What if your organization is lucky (or prescient) enough to have thousands of great photos depicting your mission? What creative ways could you use them to advance your charity’s voice and connect with people in a real way?
Last September, as it was adopting a new look to reinforce the organization’s identity, Conservation International’s creative-services team brainstormed an innovative approach. Because the group did not have much money to spend to publicize its new look, it needed a simple tool to help tell its story in a different way.
Selecting 33 stunning images of wildlife and natural settings from its archives, the charity now features them on employees’ business cards.
“It’s now fun to give out my business cards; people always say, ‘Wow!’ ” says Heather Luca, the organization’s creative-services senior director. “I flip them over, splay them out, and let the recipient select the one that speaks to them.”
More often than not, the process inspires the recipient to tell his or her story—possibly about a love of the ocean or an unforgettable trip to a far-flung location.
“It’s an entry point for stories about our work—not just photos on cards,” Ms. Luca says. “They show things that you’ve never seen or could never see on your own.”
A bonus, she elaborates, is that charity staff members hand deliver cards to the very people the charity wants to reach, reinforcing a personal connection.
The photos on the cards are all taken in an animal’s natural setting, a principle that Conservation International learned in its longtime alliance with the International League of Conservation Photographers.
The business cards also feature the charity’s new tagline, “People need nature to thrive.”
A post on the charity’s internal Web site showcases all 33 photographs, with detailed background and stories about the shots featured on the cards. The goal is to make sure all staff members have a working knowledge of the variety of images.
Many photos are what one would expect from a conservation charity: landscapes, seascapes, animals, and insects—ranging from gorillas to dragonflies. But the organization also included images of indigenous people (such as a man in Surinam weaving a basket from local reeds) as well as people simply enjoying nature.
A charity’s photos may evoke joy, inspiration, devastation, or hope. Conservation International understands the power of its images and values them enough to use them to give potential supporters a strong first impression.
Has your organization done anything creative with its business cards? Would using photos help advance your visual presence? Send me a copy of your cards and we’ll show the most creative ones here.