The first guest blog of 2014 and we are lucky to have the excellent Rebecca Knight with us to tell us all we need to know about press release marketing, a much forgotten but very useful promotional tool.
Writers and Artists – Meet the Masses with Press Releases
With the quick and easy means of sharing information online both locally and internationally, it is easy to overlook some of the tried and true promotional methods that are still around from before the internet which have adapted well. Press release marketing is a promotional method that has been and continues delivering news to the public. If you want to increase your exposure, you can use press releases to help you gain a wider audience for events related to your creative work.
When you have news about an upcoming book release, discussion panel, art show, spoken-word performance, book reading/signing, teaching a class or other such event – it is extremely beneficial to have a press release ready for submission to news outlets. Newspapers and televised news media editors often scan through the newswire sites in order to find newsworthy leads about local events. Your event news item can be easily found via search engines once it has been distributed online. In this way a press release can lead to being discovered and highlighted by more than just visitors to the press release site alone, it can also result in receiving a call or email from a newspaper editor for a special interest article or interview. Let’s face it – even the print editions have online submission options which you can directly send your story to.
Once you have decided that a press release is in order for promotion of an upcoming event there are many things to consider. Not only should it be concise, the content should also inform and intrigue. A reader should get from reading your release: who you are, what, when and where the event is and how it benefits them. Let them know details about possible charity tie-ins or if there will be prizes for those who attend. If it is a free event, underline this fact to encourage them to add it to their calendars. Letting them know the basics is very important, but go further by enticing them with why it will stand apart from other similar events. Remember in your press release you do not want to have the content sound like a commercial; the idea is to passively create a “for-your-information” type of short article or news blurb. Injecting some excitement into the verbiage is encouraged, just avoid becoming pushy or using any hard-sell techniques. If you are not able to figure out how to write a press release yourself, seek the aid of someone with experience to write and help distribute it for you.
If you are working in the visual arts you should try to include a photo image of your work or at the very least a link to a webpage image gallery to provide a preview or sample of your art. This goes for writers, musicians and performance artists as well – an audio file, a link to a few chapters of an e-book or a video goes a long way in making an impact on the people your press release reaches. Keep in mind that there are usually additional fees to have media included or linked on a newswire site as opposed to just the words – yet, it could be well worth the cost.
Do not forget to make sure to include your contact information in the release to invite interested parties to get in touch with you regarding the event you are promoting. Press releases should typically include one or two quotes from a reputable source related to the event or to your art itself. Or you can have a testimonial quotation from someone who has purchased your work, or possibly a gallery owner or other venue owner could be quoted about your work and how it has been received in their experience. This detail will help to round out your reputation and enhance your professional image.
Whether you write it yourself or have someone else write it for you, press release writing is a promotional effort that facilitates getting your work to the public. News sites, newspapers, magazines, radio and television all value press releases as information sources for upcoming events. To meet deadlines for the members of the media, plan to publish your releases a month in advance if possible. Give your written release to local editors that specialize in your genre or even submit to local or special interest bloggers who can expand your network. Be certain your release is complete in the necessary information required by the news media outlets. Making use of your own press releases will boost your search results, broadcast your active creative efforts, expand your reach to new admirers and widen your customer base no matter how long you have been producing. Press release marketing is a key to start spreading YOUR own news.
About Rebecca Knight in her words:
Generally I consider myself an ideas person and writing helps to hash out and share these ideas. There is also this tendency I have of craving insight, so I am always interested in the wonderful results of communication – knowledge, new ideas, and in exceptional cases, understanding. I have always had a fondness for words.
Artists express so much. It is fair to say they inspire me to create articles celebrating their rare and wonderful creativity. What I intend by my writing is to draw focus on the contributions and perspectives of others who enrich this shared human existence. Let us keep the conversation about art going; while remembering the past but also seeing how history is shaping the present. What needs to be discussed most importantly is the art being created now. This is my belief and my mission as a writer to support and promote the creative people of today.
How to contact Rebecca Knight: If you are interested in help promoting your creative work – “follow this link”. Here you will find more info about Rebecca Knight, a freelance art writer at your service, focused on celebrating creativity and expanding exposure for artists and writers online. Please feel free to get in touch using the contact form in the lower portion of the pages at the above link or email to firstname.lastname@example.org