PR Newswire : Supporting picture editors

An image download service is exemplary, as far as it goes.

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The feature

PR Newswire, UK-based news distribution service, provides an advance tool for image downloads from its own press releases but misses a vital element in the service. PR Newswire makes its own corporate press releases available in a News Releases sub-section of About Us. Individual releases have links to supporting images where provided. The link opens an image information page in a new secondary window. Information includes a full caption with accreditation, a link to the news release, a media contact (name, telephone number and e-mail address) and release date. The image is also included and can be enlarged (launches in a new window) for inspection. A download tool at the top of the page allows users to select image quality from four options: Screen, High or Low Resolution, Thumbnail. Each notes the file size. To complete a download journalists are prompted to log-in or register with the site.

The takeaway

On a global site the availability of images ‘out of hours’ is of heightened importance to picture editors, particularly those with news-driven deadlines. As valuable as the facility to download an image, however, is information about it – and a surprising number of image libraries fall down in providing it. Impressive as its service is, even PR Newswire comes up an element short. While a good descriptive caption is a must, editors also want details of what they are getting and under what terms. PR Newswire’s data is exemplary as far as it goes, and the download options tool is a particularly neat and practical way of presenting the image-quality options. What the service lacks is any clear indication of the terms of use. The login/register process does not cover this aspect, while recourse to the site’s Terms of Use page (not referenced on the image page) refers questioners to a postal address in the US. Which leaves picture editors in the dark or firing off an e-mail to the named media contact – or looking for an alternative source.
First published 26 March, 2013
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