The Morning Sun recently discovered just how popular photo galleries are with readers.
The Kansas GateHouse Media newspaper has seen nearly 100,000 page views from a variety of prom photo galleries the paper has produced in recent week. And there's even better news: The paper still has four more high school proms to shoot.
Click here to check out the galleries.
Here's an interview with Stephen Wade, the newspaper's publisher and editor on the success of the galleries.
Q: We understand that the Morning Sun had great success recently with promo photo galleries. First, tell us about your prom coverage plans in your community this year?
A: We cover six area high schools. We’ve always had good traffic by putting up photo galleries with sports, so last year we took pictures of the promenades that lead into the dance and put them up as a gallery. We had very positive response and some of the schools asked if we would do it again this year. We publish one picture in print from each school as part of our normal news coverage.
Q: Proms aren't necessarily a traditional news event. Why did you all spend staff time on them?
A: We find that proms have a high level of interest in southeast Kansas. Even people with no kids in the event seem to have an awareness and interest in the event.
Q: How many photos did you put in the galleries and when did they go online?
A: A total of 222 pictures between two schools were uploaded the first night of proms. We felt it was important to get things up right away.
Q: How many views have the galleries received and how does that compare to previous years?
A: In the first three days, we had over 75,000 page views! That was more than triple the traffic over last year. A week later the traffic was just shy of 100,000 views, so the numbers really reinforce of getting the pictures up quickly while the interest is still high.
Q: Where did the galleries live on your site?
A: We have a dedicated section called “Snapshots” online for our photo galleries. It uses MyCapture so we are able to offer resales. Honestly, it is a bit cumbersome to get to it.
Q: How did you promote the galleries?
A: Most of our promotion was word of mouth. We told some of the kids and parents at the event and viral marketing did the rest. Sean Steffen, our staff photojournalist, and I are both pretty recognizable in the community so many in attendance knew the paper was there. On our next weekend we’ll make sure to do some print references and online promos prior to the event.
Q: Any advice for a newspaper that's planning to shoot promos this year and do photo galleries?
My advice is do it. It is simple. Everyone wants to see their picture. Make sure you get as many people as possible. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors really flock to the site. The kids want to see the dresses and their friends. This is easily the most popular thing we’ve done online. One organizer told me that they felt the paper was doing an incredible service to the kids and their families. Not everyone can afford to buy prom picture packages. This gave everyone a chance to show off.
Do it yourself
Do you have questions on how to produce a photo gallery? Contact David Arkin, director of newsroom development, at email@example.com