Amazingly, artist often do not expect press contact, even when they have a new exhibit or project underway, and many artists are just not prepared to provide information to members of the press, including blog writers and blog contributors.
When you receive a request for information for a possible article for a publication, online or print (including blogs), take advantage of such free promotional opportunities! Prepare in advance and avoid an on-the-spot scramble for those long forgotten press releases! Keep a *Press or Media Room* on your website or artist blog that you update regularly by continually adding your press. Maintain your project art news items in chronological order with the most recent articles and press releases first. When replying to a query from a member of the press, at bare minimum, provided your direct link to your Press Room, or copy and paste from your Press Room into an email. Blog writers and other members of the press may find your press room first, see that you are Press Ready, and then contact you. If you don’t have one, start your Press Room today!
Once you are contacted for a possible article on your work reply promptly with a positive and courteous note and include information such as PDF or Doc attachments that contain your Artist Statement, CV, interviews you’ve done, press releases and previous articles— in this first contact–don’t wait to be asked. Even a writer for a blog appreciates this courtesy, and it shows your enthusiasm for their “project” to write an article about you and your art work. Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm!
You may or may not wish to attach jpeg images in your first response, but be sure to mention your images and video clips and offer to send them upon request. I *don’t* recommend sending members of the press links to your YouTube videos or Flickr slide shows unless they ask for them, or unless that is all you have available for press viewing. Please be aware that no one is able to take sample images or download video clips from copyright protected image sites such as YouTube or Flickr. Plus how will they tell you which images they want to use? It’s not likely that anyone will take the time to write-up a list of your Flickr art image titles, email that list to you and expect you to send jpegs of those images. It is better to include 5 or 6 jpeg images as email attachments, than it is to send someone off to Flickr or YouTube for a look. An excellent way to offer a selection of images is via MobileMe iDisk or The Cloud where the press writer is easily able to preview and download selected images for one time use in their article. You the artist are giving permission for one time use by sending the jpeg image files and video clips.
Artists, do you know how to *pitch* an idea for an article about your art? Do you know how to tell others what it is that you do?
If you know someone who writes for a blog or print or online publication, why not pitch an idea to them for an article about you and your art? Send an email. In it talk about some of your art projects. Enthusiasm counts here too! Be sure that you mention that you would like to develop an article idea. This may be more conversational at first or turn into a *brainstorming* session. Don’t become offended if your first ideas don’t fly. The blog writer or other media writer has many considerations that have little to do with you or your art. After some back and forth you may agree to provide press releases, write ups, jpegs and video clips featuring a specific aspect of your work or for a particular one of your projects. Consider this a beginning–an open the door to further articles. Try to see this first contact as the start of an ongoing relationship, rather than expect a one time all-encompassing article to result.
If you are pitching an idea as simple as,* post our holiday art sale*–then be sure to include the full formatted details in your email, easy to copy and paste into a blog or other article.
Don’t allow timidity or fear to prevent you from making a pitch. You will learn quickly with your first efforts, and the media contact will likely help you along the way. Once you begin making pitches, you will recognize many more promotional opportunities for your art.
Marie Kazalia is the owner of this Artist Marketing Resources blog, and welcomes article ideas from artists and art service providers and professionals, via email: MarieKazalia@gmail.com
Marie Kazalia is contributing writer for the *“Transmedia” blog (http://vasa-project.com/blog/) on photo, video, digital and sound art, and is especially interested in Video artists, photo artists, digital artists and sound artist in the geographic region that includes Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
Feel free to email Marie Kazalia, at : MarieKazalia@gmail.com