But getting the article in the paper got me to thinking about how artists really need to promote themselves. In my last blog, I gave some advice on how to express yourself with galleries, and some of that holds true for getting free advertising, too. As the reporter was leaving, I asked her how she picked me out of all the local artists who will be featured. She said it was because of the press release I had emailed to the paper the week before. Aha!
The trick to writing an effective press release is the spin. For mine, there were several angles I could have taken with this story:
- I'm a local artist who will be showing work in the Salute to the Arts (SA). [boring!]
- I'm a local artist who will be displaying his work for the first time at SA [better, but not much]
- I'm a local teacher displaying my work for the first time [better yet - more interesting]
- I'm a local science teacher displaying my landscapes for the first time [science and art together?! WOW!]
As it turns out, this is the angle used. I then wrote 4 short (2 - 3 sentences) paragraphs on topics that could be covered in the article, just to give them ideas, so they could see the potential. It was written in the third person, as if I were writing about someone else (I thought this would assuage my conscience, who was afraid I was bragging too much!). Then I gave them my contact information and my website so they could see more of my work. I had just about given up hope when she called.
So promote yourself! It's not bragging, it's spreading news.