Working for Gillettes PR department must be one of the worst jobs in the world at the minute.
Between Thierry Henrys handball incident and Tiger Woods off road driving incident they must be wondering what they did wrong. This is a huge PR disaster for them, all that advertising out there in stores and on packaging never mind the TV campaigns. The PR people are probably shell shocked.Most people reading this would probably not see any parallels with their business but this raises many issues for every business who has a PR campaign or conducts any photography. Who you use to be in your photography is just as important as the message you are trying to tell.
As an example, a number of companies have used existing staff for their corporate brochures and ongoing PR photography. They dont want to go to the expense of hiring in a model. I can see why, often its seen as an unnecessary expense. However what if that employee leaves and goes to a competitor, or what if something happens in work that involved disciplinary or other procedures. All of a sudden the cost of the model is insignificant compared to a recall and reshoot. Of course thats not to say that using a model wont backfire either. There was some controversy a few years ago when a local tourist agency used a model on their brochures as the welcoming face of the city. Of course the model didnt work in the office and it was deemed unfair to think that all the office staff would look like this and that it wasnt a fair representation of the organisation. It is a point to consider but the people leaving, turnover of jobs argument is a very valid one.
Similarly the use of models isnt without its pitfalls as the Henry and Woods scenarios show. For example I will insist the models I use for certain jobs have not done any nude work. You dont want your PR campaign to be met with photos taken off the net and used in the tabloids. Consult with your photographer and get their advice, most good photographers will be aware of these issues and I would go so far as to say they should inform you of these issues.
I bet when Roger Federer lost that ATP semi final he thought he’d make the news for all the wrong reasons but in the circumstances the his coverage really was the best a man could get.
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