Seems like there's something new happening every minute, and everyone wants to be in-the-know. Today, photo-sharing is the primary way for how school experiences are celebrated, and how new and current families are engaged. Every parent, teacher, and student will likely have a smartphone in their pocket, with at least one social app installed, and, hundreds, maybe even thousands, of pictures saved in their camera roll.
Most of these memories are already being shared within personal networks, between families and friends. However, when it comes to photos related to school events and activities, sharing is a lot trickier than it seems. Here are a few things you may want to consider when it comes to supporting photo-sharing at your school:
1. Coverage: Make sure great moments are captured at every event.
So much goes on around campus, and all at the same time too. Spanning from the lower to upper school, it's highly unlikely that you'll be at the scene, ready with your camera, for each and every program, event, or activity. Without dedicated help, covering school events is more often than not, done single-handedly.
It all comes down to who was able to be on-site and (fingers crossed) whether they managed to capture all the essential moments. If you want to capture more personal moments, consider recruiting volunteers and/or students to help take photos. The more photos taken and shared, the more they'll help enrich the personal stories for every student!
2. The Search: Harness the power of crowdsourcing photos.
It's difficult to appreciate the onerous process of collecting and finding photos unless you've gone through it. If your photography club is thriving and reliably sends content your way, you are among the fortunate few where this process may be a breeze. If not, you're probably among the majority who are regularly sending email reminders to the busy basketball coach or grade 5 science teacher to send over their photos in some way, shape or form so they can be incorporated in your communications. This is where the power of crowdsourcing comes in.
If your job is to keep your community connected to everything that's happening at your school, encourage and educate faculty, families, and students to take part in a photo-sharing culture. By consistently contributing media to one central place, you'll begin to amalgamate a treasure trove of images with rich context, many of which you'll be able to leverage for your marketing and communication programs.
3. The sweep: Create a centralized repository of amazing choices!
With all photos now centralized in one place, you've just saved hours and hours hunting down photographers for their content. You can now just focus on selecting those photos that can best help tell your story. To ensure these photos can be published, be sure you have photo consents.
Many schools incorporate photo and media consent forms as part of the student registration process. Alternatively, consider how this consent can be provided when users contribute their content. This is especially important when photos are to be published publicly.
4. The story: The best one is visually powerful and relevant.
Photos and videos are powerful because they are the basis of building engaging visual narratives. With the right photo, all you need is a simple sentence to turn that photo into a meaningful story! Add a little anecdote. Keep it short and sweet. Make it personal. Whether it's a social media post, a blog, or the yearbook, think about how you can stitch together your next story with a selection photos and simple text to deliver a story that is personal to your audience.
5. The reveal: Determine publishing strategies - where, when, how?
There are so many ways to publish content today. The demand for timely and relevant content dominates today's audiences. While he word 'publish' sometimes reminds us of pushing a big red button, the reality is much less intimidating. Printed publications require greater attention to detail. When it comes to digital communications, there's no such thing as the perfect post. Too much content or too little? Right wording? Right image? Timeliness?
Keep your audience connected by sharing what's happening consistently and in a timely way. Leverage the best available images from your community of families, students and faculty and publish them. Your community will come to rely on you to keep them connected. To keep track of what gets published where and when, use a social media scheduling platform to review and manage posts. Last but not least, try using one central and secure source to broadcast content, so you don't have to delete and republish posts across channels!
Want to learn more about sharing and publishing school photos?
Vidigami and Finalsite are hosting a webinar together on October 19th at 1:00 PM EST, featuring Alan McInnes, Manager of Web and AV Services at Southridge School in BC, Canada. Together, they'll talk about why photo-sharing is such a vital part of the Southridge culture, the tools and technology that are enabling them to push it further, and, how Finalsite and Vidigami are working together to streamline media publishing across various school channels.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shahla manages content marketing and communications at Vidigami Inc. - the best place for school memories. The company offers two products: a secure photo management platform, and now, a publishing software (Picaboo Yearbooks). Shahla has experienced international student life from Dubai, Bali, Malaysia and Canada. She frequently hunted and handled photos and videos as part of her student council and clubs - for yearbooks, marketing collateral and other multimedia content. She knows the pains that come with getting photos organized and turning these assets into stories!