Getting Interactive with Gretchen Wilson’s PR Photo

Getting Interactive with Gretchen Wilson’s PR Photo

For as long as people have used printed media to herald upcoming events, the message has been essentially static. You see a celebrity’s name, a blurb about where he or she is about to make a personal appearance, basic facts about where and when it happens – and that’s about it. There’s nothing to encourage a more dynamic response from either the person reading the message or the local newspaper that prints it.

Though that kind of interaction happens all the time on digital media, print remains a one-way street. But that doesn’t mean you can’t tweak the information highway a little bit. That’s what happened back in 2010, when Gretchen Wilson’s publicist Craig Campbell sent out this photo to promote her album, I Got Your Country Right Here.

Today, Campbell admits to not foreseeing how an imaginative editor might see an opportunity to play a bit with the picture. As far as he was concerned, Kurt Nelson’s attitude-drenched image of Wilson was a strong but fairly traditional photo. But then he got a call from someone at the Nashville Scene, Music City’s free weekly paper.

“They were doing a cover story on Gretchen,” Campbell recalls. “And I think they inserted their own logo over the Life magazine covers we had pasted onto the wall. I wish I could say it was my brilliant idea.”

We’re not actually sure who’s idea it was; Elizabeth Jones, Art Director at the time for the Scene, insists the shot arrived in their office with that alteration. In the end, it doesn’t matter; what counts is that someone saw the potential of inserting a little interactivity and branding into a standard PR shot – and that a little creative designing might have the same effect for other publicity pix as well.

For a full story on PR photo tips, see the April/May print edition of Close Up magazine, available exclusively to CMA members.