Promoting a brand in a recession is a challenge. Budgets are slimmed. Staff are trimmed. And you don’t have much time to pull campaigns together. But consider trying what wardrobe stylists have recommended for years before spending a lot on new services—“shop in your own closet”!
What do I mean by this? Well, you may already own the best tools to promote your brand: pre-existing photo and video content. This archival content is a gold mine that can be re-purposed to promote your organization and your brand in advertising campaigns, newsletters, YouTube and website videos.
Finding Your Content
You’re not alone if you are having trouble locating your existing content. This summer, NASA released its “restoration” of the 1969 moonwalk video–restored because they actually lost or destroyed the original footage of the most important event in the agency’s history. You probably have video or photographs of important achievements by your organization. But do you know where they are? And are they in a format you can now use? Here are some ways you can improve this resource so it is just a click away from helping you be cost-efficient in your brand marketing.
Tips to Make Access Easy
- Identify key people and events that are essential to your product, service or mission.
- Locate photographs of these items.
- Scan stills that are not digital. Be sure to scan at high enough resolution (at least 300dpi for video, even higher for print) to use for print and video projects.
- Organize photos into folders on your server that are easily accessible to others throughout the organization and share a list of what you have available.
- Be sure you own the copyrights to these images, and have the permission of people featured and indicate in the file any photo credits required.
- If you want to be able to share photos with outside consultants, ad agencies or press, consider a software package such as Portfolio by Extensis or Cumulus from Canto.
- Create an index of your videotapes. Archiving video for in-house editing departments could fill another blog post, so I won’t get into those details here. But even if you don’t edit in house, you may have boxes of tapes you don’t know what to do with. You may only have consumer copies of videos you hired others to produce (i.e. DVDs or VHS). Or you may have some Betacam-SP tapes—a professional format that is just beginning to phase out–hanging around the office. It’s best to organize these according to Source Footage (the original tapes shot in the field) versus Final Masters (or copies). It’s easier to use source footage to create new products, but sometimes masters or even consumer copies can be used. At the very least, create a spreadsheet that lists each of your tapes, the date they were made, and a rough idea of the content (i.e. who was interviewed). Even a basic Excel spreadsheet will be searchable. Or you can get more sophisticated with various video archiving software tools, especially if you have an in-house editing system.
- If you have the capability, digitize mini-clips of the video footage you are most likely to need, such as an important CEO speech, highlights of a recent event, etc., so folks who might need to access them have a sense of what’s available.
- Moving forward, make sure you acquire video and photos in the highest possible quality, so they can be multi-purposed easily. Save video masters in digital codecs that are not going to change with the latest technologies (such as loss-less animation codec or MPEG-4) as opposed to tape formats.
- Have a process in place so that anyone who acquires video or photos for your organization sends originals or copies to your communications/marketing department so that they can be catalogued and archived for future use.
Your archival media is connected to your brand marketing, and can save you money and help you tell your story. It’s a resource that sometimes gets overlooked, but is actually worth thousands of dollars that you won’t have to spend again if you keep it up to date and organized.