2013 Sample Release and Tips for Grabbing the Attention of Local Media for Your Help-Portrait Event

If you have participated in a Help-Portrait event before, you know that there are amazing stories to be shared throughout the day.  We’d love for you to be able to get those stories to a wider audience through the vehicles of your local news stations or newspapers.  Below are a few simple ideas to help promote your Help-Portrait event and share the power of a photo.

1. Write and service a press release that talks about the basic information of your event.  You can use the sample release here to begin.  You will need to fill in your local information before sending it to the media in your area.

2. Once you have your press release ready, find the right contacts in your area to make sure they have the release in their email inbox. You can find these contacts by looking online at the news sites – look for a newsroom contact or producer.  Also ask around in your community and your volunteers – you’d be surprised how many people know someone who knows someone that can help get the word out and on the news.

3. A few days before your event, send another reminder to the same contacts about the event with all of the basic info – you could also resend the original press release just as a reminder of the event coming up.  Many of the news outlets do not assign stories until the day before or day of the event – so do not be surprised if you don’t hear back from anyone.  Most of the time these things happen very last minute.

4. On the day of the event, if you get a minute in the morning, give a call to the newsdesk and just remind them you have this event happening and you’d love to have someone come cover it.  Be quick and specific – the person that is normally handling the phone at the newsdesk is in a hurry to grab your info and move onto the next call.

5. Since things happen last minute, make sure there is a cell phone number and contact that a reporter can reach on the day of your Help-Portrait event.  This person needs to have all of the important info on hand for when someone calls – such as:

  • Is there parking for our TV truck?
  • Can we film a family or individual going through the whole Help-Portrait process?
  • When should we arrive for the best subjects/ opportunities to tell a good story?
  • Where exactly is your venue located?
  • Do you have any local celebrities or well-known people attending your event?
  • How long will you be there today?

6. Also be sure to get a contact if they have called you so in case you don’t see them coming, and you need to reach out to them again have a phone number that you can reach that person.

7. A few other things to keep in mind if a media outlet attends your event:

  • Everyone that is filmed must sign a release form to know that they could possibly be on TV or in a Newspaper
  • You have a spokesperson on behalf of your local Help-Portrait team that can speak about what the event is and what it means to be a part of this worldwide event. You can look at the quick facts here for more info on Help-Portrait.

8. Keep in mind that having the media cover your event is secondary to what you are doing that day – it is just the icing on the cake if it happens.  We LOVE reading all of the stories that run across the globe, but what we love even more is knowing how many lives are being impacted on December 7th or whenever you hold your event.

Downloads:

–Lori Mahon

Posted on Nov 08, 2013  |  Category: H-P Tips, Press releases, Updates  |  No Comments

Help-Portrait Partners with Groupon Grassroots to Give More Photos in 2012 through $10 Offer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – September 20, 2012 – Help-Portrait, the non-profit formed to give back through photos, and Groupon’s Grassroots, the philanthropic arm of Groupon, announce the launch of a local campaign to allow the community to purchase an offer to give someone in need a portrait on December 8th of this year. This Help-Portrait campaign will be available on the Groupon Grassroots page beginning Thursday, September 20 and running through Wednesday, September 26.

On the second Saturday each December, photographers around the world gather for the annual Help-Portrait event. The organization was founded in 2009 as an idea that transformed into a movement in just three months. The idea behind Help-Portrait is simple: 1. Find someone in need 2. Take their portrait 3. Print their portrait and 4. Deliver their portrait. In the last three years, 15,000 photographers and 21,000 volunteers have given more than 169,000 portraits. Help-Portrait is now a global movement in more than 1,500 locations in 56 countries.

Due to the overwhelming response of portraits taken each year, this Groupon Grassroots campaign will allow more photos given this year in each community. Utilizing Grassroots’ collective action model, Groupon followers can pledge support for Help-Portrait by purchasing the offer to donate $10 to help a person or family in need have a portrait made and receive three copies of the picture and a frame. Every dollar raised goes to fund a local event where it is donated. This is a U.S. only campaign.  Everyone is welcome to donate, but the funds will stay in the U.S.

To help increase the impact of this powerful campaign, Help-Portrait has also partnered with Wacom as a corporate matching sponsor. Wacom will be matching every $10 gift. With Wacom matching each offer, double the portraits will be given this year through this campaign.

“At Wacom, we create products that help photographers to get the most out of every image,” shares Don Varga, Director of Product Marketing, Wacom Technology Services Corporation. “We are excited to support Help-Portrait in their mission to give back to the community through the gift of professional photography. We look forward to working with the Help-Portrait photographers on this great cause of bringing hope and joy into people’s lives.”

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ABOUT HELP-PORTRAIT:

Celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart formed Help-Portrait, a non-profit organization, in 2009 as he contemplated using his skills and expertise to give back to those who may not have the opportunity for a professional photo.  The idea is that a photographer has the unique ability to help someone smile, laugh and return their dignity.  It is a movement, a shift in photography.  The rapid growth of this organization is a perfect example of Social Media use for good as the community shares ideas and stories through the channels of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogging. Help-Portrait has partnered in the past with corporations including Ritz & Wolf Camera & Image, creativeLIVE, Chick-fil-A and Flosites, which created Help-Portrait’s website and online community.

From Bangalore, India to Ghana, Africa, the language of Help-Portrait crosses cultural and socio-economic barriers. Even Hollywood has gotten in the act as A-list actors Zachary Levi and Yvette Nicole Brown volunteered at a Help-Portrait event in Los Angeles. http://www.help-portrait.com

ABOUT JEREMY COWART:

Cowart began full-time photography in 2005 and has traveled to six continents with his talent.  He’s photographed Imogen Heap, Sting, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Carrie Underwood and more. He’s also worked with entertainment clients ABC, E!, Fox, A&E, FX, The Style Network, CMT and others. http://www.jeremycowart.com

ABOUT GROUPON GRASSROOTS:

Groupon Grassroots, launched in July 2010 in Chicago as G-Team, features local campaigns nationwide, enabling Groupon followers to do good, have fun, and make a real impact in their communities. Groupon Grassroots uses collective action to gather support for worthwhile causes and produce tangible results for local organizations. To learn more about Groupon Grassroots and how to become a featured organization, visit http://grassroots.groupon.com. To subscribe to Groupon, visit http://www.groupon.com.

Press Contacts:

Help-Portrait Contact         
Lori Mahon, Merge PR         
615.579.1266
lori@help-portrait.com

Groupon Contact
Erin Yeager
312.999.3434
eyeager@groupon.com

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Posted on Sep 20, 2012  |  Category: News, Press releases  |  No Comments

3rd Annual Worldwide Help-Portrait Set for Dec 10; Showcasing Photos for the First Time

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Lori Mahon, Merge PR
lori@mergepr.com
615.579.1266

THIRD ANNUAL WORLDWIDE HELP-PORTRAIT™ EVENT SET FOR DECEMBER 10

HELP-PORTRAIT WILL BE SHOWCASING PHOTOS FROM THIS YEAR’S EVENT FOR THE FIRST TIME

Nashville, Tn –October 27, 2011—This December 10, photographers around the world will gather for the third annual Help-Portrait event. In 2009, Help-Portrait began as an idea that transformed into a movement in just three months.  The idea behind Help-Portrait is simple: 1. Find someone in need 2. Take their portrait 3. Print their portrait and 4. Deliver their portrait. In the last two years, more than 101,000 portraits have been given by 10,000 photographers and 12,000 volunteers. Help-Portrait is now a global movement in more than 1,000 locations in 54 countries.

This year, Help-Portrait founder Jeremy Cowart announced new elements to make Help-Portrait a more hands-on experience for those being photographed.  From the beginning of the Help-Portrait movement nearly three years ago, photographers and volunteers have embraced the Help-Portrait ethos: that is giving, not taking photos. However, this year Help-Portrait is encouraging the photographers to share the photos of those subjects who want to tell their story to a wider audience.

“As the founder of this movement, I felt it was best to not show the photos,” shares Cowart.  “I didn’t want this movement to be about photography. But I underestimated our community – they all instantly caught on to the spirit of Help-Portrait. But now I’m realizing just how much we’ve kept the world from seeing and experiencing what we get to see each year. Now I want to let everyone in our little secret by sharing the photos of those who want to tell their stories to the world.”

Another addition to this year’s event will involve a personalized element. Those photographed will have the opportunity to draw and write on their photos to tell their stories. This provides an avenue for their voice to be heard. See the examples of the photos taken at a recent Help-Portrait event with Cowart at the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row in Los Angeles.

“We believe that the portraits will transform into works of art that reflect their subject,” states Cowart who saw this first hand last week in LA.

In addition, the Help-Portrait team is encouraging photographers to hand the cameras over to the subjects and do their own shooting through the lens giving them a unique opportunity to be behind the camera. It’s never been about the photographer or his skills or what he has to offer. It’s always been about connecting with and giving back to the subject.  For more information on Help-Portrait visit, http://www.help-portrait.com .

ABOUT HELP-PORTRAIT:

Celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart formed Help-Portrait, a non-profit organization, in 2009 as he contemplated using his skills and expertise to give back to those who may not have the opportunity for a professional photo.  The idea is that a photographer has the unique ability to help someone smile, laugh and return their dignity.  It is a movement, a shift in photography.  The rapid growth of this organization is a perfect example of Social Media use for good as the community shares ideas and stories through the channels of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogging. Help-Portrait has partnered in the past with corporations including Ritz & Wolf Camera & Image, creativeLIVE, Chick-fil-A and Flosites, which created Help-Portrait’s website and online community.

From Bangalore, India to Ghana, Africa, the language of Help-Portrait crosses cultural and socio-economic barriers. Even Hollywood has gotten in the act. In 2010, A-list actors Zachary Levi and Yvette Nicole Brown volunteered at a Help-Portrait event in Los Angeles and participated in a live webcast. The online live stream of the main event day from the creativeLIVE studio in Seattle featured hosts including Help-Portrait founder Jeremy Cowart, another high-profile photographer Chase Jarvis and Help-Portrait volunteer staff member Annie Downs.

ABOUT JEREMY COWART:

Cowart began full-time photography in 2005 and has traveled to six continents with his talent.  He’s photographed Imogen Heap, Sting, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Carrie Underwood and more. He’s also worked with entertainment clients ABC, E!, Fox, A&E, FX, The Style Network, CMT and others. http://www.jeremycowart.com

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http://www.help-portrait.com

Twitter @help_portrait

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Posted on Nov 02, 2011  |  Category: News, Press releases  |  1 Comment
  • Carly Arnwine Carly Arnwine

    Thank goodness for this organization! I am doing a similar project; I didn't know what to call it because I had not heard of this yet. I'm going to Ethiopia for the second time this year, and asked for donations from people via social media toward polaroid film. I've gotten great feedback! I'm glad I can be part of this movement, regardless of the name. To see my project, click here http://www.carlyarnwineblog.com/?p=2616
    Carly Arnwine | 04/11/2011 10:44 PM

Help-Portrait Held Worldwide on Saturday, 04 Dec

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Lori Mahon
press@help-portrait.com

HELP-PORTRAIT HELD WORLDWIDE ON SATURDAY, 04 DECEMBER
2ND ANNUAL EVENT EXPANDS, BROADCASTS LIVE ONLINE

NASHVILLE, TN — November 30, 2010 — This Saturday on the 4th of December, thousands of photographers and volunteers worldwide will unite for the second annual Help-Portrait event. The idea behind Help-Portrait is simple: 1. Find someone in need 2. Take their portrait 3. Print their portrait and 4. Deliver their portrait. Surpassing last year’s numbers, this year more than 585 groups are planning events in 57 countries and 49 states.

This year Help-Portrait has joined forces with creativeLIVE to provide online chats throughout the month of November on how to plan a successful Help-Portrait event. These chats are available for viewing here: http://www.creativelive.com/courses/help-portrait-2010. From their studio in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, creativeLIVE provides free, live creative education on the web.

On Help-Portrait Saturday, Cowart will join the creativeLIVE team in their classroom for the Seattle Help-Portrait event. Seattle will serve as a Help-Portrait hub, checking in with cities around the world to share stories and thoughts as the day unfolds worldwide. Watch the live Saturday broadcast here: http://creativelive.com/live

In addition, Help-Portrait has partnered with Ritz & Wolf Camera & Image as the exclusive image provider for 2010.  Through this partnership, Ritz & Wolf along with its online retail imaging site, RitzPix.com, is offering participating photographers with buy-one-get-one photos, free membership to Ritz’s Frequent FOTO Image Rewards Club for 2011 (http://ritzpix.com).

Media are invited to share the power of a photo with the Help-Portrait story. Please contact Lori Mahon to coordinate coverage. In addition, b-roll from various locations and behind-the-scenes photos will be available for use after the event.  For more information and to get involved in giving back and changing lives, visit http://www.help-portrait.com.

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ABOUT HELP-PORTRAIT: Help-Portrait, a non-profit organization, was formed in 2009 by Nashville-based celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart as he contemplated using his skills and expertise to give back to those who may not have the opportunity for a professional photo.  The idea is that a photographer has the unique ability to help someone smile, laugh and return their dignity.  It is a movement, a shift in photography.  The rapid growth of this organization is a perfect example of Social Media use for good as the community shares ideas and stories through the channels of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogging. Last December more than 41,000 portraits were given by 3400 photographers and over 5000 volunteers were involved.  Help-Portrait became a global movement in 543 locations in 42 countries.

Posted on Nov 30, 2010  |  Category: News, Press releases  |  No Comments

Partnership Announced with Ritz & Wolf Camera & Image

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Lori Mahon
press@help-portrait.com

PHOTOGRAPHERS UNITE FOR 2ND ANNUAL HELP-PORTRAIT: 04 DEC 2010

PARTNERSHIP WITH RITZ & WOLF CAMERA & IMAGE

NASHVILLE, TN — November 5, 2010 — In 2009, Help-Portrait began as an idea that transformed into a movement in just three months.  The idea behind Help-Portrait is simple: 1. Find someone in need 2. Take their portrait 3. Print their portrait and 4. Deliver their portrait. Help-Portrait 2010 will take place worldwide one month from yesterday on Saturday the 4th of December.

Help-Portrait, a non-profit organization, was formed in 2009 by celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart as he contemplated using his skills and expertise to give back to those who may not have the opportunity for a professional photo.  The idea is that a photographer has the unique ability to help someone smile, laugh and return their dignity.  It is a movement, a shift in photography.  The rapid growth of this organization is a perfect example of Social Media use for good as the community shares ideas and stories through the channels of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogging.

Last December more than 41,000 portraits were given by 3400 photographers and over 5000 volunteers were involved.  Help-Portrait became a global movement in 543 locations in 42 countries.

“Help Portrait in 2009, and its global effect, far exceeded my expectations. For that matter, it exceeded my dreams,” shares Help-Portrait founder Jeremy Cowart. “Seeing so many photographers come together and give their time and skill has changed me. I can’t help but wonder about the massive impact that is possible on 4 December 2010.”

Help-Portrait is pleased to announce Ritz & Wolf Camera & Image as the exclusive image provider for 2010.  Through this partnership, Ritz & Wolf along with its online retail imaging site, RitzPix.com, is offering participating photographers with buy-one-get-one photos, free membership to Ritz’s Frequent FOTO Image Rewards Club for 2011, as well as on-site printers in select markets.

The Help-Portrait team recently launched a newly designed website created by Flosites.  Included in the redesign is a relaunched Community page to create an interactive and comprehensive home base for team leaders to organize their events, locations and volunteers.

For more information and to get involved in giving back and changing lives, visit http://www.help-portrait.com.

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About Ritz & Wolf Camera & Image
Ritz & Wolf Camera & Image is America’s premier retail destination for cameras and imaging. With a legacy of nearly 100 years, Ritz & Wolf Camera & Image is a leader in the exciting and evolving world of image technology.   Always a leader in price and quality, Ritz & Wolf is ranked by Consumer Reports as a top five electronics store, and is the highest ranking destination for camera and imaging products based on service, product quality and buying ease.  Ritz & Wolf Camera & Image is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and operates more than 300 stores in 36 states from coast to coast. RitzPix.com is the company’s online site for all imaging needs, and offers a range of products in one hour that is unrivaled anywhere in the world.  Ritz & Wolf has dedicated its legacy to empowering consumers to share, display and save all of life’s treasured memories.

Posted on Nov 05, 2010  |  Category: News, Press releases  |  6 Comments
  • David Braud David Braud

    Wondering about the on-site printers in select markets. I'm organizing the Franklin, TN event and would love to have a printer on site. Who do I talk to or how do I make the official request to Ritz & Wolf?
    David Braud | 07/11/2010 3:00 PM

  • Joey Chandler Joey Chandler

    This is awesome - how does one get to be on the list for on-site printers?
    Joey Chandler | 09/11/2010 3:30 AM

  • Trey Bowles Trey Bowles

    There will be a blog going up shortly with information on how to connect with Ritz Camera's and who to contact about getting printers or access to printing for your event.
    Trey Bowles | 09/11/2010 4:53 PM

  • Ron Ron

    What is the URL to this blog entry?
    Ron | 09/11/2010 5:06 PM

  • Trey Bowles Trey Bowles

    http://help-portrait.com/2010/11/what-equipment-do-i-need-for-my-help-portrait-event/
    Trey Bowles | 09/11/2010 9:34 PM

  • Rodrigo Cunha Rodrigo Cunha

    Thank you for this.
    Rodrigo Cunha | 19/02/2014 2:21 AM

Help-Portrait Movement Unites Communities Worldwide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact & Inquires: Lori Mahon
press@help-portrait.com / 615-579-1266

NASHVILLE, TN –December 18, 2009 — Last Saturday, December 12th, the world stood still as photographers worldwide united in a photography movement called Help-Portrait, which gave more than 40,000 individuals portraits to treasure for a lifetime. On Saturday, more than 8300 photographers and volunteers participated in 715 locations in 42 countries.

Help-Portrait was founded by celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart with his vision of the photography community and individuals giving back this holiday season. This event reached a magnitude that nobody saw coming.

“On December 12th, cultural borders were crossed on one side of the camera and competitive borders on the other,” reflects Cowart. “I honestly don’t know which side of the camera was blessed more. For many of our subjects across the world, Help-Portrait provided them with their first-ever family photo. However, we’re consistently hearing from many photographers worldwide that this is the greatest thing they’ve ever done with their cameras.”

Information about Help-Portrait has spread across the globe through the Social Media phenomena– Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Blogging. Cowart used his 10,000+ Twitter followers to help share information and vision about Help-Portrait, thus snowballing into this cultural event that gave back so much more than just a portrait to those in need.

In addition this movement has nabbed the attention of local, national and international media throughout the weekend and this week. Help-Portrait stories have been featured on CNN, CNN.com, CNN International, CBS Evening News, HLN Headline News, The ONE Campaign, AOL Philanthropy Project, Sears/GNN.com, BritneySpears.com blog, New York Daily News, CTV News (Canadian), Egyptian Satellite Channel and more. Those photographed all had a story – all unique and heartbreaking in its own way.

“Poverty steals a lot of things, like your home, car and food, but it also steals something on the inside. Help-Portrait feeds that something on the inside,” states Help-Portrait Event Coordinator Annie Downs.

Moved and inspired by the response from those who participated this weekend, the Help-Portrait team is thrilled to announce the 2010 date of December 4th. It is setting the precedent of future Help-Portrait events annually on the first Saturday of December.

Inspiring quotes from those impacted by Help-Portrait:

“The portrait,” he said, “Represented where I’m going, not where I’ve been.” – Phillip Jackovich, Help-Portrait subject, OC Register story

“One of the ladies at Help-Portrait today cried the entire time I took her photo. I said ‘Are those happy tears?’ She said, ‘Yes, very happy!’” – Millie Holloman – Help-Portrait Photographer, Wilmington, NY

“Giving a photo to a stranger gives you a unique opportunity to speak a kind word of encouragement, value, beauty and truth that isn’t quite as tangible without that photo to give your words context. It’s hard to argue with art when you give it positive meaning. It was profound how encouragement, value, self-esteem and worth were given through actions, words and the foundation? A photograph.” – Joel Mills -Help-Portrait volunteer, photo editor Charlottesville, VA

“Today was the one of the best days I have had as a photographer and as a human being.” Kwame Reed – Photographer, Brentwood, California

For more information on Help-Portrait: Visit the official website (www.help-portrait.com), follow the H-P team on Twitter @help_portrait (Hashtag #helpportrait), be a friend on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/helpportrait) and watch the official YouTube videos (http://www.youtube.com/user/helpportrait). Videos from around the world can be found on the YouTube tagged page here: (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Help-Portrait&search=tag). Photos from the events posted can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/help-portrait/.

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About Help-Portrait:
The goal of Help-Portrait was simple: 1. Find someone in need 2. Take their portrait 3. Print their portrait and 4. Deliver their portrait. This movement began just over four months ago with the YouTube video launch from Cowart. Help-Portrait was formed by celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart as he contemplated using his skills and expertise to give back to those who may not have the opportunity for a professional photo. The idea is that a photographer has the opportunity to help someone smile, laugh and to remember – it is a movement, a shift in photography.

About Jeremy Cowart:
Cowart began full-time photography in 2005 and has traveled to 6 continents with his talent. He’s photographed Imogen Heap, Sting, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Carrie Underwood and more. He’s also worked with entertainment clients ABC, E!, Fox, A&E, FX, The Style Network, CMT and more. You can view his photos and learn more at: http://www.jeremycowart.com/ or read his blog: http://blog.jeremycowart.com/ and follow him on Twitter @jeremycowart .

Download Pdf

Posted on Oct 02, 2010  |  Category: News, Press releases  |  No Comments

Official Press Release!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact & Inquires: Lori Mahon
press@help-portrait.com / 615-579-1266

NASHVILLE, TN –December 18, 2009 — Last Saturday, December 12th, the world stood still as photographers worldwide united in a photography movement called Help-Portrait, which gave more than 40,000 individuals portraits to treasure for a lifetime. On Saturday, more than 8300 photographers and volunteers participated in 715 locations in 42 countries.

Download Pdf

Posted on Oct 01, 2010  |  Category: Press releases  |  No Comments