This reminds me of a time I was watching my dad finish a painting. He was getting ready to put in his signature. I asked him if he always put it in the same place. He said, no, you have to find a “home” for the signature in the painting. So the size, location, and color of the signature would vary from painting to painting.
I was thinking about this in relation to the Timelines Cover images. The profile image really needs to have a “home” within the Cover image.
In this example for Rink Strategic Communications, the colors of the image work with the logo. For example, the black in Susan’s camisole anchors with the black in her logo — it also calls attention to her as the important person in the photograph (besides the fact that she is in the center :)
Could a tagline have also been included here in the Cover? Maybe, but I think the text would have been too busy and would have competed with the R. What you want for many Facebook Cover images is a compelling photograph or design that complements the profile image. With Facebook Timeline Covers, you have to know when to walk away.
When planning the Timeline image for other clients, I also look at the Cover in terms of balance and composition. For example, there is a good space in the upper right corner. You don’t want to crowd the left side too much, since the profile picture is there.
That is the approach we took with this design for the Keenan PR Facebook Page. This is basically a banner ad she already (created by another designer) that she liked that we reworked for her as a Timeline Cover.
We flipped the image so the Silver Anvil award is on the right, and we moved the text and changed the font. So, the result is a more balanced composition that works with her logo, which is her profile image. See how the logo points at the message and the award? Cool, huh? That was almost accidental :)
This is also a good example (we didn’t design) from Constant Contact UK that gives the profile image a “home” in the Timeline Cover and makes good use of that upper right corner/sweet spot… You can tell this image was designed expressly for Facebook.
There is also a really nice flow, composition, and a great match between the Cover image and the profile image in this example from Manchester United (we did not design this one, either).
Look, by contrast, at this one from the New York Times. I suppose with that red staircase that it’s an interesting photograph. But does it make a good Timeline image? In my opinion, no. Nothing about the image communicates anything about the attributes (or a single attribute) of the New York Times (other than they have a lot of employees and a really cool staircase). It’s not memorable. It doesn’t play nicely with the profile image. I think they should give this one another shot….
Facebook is a fun and friendly environment, and it has a certain cool factor. Being overly corporate on Facebook would be a mistake just as it would be a mistake to use business jargon at a backyard barbecue. Brands have a real opportunity with these Facebook Page Timeline Covers. It’s worthwhile to design them well — to delight the viewer, as well as convey a message.
- Time to Update Your Facebook Page with a New Cover (fletcher-prince.com)
Would you like to improve your public relations capabilities in the new year? Is that a goal for you? Here are some free online resources for you to check out.
If you find these resources helpful, do us a favor and please tweet this post!
1. Write Better RFPs
Need to hire a public relations firm? The next time you gear up to prepare a Request For Proposals (RFP), check out this free online resource, RFP Builder, with tools that walk you through the RFP process.
2. Power Up Your Press Releases
If you are using a service to distribute your press releases, you may be confounded about which one to select. Download this Press Release Buyers Guide from Bulldog Reporter.
3. Refresh Your Basic PR Skills
Sharpen your public relations skills. Download the free PRSA APR Study Guide.
4. Measure the Results of Your PR Efforts
5. Master Social Media
You already use social media for networking and engagement. Now learn how to use social media in your public relations efforts. Download this HubSpot ebook.
Review and refine your corporate social media policy regularly. Here are more than 150 real-life social media policies to guide you. Don’t forget the employee training component. For more social media in the workplace guidelines, read these posts on the Fletcher Prince Blog.
Engage your supporters on Facebook. Read these Facebook Pages guides and tips. There are links here to guides for businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, police departments, the military, and more.
Want to use Google+ effectively? Watch this video from Chris Brogan on using Google+ for business.
- Your Marketing Strategy for 2012 – Avoid 10 Common Pitfalls in the New Year (fletcher-prince.com)
- Your Marketing Strategy for 2012: Invest in the Basics; Refine What You Have (fletcher-prince.com)
- Marketing Lessons We Learned in 2011 (fletcher-prince.com)
- #PRin2012: 12 Trends That Will Change Public Relations (prsay.prsa.org)
- YouTube and Your Brand (Video) (fletcher-prince.com)
- 30 Top Ebooks to Help You Master Inbound Marketing in 2012 (hubspot.com)
I’m talking about an informal annual report for you — or your business. It could be a blog post or an internal document. It’s simply a chronicle of achievements and activities from the past year. It can be a document you either develop on your own, or in conjunction with your partners and staff. This “annual report” is a tool for looking at how far you have come, and for deciding what goals to set in the future.
Do you take the time to do that now? If not, why not try it this year? Your effort does not have to be elaborate. I have written an “annual report” and published them on this blog every year that I have been in business. The 2011 report will be published next week. It’s my way of celebrating the progress of my company, and being transparent about our business operations. Also, all year long, I know I am going to write this annual report. So I am very good at taking pictures and documenting our successes throughout the year.
How to Write Your “Annual Report”
There is no right or wrong way to write your company annual report for the purposes I am talking about. The only wrong way would be not to write and save anything at all. It really is fun and a feel-good activity. Here is how I do it.
I review the past year’s projects and billings. I look for patterns, then I report on our business activities. I talk about the kinds of projects we worked on, and I mention current and new clients.
Acknowledgements and Thanks
The “annual report” is a perfect way to say thank you to all the people who keep your business going: from employees to partners, from vendors to referrers. And don’t forget to thank your clients, of course! We also thank our supporters in social media — including our blog subscribers, video viewers, Facebook friends, and Twitter followers. Expressing gratitude should be a regular part of your marketing outreach and business operations.
Pro Bono Work, Donations, Mentoring, Community Service, Committee Work, and Corporate Volunteerism
You will probably be surprised, as I am each year, at how much you contribute to your profession and your community. Document that service! It’s important.
Professional Affiliations and Development
Staying connected and current is good business hygiene. Those benefits trickle down to our clients. So we make a point of identifying how we kept our skills sharp and networked.
Speaking Engagements, Recognition, and Awards
Crow a little bit at the end of the year. I do! You’re entitled! All year long, I know I am going to mention recognition and speaking engagements in my annual report, and it keeps me motivated to make my best effort.
Add whatever feels right to you. And if you can publish it, so much the better! It keeps you accountable for making your best effort. Good luck, and let me know if you decide to try it this year.