Thursday, January 24, 2013

Free photo resources for campus clients

It's not uncommon for our office to get requests for stock photography, both of our campus and for more general or random topics. Others won't ask--you might just discover photos of unknown origin when you least expect it. Here are some resources to keep you in the clear with copyright:
  • Refer campus users to your own feed of stock photography for your university or school, and let them check out the Creative Commons-licensed images for other topics. Remind users to assume that all photographs are protected unless they see a license that says otherwise.
  • Stock.Xchange: This site includes thousands of free stock photographs of varying quality, but a discerning eye will find some great images. A free account is required to access the high-resolution download pages.
  • CVBs/Chambers: If you're promoting your campus location, check out your state or local convention and visitors bureau, or perhaps even your chamber of commerce. Large metropolitan areas or tourist regions will often have a photo gallery that's open to local businesses to use, but again, make sure to follow their licensing procedures.
  • Wikimedia Commons: Most Wikipedia pages include images that are a part of their Wikimedia Commons collection. Wikipedia doesn't own these images, but most can be freely reused outside of Wikipedia so long as you follow the restrictions stated by the owner.
  • Government agencies: The public information departments of many federal and state agencies include photo galleries with free high-resolution images in the press room sections of their websites. Usually, attribution is all that's required to use these images.
 Do you have other favorite photo websites? If so, please share them in the comment section.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

10 cringe-worthy things #highered marketing professionals hear

One of my favorite PR news sites recently offered a list of 14 cringe-worthy things PR clients say. As a light-hearted first post for 2013 (following my extended maternity-leave blogging hiatus), I bring to you a version for those of us in higher ed marketing:
  • "Can you make our logo, phone number and web address fit on this pen?"
  • "I don't do social media. Can I have my student assistant run my Facebook page instead?"
  • "I need a link on the home page."
  • "This important official is visiting campus today at noon, and we need publicity. Just don't release his/her name for security reasons."
  • "Only five people have RSVPed for tonight's event downtown. Can you help us get a crowd?"
  • "I heard an ad for your college on the radio. Can we meet for 30 minutes to discuss how stadium bathroom stall advertising can help you reach your target market?"
  • "Can we use these photos from my flip phone in the brochure?"
  • "For some reason, that reporter at [national news outlet] seemed irritated when I called him the next day."
  • "Your design is OK, but we're tired of the school colors so we had our research assistant design something new in Publisher."
  • "Real writers use the serial comma."
Disclaimer: This blogger has worked in higher ed communications for more than 15 years and has heard many stories from many professional peers at many institutions. Any resemblance to actual persons (living or dead), events, or locales is entirely coincidental.