Global Newsmaker: Alison Crombie

As the World Cup prepares for kick off this week, Getty Images senior director, global public relations Alison Crombie tells PRWeek how the global picture agency plans to capitalise on its position as authorised photographic agency to FIFA.

Alison Crombie
Alison Crombie

How do you propose to utilise your partnership during the World Cup in terms of your comms strategy?

As Authorised Photographic Agency to FIFA, we will be capturing unrivalled content in South Africa, with a dedicated team of photographers providing a dynamic record of events with exclusive pitch side and behind the scenes access. Being in a position to offer an unprecedented number of iconic images, just minutes after they are captured at any of the World Cup venues, will give us a chance to showcase the amazing work our team of photographers, picture editors and editorial staff do at major sporting events. We will be highlighting their stories, behind-the-scenes insight and how they overcome the challenges of capturing iconic images that will last in our memories - when faced with the competition from other photographers, as well as the technical side of ensuring our images are the first to reach our customers and how we make this happen.
What are the biggest comms challenges facing Getty Images with the rise of digital and social media?

As a leading company and brand in our industry, it is incumbent upon us to embrace all communication platforms.  In the last few years Getty Images has evolved from a traditional imagery company that specialised in stock photography to a digital media company that can now offer a really diverse range of products and services. As a result, both digital and social media are now essential components of an integrated communications approach and vital tools for us, when we look at how we reach so many different audiences. On the one hand, it offers immediate benefits such as enabling our photographers to share their stories and expertise easily. Additionally, digital and social platforms provide a fantastic way to connect with the industry, our customers, photographers and media, but they also require an unprecedented level of vigilance, now that consumers and the community can make their voices heard more powerfully and quickly than ever before.  And digital and social media offer clever ways to both launch our content as well as share new product insight; it can be really beneficial to share and test new services and ideas with relevant communities and helps us to maintain a regular flow of conversation with relevant groups.
How do you feel the use of the image within the media has changed in the past year?

The use of visual content is only going to increase. As brands look to stay competitive, the need for outstanding, relevant and compelling visual communication is a key component. And for the media, where newspapers have seen circulation decreasing, the visual element is a critical one. Now that space for imagery is so limited in newspapers, over the last year to eighteen months we have changed how we approach shooting news features. For example, a newspaper may use one news image as a stand alone in their paper, but many titles now produce bigger features for their online galleries. Here they may use 10 images to tell the story, in a more visually in-depth way than the paper could. So we are shooting more content that can support these galleries, which ultimately aim to give an extra dimension to a website's news content offering.
What are your media must haves?

Because our content now spans across so many different areas, so do my media sources and where I go for information! And as my role is global, it tends to vary - but will inevitably include news channels such as the BBC, Sky, Euronews & CNN to Creative Review, Contagious, The Week, Press Gazette, the New York Times, key photography trades such as the British Journal of Photography and Photo District News, right through to showbiz and celebrity titles, such as Hello! & People magazine.

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