces to each other. Treat them as an equal. Engage them in conversation during slow moments. Offer to get them coffee or a drink. They might refuse, but virtually no one else is making the offer. Now you have a buddy with a camera.

  6. Arrive at events on the early side. Be there when it starts. If the newspaper photographer is covering five events, they are running around and need to use their time efficiently. They show up at the first event. They can’t leave until they get a couple of photos. This worked for us when we showed up at a gala in the Spring of 2022.

  7. Attend a gathering of business leaders. Your chamber of commerce should take pictures at their networking events. The museum might have a gathering for business members only. Group photos are usually arranged. This means both your name and firm affiliation tend to be included.

  8. Staff a public event for charity. You are registering people for the Fun Run. You are serving food at the town picnic. Organizations often want to showcase volunteers, highlighting how people in the business community are giving back. You might have a spatula in your hand, but you might get into the paper.

  9. Win an award. This sounds obvious. If your firm has given you recognition, see that a press release goes out. It needs a photo too. Local papers have a large appetite for content. They have slow periods too. If your award is for doing something good for your favorite nonprofit, photos will likely be taken while you are onstage.

  10. Present an award. This can be easier! You are the president of your nonprofit. You awarded two scholarships to local students. You have an awards ceremony. Local papers love to cover events featuring students. There is often an entire section for school coverage.

Some of the rules of dating apply here. Do not ask the photographer to take your picture. Do not appear too eager or desperate. You want to be seen as well dressed and successful.

Related: How Clients Behave When Money Gets Tight