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A polar bear, an icebreaker and a sleepless night

A polar bear, an icebreaker and a sleepless night

by Lee Hopkins on December 6, 2011

in marketing,miscellaneous,pr,tools

Yesterday I came across an image that rocked me to my core.

polar bear and icebreaking ship, norway

It’s been a while since a photograph pulled such an emotive response out of me, but the National Geographic photo of a polar bear and an ice-breaking ship brought tears to my eyes, especially when just underneath the photo were the words,

The survival of polar bears as a species is difficult to envisage

All of which meant that I was haunted all night by the face of the bear and the rage I was feeling.

Is there something positive to be learnt from my sleepless night? I believe so.

It is that an image can have profound effects on its audience. It is that every organisation can find somewhere in the world of digital imagery a photo that generates a powerful response.

So cast your eye over your own organisation’s digital imagery. Is it bland, boring, same-same? Do you use stock photography that a thousand organisations before you have used to similar effect?

It doesn’t have to be that way; search Flickr for Creative Commons-licenced images.


There are hundreds of thousands of photographers, both professional and amateur, who have created images that can make you sing, laugh, cry, or like the polar bear above, rage against the machine.

You owe it to your audience and your organisation to make people go ‘WOW!’

I’ve printed out the polar bear photo and hung it on my wall as a reminder that photos CAN make a difference.

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