Engaging Sourcing Streamlining

Case Study: How to Beat the Smart Phone and Publish High Res Images to Social Media in a Flash

How to Beat the Smart Phone: Publish High Res Images to Social Media in a Flash. Photo by Ben Munson, courtesy of NCMPR

It’s a question every professional photographer is asking: how can we beat the smart phones to social media?

When your organization hosts an important event, chances are it’s all hands on deck. Your staff photographer is shooting high quality images on a professional camera. Meanwhile, your social media manager is snapping photos on an iPhone, eager to get the message out as quickly as possible. But wouldn’t you prefer to send those high quality images out to your fans in the moment, instead of the iPhone photos? High quality photography will catch the eye of your fans as they scroll through their feeds, and help your organization’s coverage stand out among photos posted by event-goers in the crowd.

Here’s the good news: you can beat the smart phones. And a community college in Illinois is showing us how it’s done.

“It’s Instagram, not Inaweekagram.”

The marketing and communications team from Moraine Valley Community College has mastered the art of posting high resolution photos to social media in real time by using a combination of a DSLR camera, a cellular hotspot and a visual asset management system.

Glenn Carpenter, Moraine Valley’s Photographer and Imaging Specialist talks us through how it all started:

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How to Deliver Photos in Real Time

Delivering photos in real time is now part of Glenn’s daily workflow. As soon as he takes a photo with his DSLR, it is automatically sent via FTP to his PhotoShelter account, where his team can access it and share it immediately. Now, photos of events are up on social media, as well as the main carousel on the school’s homepage, while the events are still happening. Want to know their secret? This week at the NCMPR National Conference, Glenn and his team demonstrated the process step by step.

First, Glenn shot a photo of his team with his Nikon D4…
Glenn shoots a photo of his team during their presentation. Photo by Ben Munson, courtesy of NCMPR.

Glenn shoots a photo of his team during their presentation. Photo by Ben Munson, courtesy of NCMPR.

Automatically, the photo was transferred by FTP to his PhotoShelter library via this WT5a Wireless transmitter in his pocket:
Glenn's mifi device allows him to FTP images straight from his camera to his PhotoShelter library.

Glenn’s mifi device allows him to FTP images straight from his camera to his PhotoShelter library. Photo by Glenn Carpenter.

Immediately, Mike Loveday, the social media manager at Moraine Valley, downloaded the photo from PhotoShelter and posted it to Twitter…

And all of this happened in a matter of seconds!

To show off a little more, Glenn walked down the hall to snap more photos of another presentation, and Mike continued to post the new photos as they rolled into the library.

Meanwhile, all of us in the audience followed the action in wonder…

Bonus: Matt Grotto, Moraine Valley’s videographer, documented the process on his phone and immediately posted a video to Instagram.

While our #students are on #springbreak we’re making our #photographer work at #ncmpr16 this week. #norest #canigohomenow

A video posted by Moraine Valley CC (@morainevalley) on

The Impact

Immediacy is key for community colleges (and, increasingly, every other type of organization, as well). By posting photos while events are happening, the Moraine Valley team is able to engage students online, and encourage them to come join in while they still have a chance.

All. That. Food. #yum Get over to Building U before it’s all gone. #culinary bake sale happening now.

A photo posted by Moraine Valley CC (@morainevalley) on

The Moraine Valley team has managed to overcome a common disconnect between high quality photos and social media. They’ve created a recipe for success, combining the access of the administration, the high quality photos of a professional photographer (with a professional camera), a familiar tone and the speed of a student posting to social media. Their photos stand out in news feeds and give their followers something new (a major feat in a world where we are constantly bombarded with visual content). And most importantly, they get to control the message.

Speeding up your image delivery process with visual asset management can have a big impact on your communications. It can delight your followers and revolutionize your public relations. Moraine Valley saw a huge uptick in followers and engagement after implementing their “photo-video-social” trifecta, proving that combining speed and high quality content pays off.

Cover photo by Ben Munson, courtesy of NCMPR. Check out more photos from the conference.

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  • Reply
    Glenn Carpenter
    March 17, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Thanks Kristin for a great review of what we are doing. This process took time to perfect, the real credit goes to Clare Briner our director. She saw potential and allowed Matt, Mike and I to try new things and be creative. This is teamwork at its best, from our department to the networking department at the college, everyone worked together to make this happen. A really big thank you to Photoshelter, Libris is an excellent product!

    • Reply
      Kristin Twiford
      March 17, 2016 at 9:21 am

      Thanks for sharing your story with us, Glenn! You are right – it takes a village. It’s key that your director is not only supportive but leading the charge, and that people from all over the school are coming to you with stories. Great teamwork! Glad we can be a part of it.

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