Las Vegas, NV/PMA--March 3, 2009 -- Since members of the photography community last gathered for the Photo Marketing Association International Trade Show, Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:EK) has introduced a number of innovative products and services to support the professional photographer and professional lab businesses. These initiatives highlight the value of professional photographers and professional labs, and support them as they provide customers with exceptional quality in lasting photographs and a wide assortment of innovative photographic products.
Kodak Times Square Gallery
Kodak is featuring professional photographers on the Kodak Times Square Gallery, Kodak's large-screen outdoor display located in the heart of New York City. Throughout 2009, visitors to Times Square can experience the work of some of the world’s top photographers and learn more about their work. In addition to featuring commercial, editorial, fine art and nature photographers, Kodak will identify photographers to highlight on the Times Square Gallery through Kodak Professional Lab nominations. The initiative serves to highlight the value of professional photography and professional labs, as well as drive awareness and engagement with consumers and the professional market.
KODAK Network of Professional Photographers
Kodak recently revised its KODAK Network of Professional Photographers, its professional photographer locator. It continues to be the trusted source for consumers to find high-quality photographers to capture print and preserve important life events. The newly improved site, www.findapro.Kodak.com, provides a quicker, easier- to- access and more useful catalog of services by professional photographers. Users can view sample images from professional photographers from across the country and link directly to photographers’ Web sites. Whether in need of a professional photographer for a wedding, portrait, special event, commercial assignment or more, the improved site allows consumers to sort by photographic specialties and geography while also showing examples of photographers’ image types to help consumers in their searches.
Professional Lab Highlights
Under the banner of continued investment and ongoing support, the Professional Lab (Pro Lab) Team highlights the following activities in 2008 and 2009 in support of the Pro Lab segment:
DP2 V 11: At PMA 2009, Kodak will preview key features coming in DP2 v11 to be released in June of this year. DP2 V 11 will provide integrated support for Chroma Key (aka Green Screen) applications. These new features are of great interest for school portrait and sports photography workflows, event shooters, and studios seeking a wider range of background selections. Kodak technology will be used within the algorithms and DP2 power will bring the automation, flexibility, and interactive tools needed for an effective workflow. “Green Screen” has been requested by many professional labs and we are pleased to be able to implement this step change in capability in 2009.
Pro Lab Resource Center (PLRC): Kodak is extremely pleased with the web activity generated from the 2008 web portal improvements for Standard and Premium PLRC members. Enhancements include a cleaner user interface and a better organized toolbox for pro labs to access business, marketing, and technical content from Kodak. Kodak also improved the Pro Lab Locator, so that it is easier for photographers to find Pro Labs via a PLRC database searchable by geography, or specific service.
In late 2008, Kodak further supported Professional labs by providing additional marketing content. New content included: "Tapping Into New Markets", "Online Social Networks", "Tapping into the Local Community", and "Reaching Young Photographers and Educational Institutions". Articles include instructions, key insights, and downloadable assets for use by Pro Labs. Topics for 2009 include: "Building a Reputation", "Promoting the Portfolio", and "Increasing Sales Volume".
In a single month, Kodak had more than 700 hits to PLRC member toolboxes, demonstrating how well received this type of content is by Pro Labs. Over 35% of Kodak's Pro Labs accessed their content during the month, and these members on average visited the site over 5 times per month. "We are encouraged by our members' usage of these materials. This level of activity will be rewarded with additional original content coming in 2009 for Premium members," said Christopher S. Van Zandt, Vice President & General Manager Paper & Output Systems, Americas Region.
2009 Pro Lab Workshop: The 14th annual event is being planned to include a comprehensive and integrated series of workshops for Technical Staff and Pro Lab Owners and General Managers. Kodak content experts present updates of our latest DP2 software enhancements and the full range of products and services we have. The "Owners" Program features market trends and analysis, marketing programs and other business related topics.
DP2 provides Kodak with a unique value driver within Pro Labs by enabling customers to dramatically reduce labor costs, shorten cycle times, and improve yields and productivity. "By incorporating key customer requested features and functionality in each successive release, we further enhance the value of Kodak and DP2 to these important customers," Van Zandt added.
Last year, 220 customers representing 78 US Labs, 8 Canadian Labs and one from the UK attended the event. These attendees represent the leading Pro Labs in their respective markets in terms of production volume and innovation, contributing well over 50% of all Pro CNP category volume in North America.