Employees can visualize your brand, but they need good coaching

Young woman photographing food

© Tweeter Linder 2016 – All rights reserved. Photo by iStock

Pictures and videos play a larger and larger role in companies’ branding and marketing efforts. Cost of media procured with classic methods are going up, but not budgets. Companies need a complement between purchased full custom pictures and generic stock photos. Crowd sourcing from your own employees can be an attractive alternative, but what does it take to get it right?

Crowdsourcing from your own employees
Most companies have already leveraged the opportunity to use employee generated pictures. High quality DSLR and Smartphone cameras have reduced the entry barrier for employees. Employee picture contests are a proven way of engaging employees. Large amounts of pictures sent in as a basis for selecting useful ones. The pictures generated are often decoupled from marketing and branding objectives. The post submission screening is often focus on screening out the off brand pictures. A strategy not driveing towrds great pictures in well defined areas.

Connect words to pictures and icons
A new paradigm in story telling is emerging where words and pictures are linked together. We want to tell our stories with new vibrant words and pictures tied to these words. An evolving mix of aligned words and pictures is an attractiive base for your story telling.

Consider the idea of engaging the best photographers among your employees as a base. But give them guidance on what stories you what your pictures to tell. Give your photographers words to focus as you engage them. Involve them on the broader ideas on how you plan to communicate around a given word they can do a better job in finding great pictures. Leave the creativity part up to the photographer but give them a clear idea for how you plan to use the result. With this approach you have improved the odds words and pictures will support each other in the end.

Creating a Facebook community stimulate your stars
A closed Facebook community is a great way to connect your photography stars. A large variety of photography groups already exists on face book. “Capturing a song” where the members take pictures with well know songs as a theme. Groups where new assignment trigger photographers and introduce an element of competition. The photography community for your company might be next group to trigger each other.

Don’t see the effort as a one off thing, but rather a continuous effort. In the same way you produce new marketing and communication material you will need new picture and video assets. This community can do the first screening without stopping the creativity. Good photographers get inspired by the great ones.

Great questions for you as a leader is
1. What type of pictures do we need in our external communication and marketing – framing the need is key to focused results
2. Do we have a clear view of the words we plan to use the coming 12 months – without clear words pictures will divert too
3. Where do we have the best photographers in our company – you need a few stars to get the momentum in your community going
4. Most companies lack stimulus for your best photographers – This is an art work performed by artists and parts of your work it to give your superstars and divas room to shine and get personal recognition.
5. Which basic framework would allow you to kick-start a focused photography effort in 60 days – before anyone dare to put money around an initiative like this you need a skunk work to prove it can work as a basis for a broader decision.

For additional reading in this field consider the following

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