Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Show & Tell Marketing for the Photographer

When the stars all align for you–take advantage of the moment. For me my moment is now. My daughter is in the musical Into The Woods this April at her high school. She is the witch in the play. [Much of the type on our banner and posters was required by the licensing contract we signed to do the play]

The school has to buy the rights to put on a play and our school needs to recover about $10,000 for the total costs of putting on the play. One of the ways they will recover the cost is ticket sales. Another way is selling ads for the program. The last way is through donations.

Parents volunteer to help with building the set, costumes, ticket sales, ushering and many other roles to help keep our costs down.

6' x 9' Banner in front of school near corner where there is a traffic light.

My wife and I volunteered to help with the PR, since both of us work in the industry. I was very excited about shooting some promotional photos of the primary characters for the musical. I had been researching other promotional shoots for Into The Woods and started thinking we can do some of what I saw with the Disney production.

I figured that much of our audience would be more familiar with the movie with Meryle Streep and Johnny Depp than the play productions, so I thought doing something similar to all the movie posters would connect quicker with the audience than trying to create something totally new which would have been more about creating a new brand rather than piggy backing on the already well established brand of the Into The Woods brand.

Now our school has been putting up banners of the sports teams for a couple years in front of the school. I think this is now a trend around the country. The arts kids just don't have the same backing and promotions due to more of parents and the community not supporting them in the same way.

While a banner up in front of the school helps just like a billboard does to promote a product the other thing the banner does is help celebrate our arts kids.

I also bought the domain name to help us with promoting the play and directing everyone to the website where they can buy tickets. You can buy them as well–HINT HINT!!

Click on photo to enlarge

I decided I would pay for the banner as well as all the photo shoots. This was my way of helping as one of the parents. My wife came up with the concept of the Rate Card.

The Rate Card we designed was a 8.5"x11" postcard. On the front was the poster and the back was the prices for the ads for the program. Each student/family is given 10 of these with a cover letter to call on businesses and individuals to take out ads. The business can then easily use the card as a poster to put up in their store window or on the wall to promote the play.

Next we started to use social media to promote the play. We are using all small events like putting up the banner as a good reason to post photos and always the #IntoTheWoods and pushing them to the website

We are using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to help promote the musical. We did individual shots of the cast members so we could post about each of them rather than using the same image over and over.

This again also is a way to celebrate the kids.

Besides this marketing campaign helping the school sell tickets, if this is more successful than in past years then I will have a great example to show all my clients and potential clients how I can help promote their brands using images to engage the audience.

Click on image to see larger version
So here are the headshots I did as well for the program and other PR uses.

Click on image to see larger version

Now there is a very big risk in doing all this work–if the sales are not better than previous years I will have not proved that my photography has helped with the promotion of a musical. While there maybe other circumstances that could impact it other than my photography I will still not be able to show my photography was relevant.

Are you willing to take on a personal project and show that your photography can make a difference to your community?

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