Find the Right Mississippi Location for Your Company Christmas Card Photo

Find the Right Mississippi Location for Your Company Christmas Card Photo

Hilary Hamblin--Momentum ConsultingA few years ago, one of our clients wanted to shoot a photo for their Christmas cards on-location at a new Elvis statue in town. Originally we were hoping to have Elvis wear a company t-shirt and while that was allowed let me say that putting a t-shirt on a statue is much harder than I expected. So we settled for just adding a scarf.

The Christmas card was the most talked about of the season. The company received emails and even phone calls about how great the cards were. We achieved our goals of building brand while wishing everyone a happy holiday season without being salesy at all. Reaching that perfect balance isn’t easy, but you and your company can do it with a little thought, a great photographer, a small amount of investment and a fantastic Mississippi location. But it’s November, so if you’re doing this, you need to do it. Now.

For this picture, deciding on the location was pretty easy. Think about your community. Mississippi has some beautiful downtowns, scenic state parks and amazing historic districts. What sets your community apart? Has anyone used it for a Christmas card, especially a business card?

I’d caution you stay away from the areas normally used for family photos. You are still a business and you don’t want the photo to be confused with a family portrait session. You also don’t want to have the same backdrop as ten other businesses in town. The reason an on-location picture works is because few people are doing it.

Once you’ve found your location, you’ll want to get permission to have the photo taken. You don’t want to schedule your photo date the same day a large tour group is coming through. You also don’t want to get in trouble for trespassing on private property because you mistakenly thought the landmark was public property. Talk to your local chamber of commerce, city hall or convention and visitor’s bureau to find out for sure who owns the property and the proper channels to go through for permission to have photos taken.

While you are thinking about location, think about the size of your group. If you have a large company broken down into departments, it might be possible to choose a different location for each department and create a collage of those pictures for the front of your card. If you want to have everyone in the same picture make sure your photographer knows and is prepared to photograph that large of a group.

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Speaking of photographers, this isn’t the place for a smartphone photo. I know it takes good pictures. We use smartphone photos for a lot of marketing here. Your professional Christmas card photo just isn’t the place for it. You can find a good photographer with the right equipment without spending your whole budget. It’s worth spending a little money to get the photo right the first time. You also want to make sure your photographer is familiar with taking corporate photographs. Most photographers have a specific style, so look at his or her work before hiring anyone.

Finally, think about your attire. We’ve held company photos where everyone was given a limited number of choices for shirts and had the company logo embroidered on them. We’ve also taken photos with everyone in the same shirt. If you don’t have time to have shirts printed, ask everyone to wear the same color shirt. You might offer two different, coordinating colors, preferably that will look good with your company logo. Remember, this card is part of your B2B advertising plan. While you won’t be selling anything specific, you’re building your brand as a creative, community oriented company.

How exactly does the Christmas card for your Mississippi business fit into your inbound marketing plan? Every time you touch a client or potential client, it’s marketing. You’ll include your website on the card, even if it’s not in the most prominent place. You can offer them an option to see the bloopers reel from your photo shoot and post some of the pictures that didn’t make the cut onto your blog. The funnier these pictures are, the better. Remember, it’s the holidays. Relax a little and let your clients see your company is staffed with real people they want to do business with.

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