National Photo Month is back! In 1987, as recognized by the U.S. Congress, our industry started celebrating May as National Photo Month (NPM)—a full 31 days to promote the joy and benefits of photography to consumers. For more than a decade, the photo industry united to make it a splash. Then, as we transitioned to digital imaging, most of the momentum was lost.
In recent years, I have made it a personal conquest to work with PMA, as well as other industry organizations and leaders, to re-establish May as a reason for our industry to again call attention to itself. Now, in 2007, with everyone well-acclimated to a new way of imaging, National Photo Month is back—this time with a fresh look for the digital age!
From leading manufacturers to national retailers and photo specialty stores, now is the time to start preparing your promotions. In this way the industry can present a united front this May. PMAI is the place to start. Their smart-looking NPM logo is modern, appealing, and available for download, along with other National Photo Month materials, at www.pmai.org/npm.
Every business in the photo industry should use this logo in its ads during the month of May. We want consumers to come to recognize the logo as signifying something special is happening. While actual promotions are up to individual businesses, it is hoped that major manufacturers will feature National Photo Month promotions on their websites and in magazine and television advertising. National retailers are encouraged to offer significant promotions in their May inserts and on-air advertising. Photo specialty stores, which still reach a core segment of our industry, can promote National Photo Month by using their digital labs and printers to create dramatic window signage, in-store POP materials, and retail bag stuffers—all, of course, to feature the NPM logo! With everyone participating, consumer recognition will be significant, leading to a profitable month at all levels of the photo business.
Promotions for National Photo Month will vary depending on the scale and niche of the industry that you're in, but some of the most successful campaigns will include sales and discounted merchandise/bonuses or free offers with purchases, photography contests, digital imaging classes, rebate offers, and even coupons that will entice customers to buy again after May.
While National Photo Month is reason enough for us all to unite in May and promote the excitement of photography for financial gain, there is no reason to leave it at just this one month. Use May as a stepping stone to rethink your business model and year-round promotions. Let National Photo Month be the catalyst for new thought processes that help establish or maintain your business as a strong participant in the new era of photography.
For more information or ideas on how to participate, stop by the PMA store on Level 2 while attending PMA 2007 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Free pins promoting NPM will be available.
Every business in the photo industry is encouraged to start planning now, so that our industry-wide promotions will create the consumer awareness necessary for a successful May 2007: National Photo Month!