Ford : Giving picture editors what they need

Ford’s Media Center provide a formidable choice of photos of its directors and executives

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The feature

Ford has a separate media site, which is linked from the footer of its corporate site.  Its People section lists more than 100 directors and senior managers, from Bill Ford to regional vice presidents. They can be filtered by role or alphabetically, and the number displayed on a page can be adjusted.
Each of the individuals has a biography and a photo. Clicking the image, it expands and gives the option to download it, save it as a ‘bookmark’ (for later downloading), or to copy its URL. Senior people have several images displayed on the page, with a ‘View more’ option displaying a new page of thumbnails. Some such as Peter Fleet, President of Asia region, have a handful, but Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, has more than 100. They range from him with the Ford Volunteer Corps to him having a chat with Mark Zuckerberg.

The takeaway

Most corporate websites provide images of senior managers (though a few, for mysterious reasons, do not). It is an obvious and useful service for media organizations. The quality of the images varies, but the main problem for those looking for interesting photos is that there is just not enough choice. They do not want to use the same photo they used last time, nor the one that everyone else will be using. So they will most likely go to a third party picture library, which may be fine but means the company loses any form of influence.
By providing a huge range of photos, Ford can present its people as it wants – and there is a good chance its images will be used.  
We have a few small criticisms. The filters are rather limited for such a large number of people and there are few informal shots. More seriously, there is no obvious copyright notice – picture editors want to be sure they will not get a letter from Ford’s lawyers. But compared with other companies’ offerings, this is impressive and, most important, just what the target audience needs.
First published 13 March, 2019
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