The Top Photo Journalism Stories Of The Decade


Social Media As Art

By Dorothy York, President and CEO of North American Precis Syndicate

Making a picture speak a thousand words starts with creativity and talent.  North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS) monitors the result of stories over time to help advise our clients what formats are getting the best results.  For newspapers, the original social media, now with online publications and social sharing options, here are a few of the top stories of the decade, in which the photos captivated the attention of millions to help tell the story in an engaging way, often amplified with information about social media sites within the story for increased discoverability:

1- Teva/Copaxone: Racing To Raise Awareness About Multiple Schlerosis

Elite cyclist, Jennifer Schuble, who has MS, was an inspiration to millions in this wonderful bicycle racing action shot. 

2- Merck/Diabetes: Taking Diabetes To Heart: Randy Jackson Partners With Merck To Challenge People Living With Type 2 Diabetes To Join Him In Committing To Living A Diabetes- Friendly Lifestyle

Celebrity photos of popular entertainment icons are a sure fire way to boost attention for the message management cares about most. 

3- Sea-Band: Mothers-To-Be/ Natural Ways Toward Less Morning Sickness

This stunningly beautiful photo of a pregnant woman in a pink satiny fabric, flowing like the gown of a Greek goddess propels this story to highly successful status.  The photo is branded, with a picture of the product upper right, in a very subtle display.  The overwhelming effect of the photo makes the branding tolerable and effective.

4- American Dental Association: Sweet News For Your Sweet Tooth

The woman licking this rainbow colored lollipop is a tantalizing way of creating awareness for the sugar substitutes, polyols, and the caption reinforces that message.  The sweet success of this article is helped tremendously by this eye-catching photo.

5- FINRA Foundation: Making Sense Of Cryptocurrencies

This computer generated image of a spinning globe in a vortex with dollar signs and money symbols in a satellite orbit around the center is a magnetic way to draw more eyeballs.  The still  image seems to swirl around like a spinning top and helps pull the focus towards the story. 

6- International Council Of Shopping Centers: Protecting Our Economy/ A Big Help For Small Businesses

The frightening image of a “Closing Down” sign in a store window is the worst nightmare of small business owners, especially neighborhood merchants, nationwide.  This fear mongering image helps create an awareness of a legislative solution, the Main Street Fairness Act. 

7- USPS: See Your Mail Before It Arrives

The mailbox flag, which seems to be superimposed on the image, is in the up position on the smartphone, a clever way to create an awareness of the new, free feature from the United States Postal Service which allows people to track mail and see the what they are getting, before they get it.   

8- Investability Real Estate, Inc: Investing In Single-Family Real Estate Properties Online

A tiny toy house, that is similar to a monopoly piece, placed on top of a laptop keyboard, helps reinforce the message about investing in residential real estate and creates immediate recognition of the subject matter, to target people who may be in the market for a home. 

9- College Board: Scholarships Available/ Six Steps To Help Students Get Into, And Pay For, College

The view behind four students literally jumping for joy off of low a wooden fence into a circle of light which highlights, a seemingly greener pasture on the other side is an amazing display which helps alert readers about College Board Opportunity Scholarships to help them get the education of their dreams.  Eight short informative bulleted points are included on the image.

10- CDC/AquaChek Pool and Spa Test Strips: Swimming Pool Practices To Protect Your Family

From an angle which appears as if readers are in the backyard pool, this action shot of a Mom and Pop watching their son taking the plunge, with hands raised and toes just off the pavement, helps create an awareness of the CDC Healthy Swimming Program and the importance of testing the chlorine and pH levels before getting in the pool. 

11- 1-800-FLOWERS: Valentine’s Day Gift/ How To Wow The One Who Wows You

This timely image of a woman with a red, just off the shoulder sweater, sitting in her white room on a sofa, with an open box and a card, holding a vase of freshly cut flowers while sniffing and smiling as the sun pours in on her from the closed window behind her, creates a warm, emotional response as the reader can almost smell the flowers. 

12- Rockwool: Life Is Loud- But You Can Still Enjoy A Quiet Home

The image from behind a man in a business suit with fists raised up and out to the sides, like an orchestra conductor, in front of the plans for a home theater gives a sense of power to help promote insulation that can control sound, delivering peace and quiet to homes, drowning out the ambient noise of cell phones ringing, computers and video games blaring and helping to prevent hearing loss. 

13- American Humane/Zoetis: Health Bulletin/ Major Study: Therapy Dogs Can Help Families Of Children With Cancer

This smiling family photo enjoying their new puppy dog helps show how life can be made easier and more fun.  This draws attention for the results and details of the “Canines and Childhood Cancer Study” which provided guidance for invaluable help and support to the families of more than 10,000 children diagnosed with cancer each year. 

14- Fujitsu/ Operation Homefront: America Salutes Its Veterans/ Join Fujitsu In Supporting Military Families

This tear jerking photo of the daughter of a soldier with her head on his shoulder and waiving a flag as he gives her a big hug sends a strong message about the importance of a new social media campaign to benefit military families and the deserving heroes with appreciative support.

15- Car Care Council: Be Car Care Aware/ Six Quick Tips For Winter Driving 

The winter night scene facing headlights of a car on a white road with piles of snow on either side in a blizzard, with belongings strapped to the roof rack, presumably on a journey to or from a vacation home, gives readers the sense of danger and potentially life threatening conditions.  One can almost hear the wind howling and feel the chill.  This helped encourage readers to take extra care to keep cars running smoothly and created awareness of safety tips.

16- FCA/ Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram: Contest Corner/ Create The Car Of Tomorrow To Win Prizes Today

The image of the front of a vehicle with new features helped inspire creativity in young minds and solicited people to participate in a crowdsourcing campaign to design futuristic vehicles.  This helped draw attention to expose young artists to the various career opportunities. 

17- GEICO/ National Insurance Crime Bureau: Insurance Matters/ Insurance Fraud Is A Real Crime With Real Time

The flaming engine of a car with plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky above, helped get attention for the story about fraudulent claims from people who destroy their own vehicles, by setting those on fire, to collect on a claim and warning that there is a better solution than facing fines, imprisonment and a criminal record for fraud. 

18- Visit Orlando/ Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World: Making Life More Fun/ Head South For The Hottest New Attractions

This collage of three images, separated by three “GO” green arced lines, help highlight the most attractive sites in Orlando, including Mickey Mouse pointing at the Magic Kingdom castle behind him, and at the jumping killer whales on the right of him, and with the smiling family in front of the Universal globe photo below.  This artistic display helps impress families as it creates awareness of the lineup of the latest new sites for the leading family travel destination.

19- Pleasant Holidays/ Mexico and the Caribbean: All-Inclusive Resorts Create Lasting Family Memories

The image of the fit, young, bathing suit clad family of Mom, Pop and their young daughter chasing a giant, rainbow colored, translucent beach ball, while frolicking in the calm beach waves and splashing in the surf, having fun in the sun, helps attract readers to learn more about special travel offers including meals, snacks, beverages, water sports and entertainment. 

20- Energizer: Photo Opportunities/ A Fun Twist On The Family Vacation

Two images were used. One was of a National Geographic photographer, a man leaning on a wooden fence  overlooking a breathtakingly beautiful scene of lush green grass on a rocky cliff with surf pounding the shore.  Below was a photo of a polar bear, doing the back stroke, with sparkling water that formed a halo of light around his head and stars around his body that seemed to be beaming out at the reader like constellations.  Readers got a charge out of these photos which helped to promote the Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest and lithium batteries. 

For more information and a free proposal from the experts at North American Precis Syndicate, visit or email:

To see the slideshow, click here