Internet Marketing & Public Relations for the Arts

lessons for promoting your arts organization on the web.

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Habit 5: Make Contacts

 

Make Contacts...Keep Contacts

In habit 4 we talked about writing a reporter to give them your opinion about an article, and to make a contact.  That's one way to increase your press list, but here are some others:

• Invite some press members for a tour of your facility and lunch
• Attend Convention lunches and after hour gatherings
• Hand out your card to everyone
• Schedule an information meeting with a local editor or webmaster
• Attend other art groups openings or press conferences
• Create a Professional Profile on LinkedIn (Not Facebook) and invite media as friends

 There are other ways to expand your list, you could purchase a mailing list--but in my experience I have found this a total waste of money and time.  People respond to people--not an obvious bulk envelope.  

Having the contact though is not enough---its important that you keep that contact.

• Send a thank you note or email after they run an article/listing for you
• Ask them if they need any additional information, or if there is anything you can do to make their job easier
• A small Christmas gift (or at least a card) is always remembered
• Ditto with Birthdays
• Always arrive at a TV station with donuts for the crew and host
• Always have drinks (soda/coffee) for visiting reporters
• Have an information packet ready at all times
• Spread the wealth of stories around, just don't keep pitching to the same reporter
• Treat the person writing the blog the same as the person from CNN (the CNN person expects it, the blog person loves it)

Remember
• A little kindness goes a long way
• The press do not work for you
• Establish your reputation as someone the press wants to deal with--they'll return your calls
• Take time to be in contact with your press list, even if it is just a simple email
• Get out in your community and start meeting people--PR is 24 hours