Getting the Basics Right: Stock Shots

In my meetings with clients and prospects this month, I found one age-old, practical topic kept cropping up – stock shots.  On a number of occasions the lack of properly maintained stock material was the root-cause for less than ideal media pickup.  I guess it doesn’t matter what organisation or topic you work with – if shot and distributed properly – video stock material can be the difference between getting covered or not. Or even worse, delivering the right message or the wrong one!

As one CNN professional once put it to me, “no video, no story.”

In looking at current stock materials, we found a lot of basic elements were being missed.  This ranged from technical issues (e.g. not shot in HD, not available in all the regional formats, NTCS, PAL etc.) and of course the content itself.

A few examples were:

  • Are logos current ?
  • Is brand imagery visible?
  • Are we in the right season?

In general, based on the day-to-day stories produced by the organisation, is there a wide enough palette of stock materials so we can best illustrate the main story topics, corporate news, key regions, issues, people, places etc.?

The good news is, all these things are easily fixed and should be inexpensive to do so.  Once we have the right pieces in place, the results are immediately realised and it opens up many more opportunities across the entire video communications spectrum.

A good illustration is this material shot for Zurich this past month available on  See how Zurich packaged HQ shots and stills of their executive management leaders into their quarterly report.

- Richard Armitage