A positive mention in a quality media outlet is worth more than money could buy. Why? Because an independent journalist has seen fit to include you in a story, when they could have written about anything else. It is a wonderful opportunity to reach their readers or viewers.
- Think first about what you offer the audience. Journalists will be interested if featuring you benefits their readers or viewers in some way.
- What is new? It may be an opportunity to see art, to attend a workshop by you, to see their environment reflected in your art, to become part of a supportive art community, to think about something in a new way.
- What audience do you want? Local newspapers, magazines, radio and TV are GOLD. Their focus is narrow enough that they still have room to do the occasional art story. Online media, art bloggers and podcasters are also fabulous but, remember, their audience may be other artists rather than the general public. Talking among ourselves is great, but not necessarily what we are after.
- Personalise your approach. It is a courtesy to know who the journalist is, what they have recently featured and their audience. An email is the appropriate first contact. If there is one person who tends to produce art-related stories, search around to see if you can find their direct email address.
- Have your material ready. You need excellent photographs, a Dropbox to put high-resolution images in, a press release, a short bio and be ready to make yourself available immediately, at the drop of a hat.
- Vary the story. If you are trying to publicise an exhibition and are approaching several media outlets, try to give each one a different “spin”. Journalists want something new, not just the same story that has run elsewhere.
Coming up. I will be producing guides on:
- Secrets of an effective press release
- Photography - best foot forward
- How to write a winning bio
- Organising your own event
- Get attention from galleries