Marketing to mining: top tips to promote a great image of your company

If there’s one piece of advice I would implore any mining supplier or service provider to consider it’s to invest in professional photography.

Quality images depicting what your company does have more influence and power over people than a thousand words of quality copy.

But in my experience many mining suppliers and service providers fail miserably when it comes to promoting a professional image.

What they fail to understand is that photos connect to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect.

Photos communicate more than what your company does – they also give a look and feel about how personable your company is and that’s really important when it comes to marketing.

Yeah, yeah photos of your equipment are fine – and essential, but they’re for catalogues. There’s much more to your company I’m sure than just the equipment.

So here are my top tips to creating a great company image through photography.

Get a professional –

Please, please, please do not take photos on your smartphone for marketing purposes or get the office amateur photographer to take photos – unless they’re really good.

Get a professional photographer – someone who knows what they’re doing, someone with the right equipment and someone with a good portfolio of mining or resource–related work.

Oh and a word of advice – you get what you pay for!

Be personable – it’s about people!

In the mining supply and service community people do business with people – not machines.

Have a look at any media publication – print or online. Ninety nine per cent of the images show people not standalone machinery, widgets and gadgets.

People connect with people, so ensure that every photo promoting your company has people in it.

Portrait shots of senior management and preferably your frontline sales and operations people are a must – especially for your website.

Be candid –

People in staged poses staring blindly into the camera are not a good look.

What’s worse is people staring blindly into the camera and holding hands in front of their crotch in what my old newspaper editor use to disparagingly call ‘the fig leaf ‘ pose.

The best photos always look as if the subject is unaware or oblivious of the camera.

Show action –

Photos of people servicing or installing equipment on a mine site or in the field are absolute gold.

Nothing connects better with people than real-world photos; it also demonstrates that your company has actually worked on a mine site.

Use captions –

It’s a well-known fact in publishing that the most read copy after the headline is the photo caption.

Importantly don’t generalize with captions and write any old drivel.

Be specific about who is in the photo and what they’re doing.

For example: AAA Mine Crushers service technician Joe Bloggs retrofitting a cone crusher at the BBB mine site in the Pilbara.

Is it safe?

In any mining or industrial environment safety comes first, so ensure that any photos of personnel in the field comply with the necessary safety requirements of not just your company, but your industry.

There’s nothing more embarrassing than publishing images of personnel breaching basic safety procedures.

Ensure all images under consideration for marketing purposes pass muster from your resident OH&S person.

Smile!

No one likes a sad sack. And no one wants to do business with a company full of miserable unhappy staff. Pass on any images where the subjects look like they’ve just been to a funeral.

‘Smile and the whole world smiles with you’.

The only exception here should be candid shots – and if the subject can’t manage a smile at least get them to look like they’re fully engaged.

Avoid stock photos –

The absolute last resort of images for any company should be stock shots.

Stock shots lack that personal connection.

If you do have to use stock shots avoid the usual clichés of handshakes, chess pieces and photos of personnel in industrial environments or foreign places.

And there it is: my top tips for creating a great album of photos that can be used across all your marketing collateral.

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3 Responses to “Marketing to mining: top tips to promote a great image of your company”

  1. David Chandler June 24, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

    Well said Jamie.
    As a specialist mining services publicity and advertising consultant I can further add that a news release containing one or two professionally taken pics featuring people and with an interesting, descriptive caption will always achieve way more coverage in the media. Editors are proud of their print or online publications so won’t risk tarnishing their impact by running poor quality pics… so your editorial with amateur pics will never get as much exposure.

    • Jamie June 25, 2014 at 12:02 am #

      Thanks David. Totally agree. As a former trade publication editor, I would always give preference to contributions with quality images featuring people. Many contributors do themselves a disservice by failing to submit quality pics to trade publication editors.

  2. Con Macarlino June 27, 2014 at 2:44 am #

    Hi Jamie,
    Totally agree with both previous comments, but I would, as I am a Professional Commercial photographer
    who is specializing in the business of helping businesses showcase their products and services to the market.
    Unfortunately, I see it all too often that a staff member who happens to own a digital camera is asked to take
    photos for the company web site or publication and the poor quality images, send all the wrong messages to the
    market because the images reflect the professionalism of the company at a time when the company is trying to
    promote their goods and services by telling the world they are prepared to accept poor quality.
    They really need to understand that owning a camera does not make you a photographer.

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