The use of illustrative words to communicate any given story has always been a given in a PR’s professional toolbox. But in the growing age of visual communication, photography, and more importantly, expressive photography, can explain a story with so much more power than a wordsworth ever could.

The saying goes that a picture paints a thousand words, and we are big believers that a great picture can add serious PR value to any written story. In fact, it can sometimes be the defining element as to whether your story will get the green light or not at all. We are living in an era where everything is instant, and sometimes the only way to grab the immediate attention of any consumer is with a good visual display to capture their interest!

Last week we worked with the organisers of the Vitality WestRun London 10k to announce Victoria Milligan as the official race ambassador, for the brand new race taking place on Sunday 4th October. Victoria isn’t a household name, but she does have an incredible story to tell. One that is perfectly told through a lens.

After losing her left leg in a tragic boat accident, in May 2013, which also took the lives of her husband Nick and daughter Emily, Victoria has set the Vitality WestRun London 10k as her first ever running event challenge to help raise funds for Child Bereavement UK. She said: “After physically adapting to losing my leg, I am now able to wear a running blade, which has enabled me to get back into health and fitness. I have never run 10k before, but I am determined to cross the finish line regardless of whether I run, jog or walk. If I can do it, really, anyone can!”

We looked at the key elements to be communicated and how this could be transferred visually. With photography there is a need to get the balance right; to draw both interest and intrigue, but not to over brand or over clutter with unnecessary messaging. Not only will the end product look bad, but it won’t deliver in terms of coverage when put in front of picture desks. We whittled our top messages down to three:

  1. The race location in West London, with an emphasis on the Fulham and Chelsea area
  2. An interest in Victoria’s story. Who is she? What happened to her?
  3. An air of positive affirmation; new beginnings, anything being possible and never allowing any circumstance to define YOU

With this in mind, we headed to the iconic areas of Chelsea embankment and the Albert Bridge just after sunrise to picture Victoria in this beautiful West London setting, on the dawn of a new day, showcasing her new blade designed specifically for running.

For a relatively simple sport PR concept, the results, both in terms of the shots secured and coverage achieved, speaks volumes. More than 80 pieces of coverage have been secured to date, across national, regional, print and online, as well as specialist running and fitness media. These results will always beg the question: If this association was simply put into text, would we have achieved the same level of exposure for the event? We think not!

If you fancy joining Victoria and taking on a challenge of your own, the Vitality WestRun London route starts on the New Kings Road and finishes on Eel Brook Common, taking a route through the streets of Fulham on fully closed roads.

Our consumer PR agency specialises in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors; Consumer PR, Food & Drink PR, Consumer Technology PR and Sport, Health & Wellbeing PR.