By Renée Phillips
Recently, I wrote a very positive article about an artist and it appeared in a magazine. Her response was simply, “That’s great! Now, what should I do?”
I was not surprised. As an arts writer and artist career advisor for three decades, I realize most artists are clueless about what to do when they receive publicity. It isn’t their fault since as far as I know it isn’t a course taught in art school.
It is important for photographers and digital artists to strive to be more proactive in the art of procuring and managing publicity. Those who do reap the most benefits.
Publicity Increases the Value of Your Art
As a professional artist, you know that publicity is a powerful instrument used to get the message out about you and your work. An article that appears on the Internet or in print has the ability to reach thousands of people that you don’t have access to otherwise.
On the contrary without this marketing tool, you may disappear into obscurity and suffer from a lack of sales and career opportunities.
When you are fortunate to get publicity I don’t need to tell you this is a wonderful time to celebrate! Positive accolades add credibility to your career and increase the value of your art. When you receive any form of positive publicity it is a huge opportunity. You must seize it and make the most of it while the news is current.
Publicity received should immediately sound an alarm for you to get your marketing efforts into high gear. Don’t wait for the news to become old. The sooner you take action the better.
In this article I offer five simple actions you can take immediately after you receive publicity. You may also apply the same guidelines with some adjustments when you receive special mentions, honors and awards.
1. Express Gratitude.
Depending on your relationship with the writer and the media source, immediately send an email, mail a letter or call them and extend your heartfelt appreciation! That includes both the writer as well as the publisher/editor-in-chief of the publication.
As an arts writer, I am shocked at how many artists including photographers and digital artists fail to practice the art of appreciation. As a rule they complain more quickly and more often than they extend gratitude. So, when I do meet a photographer or digital artist who has good manners I will often go out of my way to help them time and time again.
2. Add the listing to your resume and biography.
Many artists, including photographers and digital artists, fail to know how to list the publicity they receive on their resume. They either list it improperly or avoid it altogether. What to do: Add the title of the article, author, date and name of the publication, and URL if there is one. You may also want to add a hyperlink from your website.
This listing belongs under the category titled “Bibliography” on your resume. You should also add it to your Biography and/or “About the Artist” page on your website.
3. Post the news in social media.
This is not the time to be a modest. Get outside your comfort zone! Announce the news with a link to the article in all social media profiles and the group(s) you belong to so your fans, followers and associates will be informed. Ask your followers and fans to share it. If you aren’t sure how to do it, search the social media sites for how the professional photographers and digital artists and arts organizations are doing it and follow their approach.
Repeat the process frequently. You can vary the words in the announcement so it appears new each time.
4. Add the words of praise to your website.
The reality of business is most people are impressed by favorable publicity. They will often buy art from a photographer/digital artist who has received praise before another one who has not been endorsed. Galleries will be interested in photographers or digital artists who are in the news. Curators will pay attention to those photographers or digital artists who receive attention from the press and media.
So, take a brief excerpt (from one strong sentence up to a paragraph), with the author’s permission, and place it in a highly visible, permanent location. You may want to make a strong statement for visitors to see immediately on your home page. Also set up/or add it to your “Praise” or “Press” page on your website.
5. Write a blog article about the news.
Write an article on your blog about the article with an image(s) that appeared with it. An example of what you could write is: A wonderful article about me and my artwork titled (insert headline) by (name of writer) has appeared on the Exhibitions Without Walls website. I received this Featured Artist award sponsored by the organization that promotes photographers and digital artists. Please read the article at http://www.exhibitionswithoutwalls.com/(insert complete URL).
If you regularly send an email newsletter to your subscribers this is a good time to announce the publicity. If you don’t have an email newsletter database begin one today!
Final tip: When an article appears do not copy and paste the entire article on your website, blog or email newsletter unless you have received written permission from the copyright owner. This is usually the writer however it could also be the publication.
I hope you have many opportunities to follow up on these tips. Now you’ll know what to do when the wonderful occasion arises.
Renée Phillips is the founder/director of Manhattan Arts International (www.ManhattanArts.com), and the author of several art career books. Her art and business articles appear in magazines and websites and on Manhattan Arts International blog (www.ManhattanArtsBlog.com). She is also a curator, an arts advocate and offers career guidance and writing services to artists of all styles and mediums.
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