When we set up Care images all those years ago (when a camera was under a curtain with a puff of smoke coming up behind the photographer) our aim was to provide affordable and realistic images of care to the sector and its suppliers. And we like to think we have succeeded with a raft of local authorities, charities and design agencies subscribing.
Care Images grew out of our other company, Create Services, which produces publicity and marketing materials for the care and charity sectors. Due to a dearth of UK-based images of care and community in the generic image bank market, we thought the only way to resolve that problem was to set up our own bank of images. Basically we were getting tired of representing UK adults with physical disabilities through the ubiquitous American man in a wheelchair throwing a basketball through a hoop. The way I put it then was something like this: “Istock and co have an seventy year-old woman in the Florida sunshine looking like she is fifty, we have a lonely seventy-year-old woman in a cold room in London reaching for a bottle of gin”.
It’s interesting to reflect the reality of how local authorities, charities and the care sector get their message across. Create Services continues to work in these sectors (as well as with clients outside them) and in our work we come across vast differentials in how communications are approached. There are hundreds of thousands of charities in the UK ranging from huge multi-million pounds turnover to one person in a back room putting hours of work into a cause he or she believes in. And of course there are thousands of visual communications agencies serving the sectors. But I do wonder if going to one of the ‘cool’ Soho-based branding agencies is the right way for the bigger charities to spend their money. Add to that the amounts that are regularly spent on high print and web projects and it is easy to see how the minus columns can grow out of proportion. Is a charity really getting added value by
What the blue-chip companies do with their money is between them and their shareholders but what charities and local authorities do is another matter entirely. And with so much free communications available on social media it is more important than ever not to waste resources. It seems to me that the sector is disproportionately representing at the top and bottom ends of the communications spectrum, from a poorly constructed and designed website for a small care home at the bottom to lavish TV, film and print ads for the big charities at the top. We serve the middle of the market and we have a very loyal client base to prove our worth to their brands.
I worked 15 years in social work and understand the funding constraints of the sector. But it is entirely possible to get really good communications materials without breaking the bank. So if you think you might not be getting the kind of value you deserve, come to the experts in promoting care for design, print and web..just as you have been doing for images. For really good free advice please contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com