One of the most important tools for promoting great news for an organisation is also usually the most neglected.
The text is the bricks and mortar of any positive messaging but it is the imagery which adds the gloss, personality and impact.
Most of the planning for external messaging is focused on the content of the messaging – and rightly so.
But always, always think about whether you can produce images which complement and reinforce the core messaging.
The public are continuing their mass migration to digital platforms for information and the more visual, the more eye-catching and the more interesting your content looks then the more chance you have of reaching and engaging your intended audience.
Images should also reflect the tone of your story.
Our client, East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), was the first community health and mental health trust in the country rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
We wanted to maximise awareness that the Trust was leading the way nationally.
We also wanted to avoid the trap others have fallen into of delivering an image which screamed ‘rush job taken in staff canteen with three people and Sue from HR eating her carbonara in the background’.
We have all seen great content diluted by awful imagery.
Blurry, poorly framed images of listless corporate bodies that provide no visual clue as to what they represent act as headstones on great content buried across the internet.
ELFT prides itself on the diversity of its workforce, the diversity of the people it cares for and its open and inclusive culture of collaboration with staff and service users.
Our brief was to ensure these values were demonstrated throughout the media package.
Priority was given to ensuring we used the right location, the right photographer, the right people and the right props.
The results reflected a professional, united, happy and diverse organisation and delivered a crystal clear ‘outstanding’ visual message.
The images contributed to excellent regional and national media coverage.
The photocall itself also served as a fantastic engagement opportunity for staff, governors and service users.
Staff have taken obvious pride in the outstanding rating and in how the imagery reflects their work, individually and collectively.
It has been used on press releases, the ELFT website, Trust publications, intranet and on scores of social media accounts of staff proud to be part of an outstanding organisation.
Would the picture of Sue delivered the same results?