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Editorial 364: Promoting photography

One comment new Camera House general manager Paul Rogers made this week when we spoke was that, ‘We need to get out and promote the industry. Let’s get some positivity back in it.’
It was a statement to warm the cockles of an old PR hack’s heart!
But PMA doesn’t exist, IDEA seems moribund and the AIPP has it’s own job of self-promotion to do among existing and potential members. If some below-the-line style marketing communications could be woven into the Camera House marketing program, it could deliver rich rewards. In the absence of an industry association, why couldn’t Camera House head office ‘represent’ the industry in PR-style communications? In the process it could position itself as ‘owning’ photo specialty.
So for instance a press announcement from the general manager or chairman of Camera House urging Australians to get their photos off their smartphones and HDDs to avoid irrecoverable loss would almost certainly get a run if handled professionally. Another on the (alleged) new-found simplicity printing photos from smartphones would likewise attract interest. Has anyone actually made much of an effort educating consumers about this thing called photo books? Do people really know the difference between a DSLR and a mirrorless camera, and the pros and cons of each?
The Aperture Australia event showed there is real interest in photography. Having over 600 people fork out at least $500 each for a weekend of lectures by top photographers was a fantastic result and generated over $300K in revenue for the organisers. What a pity the industry wasn’t the organiser. We would have some money in the kitty to further ‘get out and promote the industry’.
Michaels also pulls a good crowd of engaged enthusiasts when it holds its annual Melbourne’s Photo Show event as it did last weekend.
With by far the largest network of stores in Australia, Camera House is well-placed to leverage whatever call to action the marketing team at Camera House head office can broadcast. And it doesn’t look like any other entity is going to take on the role. What an opportunity!
– Keith Shipton

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