On Facebook, our most popular shares (and views, for that matter) are images. The presence of quality images on a website is also important. They break up text, convey emotion and allow viewers to identify with your organization. Pictures from your events entice viewers to want to be a part of the enjoyable goings-on in your membership organization — an “if you were here you would have been a part of this fun” idea.
Pictures of your staff, governing board and volunteers are just as important for three reasons:
1. I know you. For newcomers and people who are attending an event for the first time, they can easily pick you and your staff out of the crowd. You’ll look familiar to them and thus put them at ease.
2. People trust people. People join organizations to connect with other people. Giving a face to your organization is essential to building trust and sparking involvement. I’m not going to join your organization because of your impressive resume.
3. Less words. More emotion. As much as it hurts me to admit this as a writer, people don’t read. The average viewer will spend seconds looking at your executive board’s page, overwhelmed by the lengthy professional experiences brought to them in multi-paragraph form. Add a photo and the eye lingers. The viewer makes assumptions, emotional connections and it sparks interest in the brain. Joining an organization nowadays is an emotional response. It is no longer the expected pathway to a chosen career. You don’t join an association just because your father did; you join because there’s something in it for you. Plus images cause the eye/brain to focus more drawing attention to your text (and impressive resumes).
As important as pictures are it is equally important to have pictures of you and your staff look as true-to-current-life as possible. We all have a favorite photo of ourselves from years ago but if you look radically different, I urge you not to use it. This means updating your head-shots on a regular basis. Try playing around with different styles. Have some fun with them. Not every pictures has to be dead-pan serious. Try to use pictures that convey something about your personality, whether through a devilish grin or a bookish sensibility. Experiment with meaningful props or black & white versus color. Professional is important but professional doesn’t have to mean boring. Your staff pictures should be consistent with your brand. Are you a fun association or a chamber of commerce that’s all business? Make sure your pictures tie-in with what your focus is.