TVRPhotography – If it moves, Shoot It!
When is Exclusivity Not a Good Idea?
There are some things that only happen once in our lifetime and sometimes there are only a few people present when that happens. Although there will always be that one publication that wants the “scoop”, can you really afford to market that coverage to just one entity?
Of course client loyalty is paramount, but so is communication. If you know you’re going to be covering an event that will yield massive coverage, be sure to communicate that with any potential clients beforehand.
Most publishers will be willing to work with you as long as they know what other publications will be bringing to market. Two competing magazines showcasing the same image on the cover would be a very bad idea, so be open with your clients as to what is going where.
Besides good communication, logistics are also vital to successfully distributing imagery to multiple clients. Know each client’s market. Not all aviation magazines are aimed at the same aviation market. Some magazines are aimed at warbird enthusiasts while others go for the modern military jet crowd, and still others are read solely by those fascinated with the luxury of aviation. In many cases those magazines are not considered competitors and similar images and accompanying stories can be run simultaneously.
Even if you’ve done all your homework, this process can still backfire. While one magazine may not see another as a direct competitor, the other magazine may deem otherwise. In the interest of running the story first, a magazine may not be totally honest about their position, especially if it is a smaller publication. Often times you will be forced to make a choice as to who gets what even though two competing publications want to run the story. You’ve spent a lot of time building relationships, don’t ruin it with a competing story that will only yield a couple hundred bucks. Client relationships are worth much more than that.
But magazines aren’t all that’s fit to print. There are still other markets that may be interested in coverage of the event outside the magazine industry such as aircraft manufacturers, air shows, aviation parts manufacturers, and the list goes on. The key to understanding the timing for exposing your imagery is to understand the life cycle of an image. A magazine has a life span of approximately one to two months and a limited readership. An advertisement can be wide reaching and remain in the public eye for many months. Because of the publicity advertisements provide, it is usually best to let any potential magazines share the story and images first before marketing the photos for use as advertisement pieces.
A single historic event, if covered well and marketed properly can be distributed to various clients successfully for six to eight months or more. And with good communication and forward thinking, it can be a win-win for everyone.
[Images seen here are a result of the US Navy Tailhook Legacy Flight training program. Special thanks to Dr. Richard Sugden for the use of his aircraft along with Peter Kline for his excellent piloting skills. Additional thanks goes to Lt. Erin “Eeyore” Flint for putting the commemorative Hornets in the air and Captain Mark “Mutha” Hubbard for his incredible support for the program. Of course without the hospitality of VFA-122 and the cooperation of all the civilian Legacy Pilots, none of this imagery would be possible. It is also with deep regret the passing of Lt. Matt “11” Lowe and Lt. Nathan “Beefcake” Williams as their F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed at NAS Lemoore on April 6, 2011, shortly after the conclusion of the Legacy Training Program. Both aviators were to have taken part in the 2011 Airshow Season as demonstration and Legacy pilots. Moreso, they each served this country dutifully and honorably both locally and in hostile territory. May they fly on in our memories forever.]