A powerful image can make a point and make you stop and look. In years gone by, image libraries were maintained by most councils. As the cuts bit they often went. Now the Local Government Association has a solution for the sector.
With budgets under pressure like never before, it's increasingly hard to justify expenditure on perceived communications 'luxuries' like good photography for print and online.
Yet, as we all know, powerful, eye-catching imagery has the ability to grab attention and get your message across in a way text can't always manage.
On the flip-side, tired and dated stock pictures – published time and time again – can have the opposite effect.
With this in mind, we recently launched an image library, available to our member councils who simply have to share their own images to get free access to the full library. Our aim is to create an ever-growing resource of pictures for use on websites, social media channels and press releases.
With councils widely collaborating and sharing services in other areas, it seems sensible to continue that cooperation by pooling photographic resources, too.
The library was initially trialled with a handful of councils before being opened up to all of our members. And the initiative has been very warmly received. There are now more than a hundred authorities signed up and using the library – a figure which grows daily.
There are a limited number of images at the moment – around 500 – so the library is very much in its infancy, but as councils continue to share their pictures, the volume and spectrum will expand and the resource will, we hope, become increasingly valuable to comms teams.
To find out more or to request access to the library, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The image library forms an integral part of the LGA's communications support offer to local authorities, and I'd encourage you to visit the Comms Hub, which has a range of resources, guides and case studies to help support and advance communications activity at your council.
David Holdstock is director of communications at the Local Government Association.