THE POWER OF A PICTURE IN SCHOOL MARKETING
A picture tells a thousand words, they say. It’s no good writing a press release or newsletter article about a wonderful new building, event, or school excursion if the accompanying image is dull and uninspiring.
And now that social media is so powerful, images are even more important. People share good images! When Obama was re-elected as President, the image of him and his wife hugging was retweeted nearly 700,000 times within the first 12 hours alone.
We’re not suggesting you should be aiming for this many RTs! But there are still many ways images can work well to promote your brand and your story - as long as you get them right. One of the first things we do when we start working with a school, college or MAT, is to audit the existing photolibrary. If there are gaps, we look to fill them.
Types of images
If you are looking to create a photolibrary for your organisation, here the kind of images you should include:
· Students – in lessons, in the hall, in general (always with parental or guardian permission, of course).
· Staff – particularly the head / principal.
· Generic lessons – science and sport particularly lend themselves to really good visuals.
· Events – corporate events, concerts, any type of performance.
· Extra curricular – students canoeing! Climbing! Careering off a cliff in a light aircraft! Maybe not the last one but you get the idea.
· Buildings – exterior, interior, play and leisure areas.
A strong photolibrary means you have images you can call on for social media, press releases, newsletters, your website, brochures and presentations. It should be constantly added to. At key times of year such as results day, ensure you have a good (or even better, professional) photographer on hand to take strong, high res images. Tweet them, share in an e-bulletin, post them online and send them to the local press. Share the good news with good images.
What makes a good image?
If you don’t already work with a good photographer, your local newspaper will be able to recommend a few – just ask for the picture desk. But if you want to try and take the images yourself, here are just a few rules to remember:
· Always frame your subject well within the image and remember the background. ‘The Rule of Thirds’ is the technical term – more info here.
· Look at other images that are used in the media / brochures to see what works.
· Ensure the school uniform looks good in all images.
· Too much branding means it will not get used in the media – but it is great for your own use in brochures and online.
· It needs to be on a camera that can take large images. Some smartphones will not cut the mustard, it really is worth investing in a good camera for your school.
· Use the right format – Jpegs, not Zip files, for the media.