[Editor’s note: Over the next few weeks, Imprint will feature guest reports from one of our sponsors, EricksonStock.com as they announce the relaunch of their website with a country-wide road trip.]
By Jesse Hughes
I got into the sales and marketing end of this business because I love interacting with creative people— meeting them, talking to them, getting a sense of what makes them tick. And as director of sales and marketing for photographer Jim Erickson, a man renowned for rich, emotional, and engaging imagery, I spent more than the usual amount of time introducing them to his work.
Or at least I thought I did.
A couple of months ago when we began planning the re-launch of our new stock photography and video site, EricksonStock.com, I rolled through my usual bag of tricks to get the word out — social networking, email blasts, blogs, online advertising, etc. But as I looked at my plan I realized that all these new school contact methods I’d come to rely on required no real contact at all. Worse yet, most of my communications had been reduced from actual conversations to 160 character snippets of un-punctuated sentences and non-words like LOL, ROFL and CU L8R. I, “Mr. I love meeting and talking with people and see what makes them tick” was now communicating in the electronic equivalent of grunt and whistles. Ugh. How did that happen?
To re-capture some of the magic that only comes from face-to-face conversations, I decided to change things up and take an old school approach to re-launching EricksonStock.com with time-honored tradition: The Road Trip.
Starting today we’re packing the van and heading out on a three-week long odyssey through the Midwest to shake hands, kiss babies, and meet face-to-face with designers, art producers, buyers, you name it. I’m going to find out what members of the creative community are up to, what tools they’re using for inspiration, where they think the market is going, and what’s going to be hot next. (Naturally, I’ll be talking about Erickson Stock as well.) I think it’ll be fun.
Our first stop will be on June 24th at the How Design Conference in my old stomping grounds, Chicago, Illinois. During the event we’ll be meeting people, handing out plenty of swag, and hosting an industry party at The Red Canary to celebrate the re-launch of our stock website. After that we’re hitting the open road and heading off to explore the American creative scene like we haven’t in quite some time.
Even though we’re going old school with the road trip, we’re not completely abandoning the new school tools. The talented video artist Daniel Szeto will be traveling with me and we’ll be posting blogs, photos, video snippets and whatever else we find interesting from the road. And even if you’re not in the Midwest, you’ll still be able follow along on our adventure here on Imprint, and through Facebook.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but I’m excited to get out there and meet people again. I hope you’re one of them. See you on the road.
About Jesse Hughes
Jesse has been perfecting his game in the film and print business for over 10 years. He has enjoyed the success of representing over 50 of the world’s top advertising shooters while working for media powerhouses such as CMP and @Radical.Media. In early 2006 Jesse traded his window view of the Chicago Skyline for a surfboard and the chance to build an amazing company with the vision and talent of Jim Erickson.