Kodak made the surprising announcement today that their Chief Marketing Officer Jeffrey Hayzlett is resigning on May 28th to “pursue personal projects.”
Hayzlett recently authored a book on his experiences with marketing and brand-building, called The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing?, which he has been actively promoting on a tour and Twitter over the last few months.
Hayzlett, who has been with Kodak since April 2006, is known for his accessible public presence, especially on Twitter. Though Hayzlett was often criticized for his over-sharing, strong persona via social media, he said that sharing his knowledge, especially about his use of social media as a tool, is key to his success in bringing Kodak back into the public eye.
The CMO has more than 21,000 followers, and has used the social media site to engage with customers, sometimes with literally biting exchanges. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Hayzlett said:
“I’ve had in the corporate world my public relations, community relations people walk up to me and say Jeff, I don’t think this is appropriate that you wrote “Bite Me” to this guy. I look at them and I go, well that’s who I am. The guy said something very offensive, he had no right to say it, I’m sorry. They say well please be nicer, so now I write “Please Bite Me”.
Kodak says Hayzlett will be involved with the company through August as he transitions out.
Even as Hayzlett is leaving, Kodak is sticking to developing its online presence by launching a new photo sharing website, Kodak Moments.
Photos and videos, along with captions, can be uploaded to the interactive community site. Users then tag the photo with a certain emotion. User-submitted photos can be browsed by emotion, and other viewers can tag them with emotions they feel in response. The site also has “Moments,” which are official events by Kodak, such as the Burton US Open, Celebrity Apprentice, and the People’s Choice Awards.
Kodak Interactive Marketing Manager, Mike Mayfield said that images uploaded will be displayed in email newsletters, marketing, Times Square Billboard, and other marketing outlets.
Some photographers may be uneasy with uploading, since the rather broad Terms of Service currently states:
In consideration of acceptance of my submitted photo, video and/or story (“Contribution”) as part of KODAK Moments, I hereby grant Kodak, and others with Kodak’s consent, the right to edit, copy, distribute, publish, display and otherwise use the Contribution for purposes of the KODAK Moments program without attribution, consideration or compensation to me, the photographer, my successors or assigns or any other individual or entity.
Mayfield responded to the concern, saying:
Kodak has great respect for the rights and use of images we receive. Images submitted to the KODAK Moments website will only be used in the context of promoting the KODAK Moments program. The language in the terms of service stating it could be used for any advertising or publicity is an oversight and we are correcting the terms so that language is removed. We have received some wonderful submissions and if we do decide we would like to use those images outside of the KODAK Moments program, we will reach out and obtain permission from the photographer before doing so.
So it sounds like Kodak still has to hash out some legal jargon, but at least they’ll ask your permission before running specific photos in their ads, albeit possibly without attribution.