Since 2006, Idea Grove has assisted Black Star, the historic New York photo agency, in building its online presence, including the creation and marketing of e-books and other products. Idea Grove created and edits Black Star Rising, a group photography blog with dozens of contributors and thousands of subscribers and Twitter followers. Black Star Rising is an official Google News source and a go-to resource for professional photographers.
For 75 years, Black Star has been synonymous with excellence in photography. The agency was a pioneer of American photojournalism, teaming with Life Magazine to produce many of the enduring images of the 20th century. Black Star later became a leader in corporate photography, with a client roster including General Electric, Exxon Mobil, PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson and many others. With the rise of digital photography and the migration of audiences to the Web, the agency sought to build an online presence that would extend its brand to a new generation of photographers and photography buyers.
Idea Grove recommended an online strategy based on the twin pillars of content and community. We developed a concept for a group blog, Black Star Rising, focused on evergreen photography topics, written in the first person from each author’s perspective. We then created Black Star Twitter and Facebook accounts to facilitate the building of a community of photographers to serve as the blog’s evangelists — and ultimately, its contributors. We built upon this online foundation by developing and marketing a series of books and e-books for Black Star’s publishing arm.
Black Star has transitioned its brand to the digital era, updating its marketing strategy while retaining the core values of mentoring photographers and educating buyers that have served it well for three quarters of a century. Black Star’s blog is a go-to industry resource, and the company’s books and e-books have been cited in textbooks and earned the agency radio and television appearances. Photographers and buyers contact Black Star through its blog on a daily basis, fueling the company’s continued growth and success.