Member Articles

IPA Provides the Framework for Members

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Some of Our Member Articles

Some of Our Member Articles

The Importance of Publishing Your Work

Some people simply don’t understand the value of membership at IPA and believe that showing a press card means instant access to events, shows, sports and much more, but the truth is the pass is not what gives them the access it is the media outlet itself, the reputation of that outlet and the quality of their published works.

John Soule's Profile

John Soule’s Profile

In every article on this blog, we talk about the importance of a strong member profile and how those that grant media access will want to see a members published works in a legitimate media outlet before they grant any permission to cover their events. The reason they do this is obvious…anyone with a bit of computer skills can produce a fake Press Card on their computer, but we know that the card is supposed to identify the holder as part of the staff of a legitimate media outlet.  A card that is not valid or not from a legitimate outlet is useless and its use can in some cases, be against the law and the holder can be charged with use of a fraudulent document and much more.

IPA has created a program that not only publishes our independent staff members works on our site, but offers our members a way to gain important media access. Access is not guaranteed and is only offered to those that deserve it and qualify for it and not simply because you are a member of IPA.  The access our members will receive would never be available to an individual that has no legitimate affiliations or published works in a respected publication, either print or digital, so IPA does offer the ability to gain this access in a way that helps our members learn by doing.

Some Still Try To Use Fake or Expired Press ID

Fake Press Card

Fake Press Card

With all the articles on our site and the many articles we have published that show what can happen using fake press ID, we still have some members that join, never publish anything on our site and then wonder why IPA hasn’t worked for them.  One such case was with a New York eastern European photographer who was computer and internet challenged.

On joining he called our offices where I explained how IPA works and what would be required of him to gain access to the fashion shows and events he wanted to cover.  I had a feeling this potential member might not be a good candidate because he seemed to be computer challenged, which is not a good thing for a member of IPA who is expected to publish their work on our website, but he had a fashion show he wanted to attend and was willing to take the chance and wanted to join.

How Access Is Granted

I attempted to explain to him that ultimately those that grant access may only do this to those they feel will give them the proper coverage of the event and that the media outlet can offer them the publicity they want.  If the event is a hot event and many seek media access they are going to be very selective on who they offer that access to.  The concept is a simple one to understand.  Event organizers want positive publicity to their events and the broadest possible exposure.  So they invite members of the media to cover the event for just that reason.  If the media outlet or staff member doesn’t follow-up and produce the photos of articles about the event and publish them on our site, it is a given, they will not be invited back to cover the event in the future.  At IPA we constantly stress the importance of doing the work when one of our members agrees to cover an event.

This member simply didn’t get it and has not only refused to follow our advice, read our article and do what was needed, but simply is an angry man who believes that because he has a Press card, the doors should open wide to him.  He is wrong and his membership is going to be cancelled at IPA because he represents the worst of an IPA independent staff member.

Perks For The Media

Disney World 2014 - 028

Len Rapoport & Wife Enjoying A FREE Day At Disneyworld Florida

Now, some events or businesses, as a courtesy, will simply offer members of the media certain perks.  Free admission to amusement parks, museums, upgrades on hotel rooms and more and some will only require that member to show their IPA press ID.  Special events and shows, usually require a media outlet or staff member to complete their online Media Access Form, which they will review and then decide who to grant that access to.

Are You Able To Do The Work?

If an individual photographer or journalist joins IPA, he or she is expected to actually do the work and publish their articles, photos or videos on our website.  They are expected to publish some of their best works on our site in order to gain the credibility and show the quality of their work.  That and our online publication IMPress Magazine is in many cases, is all that is needed to gain media access to an event, but not always.

One only needs to read the many reviews I have written on our site to understand that our program works. I have personally covered everything from major trade and consumer shows to doing extensive reviews on travel resorts, restaurants, shows, sporting events, parades and much more.  I have qualified to obtain a New York Police Department Press Card and can now cross police and fire lines when I do cover events in New York City.

YouTube

Over One Million Views and 1,220 Subscribers

I am very rarely refused media access or the VIP treatment when I ask for it.  Why, because they can see I am legitimate, deliver what I promise and offer them the publicity they seek.  All of the videos I produce for my reviews are uploaded to YouTube and they receive additional views there.  Not only does the review offer positive publicity for the event, resort, or other subject of the review, but they also receive the additional bonus of the videos on YouTube and the exposure from our social networking groups with thousands of members and followers.  My videos have received as many as 300,000 views and we are now over one million views total.  This means the subjects of my reviews and videos are receiving the publicity and exposure they want and deserve.

Some Members Never Bother To Read Our Articles and Fail and Others Do and Succeed

Dominique-SchrecklingNow some IPA members have understood and read our articles and have taken our advice and have succeeded.  One such member is Dominique Schreckling – IPA Staff Member 06617

I asked him about his thoughts on IPA and why he felt it was a benefit to him and this was his reply.

IPA Provides The Framework

One needs to understand that the IPA is providing a framework for its members that will enable them to earn money, gain media access and enjoy the benefits afforded to members of the legitimate media. It enables a member to complete the relevant parts of an accreditation request form that is usually required by many events. It also provides members with Press identification that one can show or wear around the neck to show that you are member of the media and not attending the event as a guest.

It is up to the member to do the required steps to get accredited and to prove that he is not using his press card simply to gain free access. The event organizers do want to broaden the visibility of the event when selecting the media people who attend the event. A press card certainly helps to get accredited, but showing that you do your job in publishing photos and articles is even more important especially to gain more meaningful access. IPA does provide the press card and a platform to publish the articles but, the work itself has to be done by the members (this is really not intended as a critique). Now for popular events, the press card may not be enough.

Organizers Want Coverage & Promotion

Dominigue Schreckling our Director of Member Services tells us that the organizer’s of many events, receive so many requests that they usually select the media outlet and individual that will give them the best possible coverage. Photojournalists who have proved in themselves through coverage of other events and are up to the task of delivering what the organizer expects, stand a better chance of gaining that access. The final decision remains at the organizers of the event. Dominique tried to get accredited to the Cully Jazz Festival with his IPA press card. He was told they have enough visitors to the event and they prefer to work with local photojournalist to limit the visibility. So gaining access to their event was not going to happen.

2013 Montreux Jazz Festival - Photo By: Dominique Schreckling

2013 Montreux Jazz Festival – Photo By: Dominique Schreckling

Each year, he attempted to gain accreditation to the Montreux Jazz Festival, but was  told that this festival receives over 2000 requests from media outlets for their event, so his chances remained low in obtaining access to that event as well. He knew that once he got in and covered these events and showed them his work, it might be easier in the future. For now he would pay for admission then write a review and in the future point to his review to show these festivals what he could do for them. At least he does have the opportunity to cover other music events but told us that some are more difficult than others.

2014 Update, Dominique has now earned his place at the Montreux Jazz Festival and was approved to cover 5 Days of the Festival.  Doing the work does pay off.

Pay For An Event Until You Can Show What You Can Do

At times it may be necessary to go to an event as a guest, do the work and publish the photos and article and the following year and then apply for admission as a member of the media.  As a photojournalist, one must be resourceful and a bit of a charmer to get those that grant media access to like us and give us a chance to prove ourselves to them. You must remember, giving you access is a gift and it is not something they must do, so be appreciative that they have selected you to cover their event. Getting angry at them for refusal, making a scene at the front door of the event, will only get you banned and black listed from future events, so you must be smart and be friendly and win them over.

Combats de Reines

Combats de Reines

Recently I attended the  “Combats de Reines“, which is an exhibition of cow fighting, yes, cow fights.  I was surprised, that there were only 84 media people to be accredited and I was one of them. They limited however the access to the inner arena to 8 photographers at a time, so we went in turn by turn, the organizer deciding when which media is allowed to get in. In the morning there were thankfully only a few media present so I could spend quite some time in the arena. In the afternoon, the organizer gave the priority to the TV-Stations and the larger medias/photo agencies such as Reuters, AFP, Keystone,… I can understand the decision. At least I can say I attended an event as accredited photographer among these well-known agencies, and still could take good photos in the morning.

So, IPA provides the framework, but it is up to the member to fill in the content and to prove to organizers they can do their job. My tip to new members is to probably start with the smaller events, where you have a better chance to gain access. It  becomes a good way to put together a portfolio to provide whenever asking for further accreditations.  Remember, an event does not have to give approval for coverage to anyone they don’t feel merits it.  In many cases you must be charming, convince them you will do their event justice and that you can make many people aware of the event by publishing your work on the IPA web site.  After all with over 40,000 unique visitors to the site each month and over 4,000 inbound links to the IPA web site we have better circulation and exposure then many print publications and other web sites.

Those That Get It Succeed

Some people simply don’t understand the value of membership at IPA and believe that showing a press card means instant access to events, shows, sports and much more, but the truth is the pass is not what gives them the access it is the media outlet itself, the reputation of that outlet and the quality of their published works.

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