Reinvigorate your corporate communications through imagery

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The old adage ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ has never been more appropriate than in today’s media and communications climate.

Further, with media outlets and individuals becoming increasingly under-resourced and time-poor, it is more important than ever for organisations to make best use of imagery in all corporate communications.

With a new-found hunger for fast, on-the-go communications, consumers are now no longer satisfied with plain text, preferring a mix of direct, succinct prose and engaging footage or visual imagery.

You only have to pick up a newspaper now to notice the increasing number and prevalence of images in media. Online newspapers and media outlets will also often have videos embedded into their stories, with links to YouTube or other video sharing or streaming sites.

In this changing climate, organisations need to re-think the way they approach communications tools such as newsletters/briefings, marketing materials, brochures and other promotional devices. Effective use of visual imagery can help to convey their message to a much wider audience.

Taking a digital/video camera to community events or conferences can allow organisations to capture footage and images, providing interesting and engaging corporate communications material. This can help to convert tiresome, dreary newsletters to engaging and interactive publications.

Here are some tips on how you can use images and videos to generate interest in and maximise the efficiency of your stakeholder communications.

  1. Train staff. It is important that all relevant staff have the basic capabilities and skills to be able to take digital still images and film, as well as cut together effective vision. There are plenty of free or cheap video editing software packages available, and managers should ensure their staff know how to make best use of the software.
  2. Devise a policy around use of images and vision. Managers should ensure their organisation has an effective and sufficient policy in place so employees are aware of what they can, cannot, should and shouldn’t do in relation to filming and photographing events for use in communications materials. Be sure to prepare a release form for any individuals or groups you are likely to film or photograph prior to publishing to make sure you don’t breach any privacy laws.
  3. Create Templates. For regular publications such as e-newsletters or brochures and other materials released periodically, it can be helpful to create a template so that staff know how to make best use of images and vision within the document. For example, in an e-newsletter, the lead or feature story will often be accompanied by a large image or video footage.
  4. The more professional the better. There is no point in going to the effort of including images and vision in your publications unless they are of a high standard. Images should be high resolution and in colour, and video footage should be steady and in focus. This might mean upgrading cameras to ensure that you have the right equipment to produce high-quality visuals. Poor quality images and vision can also shed a negative light on the organisation, so if something is not quite up to standard, don’t include it.
  5. File images and vision correctly. Make sure you have a recognised shared location where all images and videos are stored. It is often not necessary to take new photos or vision, as material can be re-used. Creating a specific file location will make it easy to store material for future use if needed.

Through the effective use of images and videos in communications materials, organisations can maximise the efficiency of their publications, marketing and promotional outputs. This will lead to increased awareness of the organisation’s function and greater avenues to reach new audiences.

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