Spotlight On: Brianna Rooney

1. How did you get into PR?

My dad and sister are in advertising, so I knew wanted to do something to that extent. I was a little more writing -focused and not as creative so from there, I decided PR was the right fit. At Temple orientation, I declared PR as my major and while I had no idea what it meant, I stuck with it and here I am!

2. What’s the proudest moment of your career?

I think the proudest moment of my career so far is when clients trust you as an extension of their team. It’s hard getting to know clients at first, but once they say, “You can handle this,” or “We trust you,” it’s a big moment! Trust goes a long way and really benefits the overall client/agency relationship.

3. How has the PR industry changed since you started?

It’s changed a lot, but not a lot at the same time. I think there’s a bigger shift toward digital and social, so you have to supplement what you’re doing for traditional media outreach with online and digital outlets. You can no longer just rely on people seeing your news in the paper, you have to share it on social media, on your website, in your newsletter. There’s a few more steps to get the news out there, but innately it’s staying the same. You work hard to share your client’s story.

4. When you’re not at the office, what can we find you doing?

Reading, drinking rosé (usually while reading), spending time with family and friends, and exploring the city!

5. What’s your favorite show to binge watch on Netflix?

I’m going to go with One Tree Hill! I wouldn’t recommend any of the shows I watch otherwise because they’re all on Bravo. But for a “real show” I just finished The Fourth Estate – it’s on Showtime, and it’s about the New York Times reporting during the Trump administration, from election to inauguration and what’s happening now. It’s a unique look into the newsroom and really captured my attention.

6. What book are you currently reading?

I am currently reading The Alice Network – a historical fiction novel that shares a story of female spies during the Great War.

7. What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?

There are so many good places, but I’d say my favorite that never disappoints is Twenty Manning.

8. What’s your dream vacation spot?

Lately it’s been South Africa. A little bit of wineries and beaches, with a side of safari. It takes forever to get there so hopefully one day I have the time to travel there!

9. And finally, tell us something about yourself that we’d never expect.

I studied abroad in Paris, and I speak French!

Spotlight On: Rebecca Devine

  1. How did you get into PR?

I started my career as a political pollster for local and national campaigns in NYC. We would develop surveys to find out what public perception was on a variety of topics from hard hitting issues to what tie color people preferred the candidate wear for major events.  Once we had culled through all the data, we would often hand over the results to a candidate’s PR or Marketing agency, who would create a campaign around our research. I realized pretty quickly that I wanted to be on the creative side, not the number crunching side, and started looking for Public Relations positions when I moved to Philadelphia.

  1. What’s the proudest moment of your career?

I don’t have one specific moment, but the “firsts” always stand out in my mind: Signing our first real office lease, hiring our first employee, signing our first annual contract, the list goes on. It’s been 12 years since we started Maven and I am amazed at how many small but immensely rewarding things happen every day.

  1. How has the PR industry changed since you started?

Public Relations used to be somewhat synonymous with Media Relations, but our definition of “Media” has completely changed in the last 8 years. Now, every company can publish great content without relying exclusively on reporters. Bloggers, social media, and self-publishing platforms have transformed the way companies think about sharing their story, and the way we consume that information. There are so many more ways for organizations and brands to reach their target audiences than ever before.  It’s been exciting to be part of that change, and develop ways to help our clients make the most of it.

  1. When you’re not at the office, what can we find you doing?

Hanging out with my husband and daughters, age 3 and 6. I recently picked up tennis again, which has been a lot of fun. It’s great to compete, but some of the matches get pretty intense!

  1. What’s your favorite show to binge watch on Netflix?

Stranger Things is a good one. My guilty pleasure is GLOW, which stands for the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. It’s quirky, a little sad, and hysterically funny.

  1. What book are you currently reading?

I love historic novels, real or fiction. This summer I finally read Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer’s firsthand account of the 1996 Everest tragedy. It’s incredible. I’m currently reading Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. It’s a WWII era profile of the first female diver. Set in New York, it has intrigue, gangsters, soldiers and interesting, plucky characters. I’m really enjoying it so far.

  1. What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?

Right now I’d say Vernick, Zahav, and Wm. Mulherin’s Sons.

  1. What’s your dream vacation spot?

I’d love to go to Croatia and Bosnia.

  1. And finally, tell us something about yourself that we’d never expect.

I was a competitive gymnast when I was younger, training 30 hours/week after school. My daughters think it’s cool that mom can still do a cartwheel.

 

Spotlight on: Emily C

  1. How did you get into PR?

I got into public relations because when I was in high school, I really liked to read, and I was a strong writer – plus writing was something I always enjoyed doing. A friend of mine’s mom was in PR and she suggested that I look into studying communications. I initially started out in journalism and one of the classes in Temple’s curriculum was “Intro to PR.” One day, the communications person from the Flyers visited our class as a guest speaker. She spoke about what she did and her role, and it sounded really interesting! That semester I ended up changing my major to PR.

  1. What’s the proudest moment of your career?

So far, I honestly don’t have a proudest moment. However, in PR it’s your job to really get to know and understand your clients, which can be difficult when it’s a complex industry that you’re unfamiliar with. I remember when I first started, I was working on a B2B client and we would take on a lot of thought leadership writing, which at the time I found very difficult.

Looking back, after working with the client for a few months, I got to the point where I really understood the breadth and depth of their business and I felt comfortable writing extensively on their behalf. This was an exciting moment for me because I went from struggling with a topic to feeling like I had a good grasp on the industry.

  1. How has the PR industry changed since you started?

While I’ve only been in the industry for a few years, I can already identify ways in which it is rapidly evolving. Most notably, it’s easy to see how social media is impacting all aspects of the industry. Not only is social becoming another tool in the toolbox for clients, but it’s very helpful for PR professionals as well. We can use it to find out the best times to reach reporters, what types of articles they’re currently covering (and reading!) or even just to identify trending industry topics. Previously, if reporters weren’t interested in covering an angle, that was the end of it. Now, for example, a reporter may not cover an event, but they’ll still promote it via social.

  1. When you’re not at the office, what can we find you doing?

Either eating or reading – or both!

  1. What’s your favorite show to binge watch on Netflix?

I probably have too many to even say! Right now my go-tos are Will & Grace, Seinfeld and The West Wing.

  1. What book are you currently reading?

I just started reading From the Corner of the Oval, a memoir from Obama’s stenographer. Its great so far!

  1. What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?

My favorite restaurant in the city would probably be Positano Coast. The food is amazing, and I love the open atmosphere. Plus, they have a fabulous happy hour!

  1. What’s your dream vacation spot?

My dream spot is Santorini in Greece! I’ve already been there, but it was years ago so I’d really like to go back. It was amazing. For my next big vacation, I really hope to go to South Africa!

  1. And finally, tell us something about yourself that we’d never expect.

I signed up for a pottery class this fall. I think I’m starting in October.

Spotlight on: Kristen

  1. How did you get into PR?

I kind of just fell into PR. I took only one PR class in college as a Communications and Rhetoric major. When I moved to Philly I applied to anything related to communications and now I’m here and I’m loving it!

  1. What’s the proudest moment of your career so far?

I don’t think I have one yet since I’ve only been in the game for a little over a year! I’m hopeful that there are good things to come.

  1. When you’re not in the office, what can we find you doing?

It depends on the season. If it’s winter, definitely snowboarding. In the summer, hiking! All year long, I love indoor rock climbing and reading.

  1. What’s your favorite show to binge-watch on Netflix right now?

My favorite shows are Orange is the New Black and Shameless. New seasons for both shows were just released, so that’s what I’ll be binge-watching for the next week!

  1. What book are you currently reading?

I’m reading this book called The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer. It’s about a young woman going through college and young adulthood discovering what it means to be a woman and how she identifies as a feminist.

  1. What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?

My favorite restaurant is Zavino. They have amazingly good gluten-free pizza.

  1. What’s your dream vacation spot?

Greece, for sure! Specifically, the islands—I’ve been looking at pictures for years and I’m definitely going at some future date.

  1. And finally, tell us something about yourself that we’d never expect.

In college, I was a competitive snowboarder!

Center / Architecture + Design Taps Maven for 2017 DesignPhiladelphia

Maven Communications has partnered with Center/ Architecture + Design to promote the 2017 DesignPhiladelphia festival, which will take place October 5-14th. Now in its 13th year, DesignPhiladelphia highlights the work of thousands of local designers, architects, and creative professionals to demonstrate Philadelphia’s reemergence as a 21st century city shaped by thoughtful design, collaborative business practices, and community engagement.

As one of the oldest design events in the nation, DesignPhiladelphia annually welcomes more than 25,000 attendees during its nine-day run.

“DesignPhiladelphia embodies the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of our local design culture, highlighting the breadth and depth of Philly’s talent,” said Rebecca Devine, Principal, Maven Communications. “Our goal is to bring even greater visibility both locally and nationally to Philadelphia’s growing design scene.”

Attendees to this year’s festival can design their own experience by creating a personalized schedule and view an interactive map of all events by visiting http://www.designphiladelphia.org.

Create, Share, and Embed A Custom Google Map

As the most popular mapping technology, we all are familiar with the life-saving application Google Maps. It allows you to explore the entire world from a bird’s eye view zooming down to almost every street. Whether you are searching for hip coffee shops nearby or wondering what the cityscape of London looks like, no detail is missed in Google Maps.

Google Maps even allows anyone with a google account to create, customize, share, and embed their very own map with its easy-to-use map solution, Google My Maps. I recently learned how quickly you can customize your own map in minutes working on an interactive map for structural engineering firm The Harman Group’s upcoming structural milestones around Philadelphia.

Many publications liked Curbed and the Philadelphia Business Journal customize and embed maps daily to map out real estate, economic, and architectural projects. Whether you are mapping out groundbreaking projects or mapping out where each Disney movie took place, this Google tool is accessible and useful to all and I can show you how.

Setting Up Your Map

  1. Log in to your Google account
  2. Go to Google My Maps
  3. Go to “Create a new map”

4. Once the blank map appears, double click on “Untitled map” to change the title and add in a description below.

     5. Double click on the “Untitled layer” to change the title and add more layers using the button above. Layers are a great tool to separate specific content and have the ability to hide/deselect to clearly see one layer.

Tip: You can import CSV, TSV, KML, KMZ, GPX, XLSX, Google Sheets, or a photo in Google Drive to place your map data. Map features like latitude, longitude, type, description, and URL link are added automatically. (See supported Google limits here.)

Style your map

  1. Change the base map at the bottom of the map menu.

       2. Go to the search bar and type in the first location you want to add and select “add to map”. You can remove the details from Google Maps if you do not want it shown by clicking remove.

3. Select the pencil icon to add in a description.

      4. Select the paint bucket icon to change the color and icon to differentiate your plot points.

      5. Select the camera icon to add in an image or video from the web or your computer.

       6. Select items with the hand tool, add markers with the plot point icon, add lines or shapes (for driving, biking and walking routes) with the multiple points shape add directions with the route icon, and measure distances and areas with the ruler tool. Use these tools to put the finishing touches on your map.

Repeat these steps until all of your points are in the map and in their respective layers.

Share your Map

All maps are private by default. Only the creator of the map can change who can view and edit.

  1. Click on “Share” to find the Share settings. Under “Who has access”, select “Change” to share with the “Public”, “Anyone with the link”, or just with “specific people”.

       2. Under “invite people,” enter in email addresses of people you’d like to share your map with directly. In the drop down to the left you can change if the person “can edit” or “can view” the map.

Tip: To share your map with a non-Google account, copy the map URL and change the word “edit” in the URL to “view” before sending and there will be no login required.

Embed your Map

Embed your map to your website with a public map. First, you can set your default view in the 3 dot drop down next to the title of the map to set the standard view of your map.

  1. Click on the 3 dots to the right of your map title and select “embed on my site”.

       2. Copy the following HTML and paste it into the source code.

Embed your map to WordPress

In order to add the map to WordPress you will need to edit a Post or Page, or an existing post.

  1. Login to WordPress
  2. Go to Posts/Page to add new or go to All Posts/All Pages to edit an existing post or page.
  3. Open the Text mode and paste the HTML code wherever you want to place your map.

4. Save draft, update, or publish your post or page.

There you have it! You now know how to create, share and embed your very own custom map.

 

Meet Our Summer Interns!

Meet our team of summer interns!

Name: MaryKate Dougherty

Hometown: Collegeville, PA

Why did you want to intern at Maven?

I have interned at a marketing agency in the past, but I wanted to gain experience at a place that focuses on communication and public relations. Maven seemed like a perfect fit! Maven does work for such diverse industries, and I hope to discover what type of PR work I will enjoy the most and focus on in the future. I also am excited to learn about the new business process here at Maven.  I am so thankful to be part of the team this summer!

What clients/projects are you currently working on?

This summer my main clients are Metro Commercial, WRT and The Harman Group. I will be developing media lists, media alerts, writing press releases, and doing research for future projects.

What goes on in your life outside of Maven?

I am going into my final semester at Millersville University this fall, located in Lancaster, PA. I am a Speech Communication major with a minor in Graphic Design. I am involved with Millersville University`s chapter of PRSSA. I also spend a large portion of my time working at Bonefish Grill as a Guest Services Associate. My favorite activities are painting, hanging out with friends, exploring new restaurants and traveling. I am always up for new adventures!

What is your favorite place to hang out in Philadelphia? 

My favorite thing to do in Philadelphia has to be attending either Phillies or Eagles games, or going to concerts. It doesn’t get any better than spending time with friends and family while seeing my favorite teams play or artists perform!

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

In ten years I hope to be advancing my career in PR as well as incorporating my love for art and design in whatever I do.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself?

I was lucky enough to spend my 21st birthday (which is St. Paddy’s Day) in Ireland this year! I have family there, so my best friend and I got to explore the country for spring break. It was incredible!

 

Name: Kristen Heintz

Hometown: Germantown, MD

Why did you want to intern at Maven?

I realized what I wanted to do a little late in the game during college, so I wanted to take some time after graduating to get more experience at a communications agency. I was really drawn to Maven because of its strong women leadership and that I could utilize past work experience specifically in my role as a Social/Digital Media intern!

What clients/projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently writing social media copy for Simon’s Fund, Hangley Aronchick, and The Harman Group, as well as working on projects like newsletters and press releases.

What goes on in your life outside of Maven?

Right now, it involves a LOT of unpacking. I also enjoy traveling with my cousins and hiking with my boyfriend.

What is your favorite place to hang out in Philadelphia?

I just moved here, so I have no clue yet! I’m really looking forward to exploring the city, especially Fairmount Park.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

I hope to be in the midst of a successful career at a PR/Communications agency, and outside of work I hope to be remodeling a house (I spend a lot of time on Pinterest).

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

In college, I was a competitive snowboarder!

 

Name: Kylie Naughton

Hometown: West Chester, PA

Why did you want to intern at Maven?

Initially, I knew I wanted to search for an internship in Philadelphia. After interviewing at Maven, I was extremely impressed by the company’s clientele, and how far they have expanded in a short period of time. The office was a very inviting place with hard working people; it was evident from the beginning that I would be getting quality experience if I was offered the internship.

What clients/projects are you currently working on?

Anchor Health Properties: My role is creating press releases mainly to announce health center grand openings. In addition, I create social media posts to announce and recap upcoming events/projects.

Independence Seaport Museum: I keep track of media coverage, and create media alerts for upcoming events.

What goes on in your life outside of Maven?

During the summer, I’m also a waitress at a restaurant in downtown West Chester. In the free time I can find, I love going to the beach, hiking, and really anything involving friends and family that I don’t get to see during the school year. In the fall, I’ll be heading back to the University of Rhode Island for my senior year.

What is your favorite place to hang out in Philadelphia?

Penn’s Landing – there’s nothing like summer concerts! I also love spending time at Morgan’s Pier.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Though my answer to this question has a tendency to change every so often, in 10 years, I hope to be employed as a business reporter. I am definitely interested in trend research and analysis, and exploring corporate trends across markets and demographics. 10 years from now or not, I hope to eventually have a job that allows me to travel, although I could imagine myself working full-time in a major city.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

I just got back from a semester abroad in Prague! This was definitely the highlight of my college experience thus far, and sparked inspiration in me that I never would have expected.

 

Meet Our Spring Interns!

This spring Maven welcomed three new interns: Carley Roche, Madison Reiver, and Sandra Do.

Name: Carley Roche

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Why did you want to intern at Maven?

My background is in history and research and I was looking for a place that would allow for me to continue to hone my writing skills. I also wanted something that was different from my past internship experiences. Maven is giving me a chance to branch out with social media and thinking about outreach rather than only facts and figures. It’s a great learning opportunity for me to be here.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am working on the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Craft Show campaign. My job is to create content for the Craft Show’s blog by interviewing artists, past participants of the show, and local influencers of the arts. I hope my posts will attract more interest into this already successful Show as it goes into its 41st year.

What goes on in your life outside of Maven?

I am currently a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University studying Museum Studies and Digital Curation. On Wednesdays I am a research intern at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia for the History of Vaccines website, but I also work on projects for the Mütter Museum and the College’s Medical Library. I also work as a hostess on the weekends at Triangle Tavern in South Philly. During my free time I enjoy going to the dog daycare Pit Stop HQ in the Italian Market to play with the dogs.

What is your favorite place to hang out in Philadelphia?

My favorite place to hang out in Philadelphia is probably my local bar, 12 Steps Down. The staff is fantastic, the patrons all know each other, and the can selection is amazing and always changing. It’s a fun place to relax and enjoy yourself with some friends.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

In 10 years I want to be working as a collections manager at a history museum. A collection manager works directly with the museum’s objects and makes sure everything in the collection is properly cared for and documented. I love history and learning about different cultures, so I want to share this passion with everyone by preserving objects that tell incredible stories of people from different corners of the world.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

I attended the seventh largest gathering of humans in history: the Cubs World Series celebration! Go Cubs!

Name: Madison Reiver

Hometown: Newtown, PA

Why did you want to intern at Maven?

When I found the listing for the intern position at Maven I was immediately interested. I just recently started studying public relations and knew that I wanted to learn more. I thought that interning at an actual PR firm as opposed to working in the PR department for an organization would be a really beneficial experience. Maven represents some great organizations and I’m so happy to be a part of the team!

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on the clipbooks for the Independence Seaport Museum and Pennsylvania Ballet as well as press releases, website copy, and posting events.

What goes on in your life outside of Maven?

Outside of Maven I’m a full-time student at Temple University. I spend a lot of time listening to and rediscovering classic rock, as music is my passion.

What is your favorite place to hang out in Philadelphia?

My favorite place to hang out in Philadelphia is my grandparent’s restaurant, Dante & Luigi’s in South Philly. It’s always nice to indulge in some great food and see my family.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

In ten years I hope to be working closely with musicians and doing PR for them.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

I have a pet snake, a butterball python named Mr. Mojo Risin’.

 

Name: Mai (Sandra) Do

Hometown: Hanoi, Vietnam

Why did you want to intern at Maven?

I followed Maven on Twitter because I was drawn to their logo and content. After a while, Maven posted a digital intern that struck my interest, so I applied and was selected!

What projects are you currently working on?

I am curating and creating digital content for law firms and A/E/C firms

What goes on in your life outside of Maven?

I am a college student. I love being busy, with activities ranging from volunteering, being involved with PRSSA’s newsletter committee or trying out new software. At the end of the day, nothing makes me happier than relaxing with calm music like The Beatles’ “While my guitar gently Weeps.”

What is your favorite place to hang out in Philadelphia?

Franklin Square. I love the greens!

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Any open-minded position that lets me use my skills.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

So many! I’d have to say for right now, it’s my love of watching gymnastics.

The Biggest Factors Behind Viral Videos

Of the hundreds of thousands of videos uploaded each year, only a fraction of them go viral.

So what are the key factors in viral videos?

Unruly conducted an analysis of 100,000 consumer data points to reveal the biggest factors behind viral success. They found two common drivers behind the most viral of video campaigns:

1) Psychological response
2) Social motivation

The higher a video ranks in these two categories, the more likely people are to share it. This creates word of mouth advertising, which is the most effective way to make a video go viral.

Let’s explore how to incorporate these points into your video campaign.

First is psychological response, or the emotional response felt by the viewer. Ideally, the content of the video should evoke multiple positive emotions in the viewer. The more these positive emotions resonate with the viewer, the higher the likelihood that they will share it.

Next is social motivation. Unruly has identified 10 motivations for video sharing, and the best campaigns should utilize as many as possible. The 10 motivators identified by Unruly are:

  • Opinion Seeking – “I want to see what my friends think.”
  • Shared Passion – “It lets me connect with my friends about a shared interest.”
  • Social in Real Life – “It will help me socialize with my friends offline.”
  • Social Utility – “This could be useful to my friends.”
  • Kudos: Coolhunter – “I want to be the first to tell my friends.”
  • Kudos: Authority – “I want to demonstrate my knowledge.”
  • Zeitgeist – “It’s about a current trend or event.”
  • Conversation Starting – “I want to start an online conversation.”
  • Self-Expression – “It says something about me.”
  • Social Good – “It’s for a good cause, and I want to help.”

Unruly sites two other factors in helping videos go viral: timing and ‘super sharers.’

Companies should consider what day of the week they want to launch and also front-load the campaign to achieve high numbers of shares within the first two days. Companies should also reach out to ‘super sharers,’ or people who share videos almost every day.

Now that we understand the reasoning behind viral campaigns, let’s look at some of the most popular videos from 2016:

Always – Like a Girl Emojis

This ad campaign has had almost 20 million views on YouTube since being posted in March. With equality, particularly women’s equality, being a main point in the national dialogue this year, it is easy to see why this video resonated with so many viewers. Viewers may experience humor, happiness, warmth, or passion while watching this ad. All of these positive emotional responses serve as motivation to share the video with friends. As for social motivation, sharers could be using many of the motivators such as opinion seeking, self-expression, or shared passion.

 

Mountain Dew – PuppyMonkeyBaby

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql7uY36-LwA

Some of the biggest and best commercials usually air during the Superbowl, and this year was no exception. This video has over 27 million views on YouTube. But, this video doesn’t create the same warm and loving feelings seen in the last video. Mountain Dew incorporated elements of humor and surprise instead. The main motivator behind sharing this ad would most likely be conversation starting or opinion seeking. Although it does not utilize the warm and loving emotions we often see in ads, it got people talking and was certainly successful for Mountain Dew.

 

P&G – Thank You, Mom

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ3k6BFX2uw

This ad, which aired during the 2016 Summer Olympics, has over 22 million views on YouTube. One of the reasons it is so popular is because it is relatable for so many people. It depicts the special relationship children have with their mothers, which evokes feelings of love, happiness, nostalgia, and comfort. One of the main motivators here could be self-expression. The mother-child relationship is a fundamental one, and sharing this ad can be a way of sharing this about yourself.

It’s easy to see why these video campaigns were some of the most viral of 2016. Being aware of the emotional response viewers will have and the reasons why they share videos will help you in crafting the next viral video.

 

Related Posts

The Impact of Live Video Streaming in Society

Digital and PR: A Vital Integration

 

4 Tips to Improve your Photography in Branding

As 2016 comes to an end, I’d like to share some successful design trends that I’ve seen work this year, and show how photography knowledge can help. There are nearly 3.5 billion internet users, over 2.5 billion have social media accounts, and 95 million photos and videos are shared on Facebook and Instagram a day.

So, why is photography important for brands?

The Internet breaks down into a series of text and images; images are visually pleasing folks on the Internet. From content marketing to website design, designers are constantly adding great photography for branding.

Here are 4 tips to improve your use of photography for marketing:

Resolution

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How many times have you scrolled passed a blurry image or the red x image box? For me, it’s daily. Nowadays, image resolution is vital. High resolution images have a higher DPI, dots per square inch, and can adapt to various interface screen dimensions versus smaller images and smaller DPIs. Here’s a rule of thumb; always go big with your DPIs and pixels.

Composition

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Effective photography needs composition. Composition tells your audience this image has a purpose and story to tell. Think of the photos’ background, mid-ground, and foreground; and don’t be afraid to experiment with the rule of thirds for interesting placement. Don’t limit yourself by shooting a square frame, try horizontal shots and think of your photograph in thirds or quadrants.

Lighting

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Lighting is the first thing I notice in an image. Poorly lit photography tends to be overlooked. Is the subject well-lit? Is there underexposure or overexposure? Is the contrast level balanced? These are a few things to consider. Move around the subject to see the setting’s light change for variation. And don’t forget about natural light. Early mornings and late afternoons are prime times for the best natural light and color.

Focus

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When choosing an image for your website or your Instagram, be critical. Look past likes for a moment and concentration on the photos motivation. Ask yourself, “Does this image draw me in or tell a story? What does this image say to your audience?” Be consistent with your imagery so your consumers get a sense of your brand and values. Images are fun, but all should have meaning.

How can this help with marketing?

Designing for the web can be difficult, especially when the platforms keep changing (phone, computer, tablet, etc.) But one thing I noticed that stayed the same across the web throughout 2016 was the use of imagery. Finally, brands caught on to social media. I found popular trends like large image headers, smaller header image backgrounds, large full-screen background, and rotating images. By applying basic photography techniques, these stand-out images build depth, offer space, and relaxed user experience while focusing on content. Let your work speak for itself.

You don’t have to be National Geographic or a lifestyle brand to use quality photography in your everyday marketing. So, get out there, try your hand at photography!

By Tina Tedesco