ANNUAL PACA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE Oct 14-16, 2005 (REVIEW)
Reviews Of International Conference Presentations
1. Search Engine Optimization
2. New Photographers That Will Shape The Future
3. Making It: Strategies For Small Fish with Medium-To-Big Dreams
Downloads (.zip files)
1. Distributor Pre-Qualification Cheat Sheet (Beate Chelette, Beate Works)
2. Post-Conference Survey
3. SEMPO Presentation (Dana Todd, SEMPO)
4. "The Big Industry Debate" Presentation (Joe LaCugna)
LETTER FROM THE PACA PRESIDENT
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
PACA just completed its 10th Annual International Conference. Starting with Workbook’s rooftop cocktail party overlooking the Redondo Beach Marina and the Pacific Ocean beyond, and ending with our gala dinner aboard the magnificent Queen Mary cruise liner, the conference attendees enjoyed a busy weekend packed with networking, great seminars and good company. In fact, the networking began even before the Conference. Many attendees arrived two days early to enjoy the Southern California sunshine while meeting with other stock photo industry colleagues from around the globe.
The organizers of the Conference Program struck a balance between offering presentations and panel discussions about specific issues we face in the stock image business and inspirational speakers from outside the stock photo industry. Examples of the latter include our keynote speaker, MIT professor Dr. Michael Hawley who spoke of his organization, Friendly Planet, which seeks to improve children’s education in less-developed countries, and veteran film producer Paul Heller (My Left Foot) who discussed lessons learned in over thirty years in the movie business.
As always, the program covered a wide range of topics directly related to the stock photo industry. Dana Todd of Search Engine Strategies gave a thorough explanation of on-line marketing techniques, an area essential to anyone who relies on our Internet presence to reach and serve customers. John Vaughan, Business Unit Director for Goldshield plc, gave an in-depth review of the ins and outs of out-sourcing business activities to Asia. Finally, consultant Joe LaCugna moderated an open discussion about many of the big issues facing our industry today, including consolidation, rapid growth in image supply,
especially wholly-owned RF material, and new business models for selling stock photography on-line.
On behalf of the PACA Board and myself, I thank all who made this conference
a success. Of course, it wouldn’t be a PACA Conference if we didn’t make time to mix a little pleasure with business. We owe a special thanks Workbook for setting the relaxed tone of the Conference with their sunset cocktail party and welcoming reception; to Jupiter Media for sponsoring the cocktail party on Saturday evening; and to BeateWorks/InsideOut Pics for pre-dinner cocktails on the Queen Mary on Sunday evening.
Thanks, also, to our other sponsors who contributed to help make the conference possible: Jupiter Images for the PACA Bags; Image Source LTD for the PACA T-shirts; Communication Arts for the nametag lanyards; JaincoTech for the notepads and pens; and Picscout for the surfboard bottle openers.
Finally, we thank the PACA International Conference Committee for all of their hard work. Cathy Aron, our Executive Director ran the Conference like a tight ship. For the second year in a row, Christina Vaughan, CEO of Image Source, applied her special talents to organizing a great program. Her team of tireless volunteers included Ruth Ritzema of Image Source, Sonia Wasco, of Grant Heilman Photography, Sharon Dodge and Loly Carillo of IlustrationWorks/QueerStock, Lynn Eskanazi of Jupiter Images and Nancy Carrizales of Animals, Animals/Earth Scenes. We especially thank Lynn for
her efforts to help organize the raffle PACA sponsored on behalf of Yourth in Focus, an award-winning photography program for at-risk children and young adults living in public housing in Los Angeles County. Thanks to Lynn’s success in getting companies to donate items for the raffle including, among others, MP3 Players, a Mac Mini Computer and two Epson printers, we raised over $2,500 dollars for Youth in Focus.
We look forward to seeing you at PACA’s Annual Meeting in Chicago on April
6th. Save the date!
"Search Engine Optimization And The Power Of Online Marketing"
Presented By Dana Todd/ Review By Gina Bringman
As the stock photo industry continues to migrate to the digital world and consequently to the internet, it has become essential to evaluate your corner on the digital highway and find new and creative ways to be seen. Dana Todd, President of SEMPO (Search Engine Profession Marketing Organization) presented an in-depth description of the various tools that are available to gain visibility in online searches as well insightful comparisons to other search based industries struggling with the same switch to internet marketing.
SEMPO, a relatively new organization (formed in 2003), was founded “to increase awareness and promote the value of Search Engine Marketing worldwide.” With over 4.5 billion searches done each month, search engines have become the “remote control” of this generation. In addition, broadband use has now tipped over the 50% mark in all households, which has helped contribute to the increase in popularity of image search.
Todd notes, the internet search delivers the lowest cost per lead as compared to other more traditional direct mail methods and yet it is one of the top most influential tools in the business to business arena (second only to family and colleagues). Although radio, TV, direct mail, and other various traditional marketing tools remain important, internet search has become a critical overlapping necessity.
So what are effective search engine marketing strategies (SEM)? According to Todd, an aggressive marketing plan includes three areas: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Paid Inclusion, and Pay-per-click (PPC).
Search Engine Optimization is also known as “organic” search optimization. It often takes the most time and work; but generally does not require payment to a search engine. Good optimization will generally result in high rankings. Of course in the stock image industry, we are faced with many challenges to achieve good optimization such as image heavy sites that have automated file numbering systems that have no “meaning” to crawlers and rights-management/copyright protection hurdles that make it difficult for spiders to access the html.
So, once the SEO is tackled, the other option is to “buy your way in”. Paid inclusion and Pay-per-click (PPC) is a pure form of paid advertising. Text link ads are “triggered in response to a user typing a query into a search box”. Google is also now offering image-based ads (i.e. banner ads). Often this process is an “auction-type” of purchase where you are bidding against other advertisers wishing to acquire the rights to the same search keyword or phrase. However, as search technology improves, your price for a keyword and position in the rankings may also be based on your site’s relevancy and “click rate". Of course the downside of PPC is that the cost is rising (up to 25% increase per year), it is time-consuming, and can result in bidding-wars with affiliates and/or distributors. There is also a continuing discussion on the value of PPC with some consumers who purposely avoid these links simply because they are paid advertisements.
As with any advertising or marketing campaign, there is no one solution. The best results are from a multitude of plans. Perhaps the most important strategy to remember is that Google and Yahoo (the top two search engines) and any other search engine that may gain ground are constantly working on and improving their technology, so any search engine marketing must continually be assessed and altered as well.
"New Photographers 2006: Photographers That Will Shape The Future"
Presented By Charlie Holland With Getty Images/ Review By Gina Bringman
PACA members had the opportunity to see a multi-media presentation of 31 new photographers presented by Getty Images. These photographers were evaluated on their ability to bring something new to photography, on the “verge of being exceptionally well-known and sought after", have a vision, make a difference and have potential to be recognized in next year’s Cannes International Advertising Festival.
Months of research and discussion with creative directors and image experts were completed to come up with the final list of photographers. The final selections of “new” photographers are not necessarily amateurs and, in fact, many are established professional shooters who have either worked on high profile campaigns but not yet reached a wider audience due to geographic limitations.
It is important to note that not all photographers chosen were Getty Images photographers and that the purpose of the presentation is to “showcase the best up and coming global talent” across a wide range of content including art, fashion, editorial, and advertising photography. And furthermore, to keep the selection interesting, the photographers were chosen from all over the world including South America, the US, Europe, China and Africa. (Charlie Holland notes that “in the interest of full disclosure, when we made the selection of photographers for the showcase, two photographers already worked with us – Matt Gunther in NYC and Jason Hetherington in London. Two more now work with us, Kevin Cooley and Yang Toi who are both based in New York.”).
Five themes were selected for the presentation of the photographers:
- Desir – communicating love, sex, lust and beauty
- Phantasia – Images of fairytale, surreal and stylized that show the “rich manifestation of our preferences”.
- Authentiq – Images that are everyday and “see and record a new truth…all of our lives need a touch of the authentique".
- Conserve – organic, frozen narratives that are “set out of time and save the world if only for one moment".
- Myth – Images that provide an “outstanding ability to help us connect to myths we live by".
Photos presented at the PACA conference and biographies on each photographer can be viewed at the following link: http://corporate.gettyimages.com/marketing/m07/Cannes_Seminar/usa/index.asp
"Making It: Strategies For Small Fish With Medium-To-Big Dreams"
Presented By Beate Chelette/Review By Gina Bringman
Whether you are experienced in the stock industry or just getting your feet wet, Beate Chellete with Beateworks provide a rich presentation on not just the basics of the stock industry but on basic business principles.
According to Chelette, the first item to evaluate and establish is your End Goal. Are you wishing to build a brand with the end result being to sell (a more American approach) or are you in it for the long term (a more European approach)? After you answer this question, you need to define who you are…a specialty “niche” agency or a more general agency? What is your niche and what is your budget?
Chelette also strongly suggests that you make plans in three year blocks: create a business plan for three years, hire for three years, and evaluate what you have accomplished in three years. Although it is important to evaluate and revise during these blocks, having the initial plan is paramount. The building blocks that help build the three year plan include:
- Finance plan – Know your numbers. Be aggressive with collections, get money when needed, keep books in order, don’t cheat, monitor, track, revise, and stay on top of cash flow projections
- Marketing – Be an expert and find something to talk about. Use newsletters for example or press releases. Be noticed (networking). Be bold.
- Sales – Can YOU sell? Who trains your sales staff? Set goals. Track sales. Know who your customer is. And understand and accept the SW-SW-SW theory (Some will, some won’t, so what)
- Distribution – Research your potential partners, provide a subagent questionnaire, use your own contract and make initial agreements for one year. Review your relationships and compare results against the original questionnaire and contract – sever if results are not satisfactory.
Other important areas that Chelette emphasized are Leadership (be tolerant of those who act and intolerant of those who cannot act). Decentralize – you cannot do everyone’s job. Employees & Outsourcing – have rules, communicate (ensure the task is understood), lead by example, keep good records, set goals, be honest, measure in tangibles, know when to promote and when to fire. Survival – have play time, treat family & friends better than clients, put away money for yourself, have a hobby, learn how to say no, and take care of yourself. And finally Having Fun – have an enjoyable work environment, like what you do, like the people you work with, be positive, enjoy the process.