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Posts Tagged ‘PR’

It was great seeing everyone again in Cape Cod!

Here is a summary of what we discussed in the workshop on April 29:

REVIEW…

Hopefully you are working on developing an Artist Statement and a Bio or re-working these materials from past versions. Artist Statements and Bios should be revised regularly as your work develops and your art career progresses. As you are working on these written pieces read them aloud to yourself, and ask artists and non-artists to read them. The more ears/eyes for your writing the more you will know if it makes sense to others.

Remember what makes an effective Artist Statement:

• A blend of technical, conceptual, and personal information.

• Making the connection between what is seen visually, and what you the artist think when creating your work.

• Be brief and to the point. 1 – 3 paragraphs for an artist statement is ideal.

Remember what components make a complete Bio:

• Your higher education degrees, perhaps with dates included.

• Major shows/collections/awards/grants, recent if available.

• Small amount of personal info such as where you live or where you’re from.

Your Bio and Artist Statement can be used in:

• Press packets you send to publications and critics.

• Gallery and show submission packets.

• As materials to give collectors.

• In your own studio for an open studios event.

• On your web site in an on-line media kit.

press releases, press packets, and how to use them to effectively get your self some attention in print…

For a reminder of how to write a press release, check out the blog post from April 25th for a step-by-step PDF.

Occasions worthy of a press release:

• Upcoming show opening

• Upcoming Open Studio event

• Announcement of a major commission (such as a public art project)

• Announcement of a major grant, or residency

• Announcement of a new studio location

• Announcement of a new web site

When to send a press release:

IF you have something to announce, once a month is an appropriate frequency for sending press releases. All publications have a “lead time” which they will publish on their web site, or in print, or you can call and ask for this information. “Lead time” is the amount of time before publishing a specific issue in which they need to receive your information in order to consider it for publication. If you are targeting a monthly publication and they are scheduled to go to press next week, you will not have a chance of being included in the upcoming issue. Daily publications can have a lead time of a couple of weeks to a couple of days, while publications that go to press on a more seldom basis may have 2-3 months of a lead time for each issue.

Where to send your press release:

The possibilities are endless! But a good place to start is your local newspaper, and the newspapers published in nearby towns and cities. If you are having a show in another location, investigate what daily publications are available there and send them a press release about your show. DO NOT ASSUME THAT YOUR GALLERY WILL DO THIS FOR YOU, but asking where they target press is appropriate. Other press targets to keep in mind are:

• Alumni magazines (from where YOU went to school)

• Art associations (that YOU are a member of)

• Trade magazines (Ceramics Monthly, Glass Art Magazine, Aperture, etc.)

• Local magazines

• Local TV stations

• Local NPR station

What is the best way to submit a press release?

Press releases are best sent to the Editor of the Arts, Lifestyle, Living Arts, or a similar section. If you are unsure of what section of a certain publication features art pick up a print copy, or look on-line to do your research. Either of these methods is also how to find the name and contact info for the proper section and Editorial Staff. Many publications provide email addresses for Editorial Staff or a fax number will be listed for particular departments. When sending a press release via email copy and paste the text of your release with NO FORMATTING onto the body of an email and be sure to include a web address for reference for your show/event/studio/art if you have one. When faxing a press release make sure it is printed on your letterhead and formatted properly (see How To PDF for formatting). The “contact us” link usually found at the bottom of a publication web site is a great way to find the info you are looking for.

Calendar listings

In addition to sending press releases about events you have coming up a great way to get the word out is to utilize calendar listings. These are generally free and many publications will include listings of upcoming events in print and on-line versions of their publications. Find where and how to send calendar listings the same way that you research whom to address your press releases. At the beginning of a calendar section in a print publication often it will say where to send listings and what the lead time is. If you are viewing an on-line publication look for links called “calendar” or “events” to submit your listing. In addition, there are many web sites that are all about listing events. To get started check out:

http://upcoming.yahoo.com/

http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites.html (look for ‘events’ under ‘community’ in your location)

http://eventful.com/

http://boston.going.com/

What should these materials, the artist statement, bio, and press release look like?

How should they be incorporated into a press packet?

Making your materials coordinate, and showing yourself in the most professional light is important when putting together a press packet.

• Letterhead: print each piece of writing on a letterhead containing your contact info, and web site address. Develop your own letterhead, or hire a graphic designer to do it for you. Having a unified look to your press materials and your press kit, or even your gallery submission packet makes a huge difference in how your work is received.

• For great tips on how to put together your artist resume check out these guidelines from the College Art Association: http://www.collegeart.org/guidelines/resume.html

Once you have your written materials printed:

• Put them all into a folder with an image and your name on the front.

• Include additional materials in your folder like

postcards from past shows

photocopies of past press

a CD of high resolution, 300dpi, CMYK images (preferably with a CD label graphically coordinated with your other materials)

a brief cover letter

Burko press packet

Mills Press Packet

Hopefully you will soon begin regularly sending press releases, and once you assemble these additional materials a press packet can be sent approximately once a year. In addition to generating editorial coverage for yourself, you will be letting publications know that you are an expert in your field, and the next time they need to speak with someone about the arts, or a big local art event, they will know to call you.

We covered a lot of territory in the workshop this week, so if there is any additional information you are looking for, or anything you’d like to see added to this post please leave a comment – thanks, and see you on May 6th!

Jessica

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As promised, here is Jessica Burko’s slideshow presentation from Tuesday, April 8 at the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod’s What’s Your Story: Personal Branding, PR and New Media for Artists.

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