When's the last time you snapped a photo at your incubator? If you can't remember, you might be missing a great marketing opportunity.
Photos are a quick and easy way to grab attention for your incubation program, especially when the media are involved. You probably send out news releases on noteworthy incubator events, such as an expansion or a move to a new building; a good photo accompanying those news releases can mean the difference between front-page coverage in your local business section or a three-sentence blurb on page 16. Editors are always on the lookout for something of visual interest to run in their publications, and given the choice between two stories on similar subjects, they often will give priority to the one with a photo.
Getting great photos of your incubator doesn't necessarily mean hiring a professional photographer. If you're on a tight budget, you easily can do it yourself. Here are some tips to get you started:
We can't speak for all media professionals, but NBIA's publications department likes to see photos of incubator facility exteriors as well as everyday activities going on inside, i.e., clients baking bread at a kitchen incubator, using high-tech equipment at a biotech incubator or assembling parts at a mixed-use incubator. We also frequently need photos of the incubator managers we interview. These are all basic shots you can use over and over again, not only to accompany news releases, but in brochures, newsletters and other marketing materials, and on your Web site.
If you're too busy to take photos on an average workday, make a habit of snapping a few shots on special occasions, such as a grand opening, an incubator-sponsored workshop or a client graduation ceremony. Coverage of these events will impress stakeholders, attract potential clients and raise community awareness.
The images you capture of your incubator must display sharp focus and good light. Dark, blurry photos rarely will make it into a print publication.
Digital photos: If you don't have access to a scanner or digital camera, find out if one of your clients does. It's faster and less expensive to e-mail digital images than to send photos via "snail mail," and you don't have to ask that they be returned.
If you have access to a scanner or digital camera, be sure to save the images in a usable format. In general, print publications require images at snapshot size (3 inches by 5 inches), in .jpg or .tiff format and at a high resolution (at least 300 dots per inch or dpi.).
A published photo usually requires a caption, so be sure to provide the first and last names of any people in the photo (from left to right) and where and when the photo was taken. When applicable, provide the photographer's name for a photo credit.
Keywords: effective communication, marketing and promotion
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