Spring is finally making an entry in London. At NCM, we hope that your 2015 diary is already getting filled with shows, exhibitions and fairs. It’s very exciting to prepare new work for these big events, But don’t forget that promoting your work is an essential part of being a creative professional.
Even if you are working with a gallery or a promoter for your event, it is now expected that you will also promote the work yourself. Sending a newsletter and posting details on your website and social media will ensure that your network knows about your news. But to reach beyond your existing circle of followers, you will need to approach the media.
Getting into the press can feel like a tall order if you don’t have any contacts. You might be tempted to leave it until the last minute. But you need to think about your PR strategy well before you need to promote something.
You probably know the main publications in your discipline, but do you know who the writers are and what they specialise in? Or do you know what the contact is in your local press for arts & culture? Creating a press and PR strategy is all about developing relationships and understanding how the media works. You will need to work within their schedule, remit and interests. You might find out about whom to contact by reading exhibition catalogues, art publications, specialist magazines and checking out this useful list for contacts in Design and Craft.
Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin offer easy ways to keep updated, make contact and stay in touch. But do not underestimate the power of personal contact with writers or journalists, who can become great advocates of your work. Being accessible and responsive will allow you to make the most of promotional opportunities so be ready for the call!
You will need to be able to very quickly provide good quality photography of your work. Product or artwork shots on white background or photoshopped as cutouts are very useful as they can be used directly by the publications. But in-situ shots, whether of an installation of your work or your product are also useful to have on hand. Keep a file of ready-to-go images for promotion, and favour small sizes unless you were asked for high definition images.
Sending press releases should be one of your main promotional activities when promoting an event or a new work. Press releases tend to have a set structure that you must follow. Learn what is the norm for your industry, whether you are an artist, a designer or a photographer.
A press release with good photography is only one of your weapons in your artist or designer promotional kit. You will also have developed an artist or a brand statement, descriptions of your work and a good website. With these and the right media target, it won’t be long before we read about you on our way to work!