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Go Behind the Scenes with the Creative Team at Hail State

Hail State creative team delivers the right content to the right people in real time.

We hear it firsthand from our clients in the higher education industry all the time – university marketers and creatives have a lot of responsibilities. After all, every institution has jam packed schedules, a ton of educational and social programs to offer, and many special events to cover throughout the year.College athletics is on a whole other level.It takes a village, as they say, to manage all of the moving parts and to share exciting and engaging content with students, alumni, and social media followers every day. For the team at Mississippi State University, and more specifically their athletics program Hail State, they have it down to a science.

We sat down with Kevin Snyder, Director of Photography, and David Czarlinsky, Director of Digital and Social Media, to learn about Hail State’s innovative approach to collaborating across campus, empowering student-athlete influencers, and sharing their content in real time. Our webinar is now available on-demand!


Hail State’s In-Game and Post-Game Workflow

Real-Time Uploads and FTP Efficiency

The use of real-time image uploads through an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) can significantly speed up the creative process. Kevin described it as similar to a text message from your camera to your media library. And it’s true… this quick transfer allows photographers to send photos directly to those who need them (those with access to your PhotoShelter account), eliminating the need to manually dump memory cards.

Related Content: Wireless FTP Setup with BYU [Video]

Streamlined Workflow and Content Distribution

One major highlight from Hail State’s creative workflow is the use of multiple FTP folders to streamline their process. By splitting up content into specific folders, such as Baseball, Special Events, and Unedited folders, their team can prioritize and categorize their content on the fly. This makes it easy to find and distribute content and post it on social media, no matter what event or game is happening around campus.

Pair this process with our Photo Mechanic and Opendorse integrations and the tedious tasks of metadata tagging and sending content to student athletes become seamless parts of their workflow.

Empowering Other Team Members to Create and Share Content

Once images are transferred into PhotoShelter, there are a number of people who handle next steps. Graphic designers, social media managers, and the student athletes all need access to the content. With PhotoShelter at the heart of their workflow, organizing and delivering the right files to the right people is super simple.

“We apply metadata to every photo, and that makes it easier in PhotoShelter later on to be able to go in and search and find the specific images that designers, communications, social media, or really anybody needs to find.” – Kevin Snyder

“PhotoShelter really gives us the ability for our graphic designers and our communications team to put those into a Photoshop template instantly so we can get those back in real time.” – David Czarlinsky

It’s clear to see that the team at Hail State has an impressive workflow; one that emphasizes the importance of efficient file management, real-time content distribution, and collaboration between their photographers, marketers, graphic designers and more.

Documenting the NFL Draft in Real Time

Another big highlight from this presentation, and the original catalyst for our webinar, was the real-time coverage of the NFL Draft from the Hail State perspective.

As Kevin and the photo team documented the life-changing moment for first round pick Emmanuel Forbes Jr., they delivered all of the photos straight into their Special Events FTP folder in PhotoShelter. This allowed for immediate coverage on social media and quick follow-up stories shared to the Hail State website.

Collaborating with partners, in this case the Washington Commanders, expanded the reach and impact of the visual content, too. Kevin said it best…

“One of the nice things about PhotoShelter is being able to move or copy photos from gallery to gallery and be able to share links with other people.

We were able to compile a group of courtesy photos and share with the Commanders and allow them to broadcast to their fan base and show the type of player that they’re getting, that they had just drafted. They could build some excitement around not only Emmanuel Forbes Jr. coming in for the Commanders, but to also show the quality of players that come through Mississippi State football.”

Related Content: ​​How Photography Powered the Washington Commanders’ Successful Rebrand

Advice for Aspiring Creatives

At the end of nearly every one of our live Q&As, we ask our guests about the advice they would give to fellow or aspiring creatives.

Here’s a quick breakdown of Kevin and David’s top tips:

  • Find inspiration from the brands and creatives you love to follow. Look to them for ideas, then make it your own.
  • Stay up to date with the latest trends. If there’s a popular meme or viral video making the rounds on social media, and it fits with your brand voice and the content you create, jump on the bandwagon. Stay relevant and get those views!
  • Make connections. If you’re looking to level up and advance in your career, reach out to the people you look up to and schedule some time to chat. It’s not always about what you know, but who you know.
  • Stay present and passionate in everything you do.
  • When a door doesn’t open for you, find a window or a crawl space and blaze your own trail.

If you want to learn more about Kevin and David’s impressive workflow at Mississippi State University, see how their teams collaborate around campus, and hear more from our Q&A, this full webinar is available on-demand!

Ready to transform your team’s creative workflow?

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