Reaching people through images

Do your eyes glaze over when you see a stockphoto at the top of an article? Does it make you think the article is going to be bland too? You’re not the only one and this report is here to help you find images that engage, rather than bore.


Images can be a great way to hook an audience, but they can also make people tune out. What will work with which audiences and how to reach people emotionally is what this report is all about.


Use images that feature people. Images that are just of landscapes can be emotionally distancing, which then leads to audiences distancing themselves from the story too.

Threats need to be local. When showing images of the threat of climate impacts, they need to be localized and also link to solutions and efficacy to help promote the link between impacts and action.

Leadership is important. You can’t just show victims of climate change- there needs to also be images of leaders doing things, thereby creating the social norm of action on climate.

Visions of our future. People won’t buy into a future where we fixed climate change unless they can imagine it. Showing images of how life will be lived in a successful future is key.

Context is important. An article about local watersaving efforts paired with an image of the globe from space is a mental disconnect. Keep your images relevant to what you’re trying to tell people.

image via (cc) flickr user Smudge 9000

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