Want some publicity for your small creative business? Use these tips to reach out and get noticed.
Reporters and editors are always looking for newsworthy stories to write articles for their publications and blogs – and artists are newsworthy! Do you need your share of press coverage to jump start your marketing this year? Try these strategies:
Create a marketing calendar – Getting organized and planning a regular program of outreach to the press as well as to your own email list is essential for your handmade business. A marketing calendar helps you see your monthly plans at a glance, and schedule activities to build upon previous contacts. If you want to approach the press, put this on your calendar as a monthly activity. What publications and blogs are a good fit for what you do, fitting into a niche market that you serve, and connecting with the right audience? Do your research and put them on your list.
Send press releases – Press releases are a traditional way to get out the word about yourself, your work and related news and events. They can easily be sent out using various services (some of which are free.) Learn how to create a professional looking artist press release right here.
Have outstanding images ready – Do you have professional quality photos of your work that would fit perfectly in a magazine, blog or trade publication? Having great images available is a basic that will make your work more appealing to the press. Don’t try to make do with mediocre photos. Your competition is ready with the right type of images – you need these too!
Check the editorial calendar, and reach out through email – Publications frequently have ‘”editorial calendars” which list upcoming articles for months in advance. If you cannot find this calendar online, call for this information. Primarily used to attract advertisers, it will give you a heads up on topics to be published that might be a great vehicle for publicity for your art. Contact the reporter or editor with a clear and concise email that uses a subject line specifically about the article in question. In a short paragraph, let them know that your work is a great fit for the article. Include your website address and contact information.
Design a press kit – A physical press kit is important for trade shows, where it is placed in the press room for review. Be sure to include your booth number in order to invite press members to visit your booth display on the show floor. A digital press kit (also called a media kit) can reside on your artist website in .pdf format, which is downloadable. It should have complete information including your bio and artist story, and images of your work in high resolution suitable for printing (to avoid copyright infringement, use photos of yourself with your art, or your work hung in a display). This kit may include mention of other press coverage you have earned, and list recognition and awards for your art. It should also have your contact information available.
Suggest stories – What could be more complete than providing all the information a journalist needs to know, including story types that would be a perfect match for what you do? Some artists include “story idea” sheets in their press kits, suggesting how their work fits into specific topic areas. Do you make heirlooms that can be passed down through generations? Is your collection perfect for a wedding gift? Evaluate what you offer and how it could fit into different types of articles – then share this with the press to help them incorporate your story and your art into their content.
Have you earned press coverage? What did you find to be the most effective method?