5 tricks to getting publicity for your art

If the George Zimmerman school of art publicity isn't for you, try these suggestions from Susan Sommers. She has been generating publicity for artists, organizations and associations since the 1970’s. She shares with us her five tricks to getting publicity for your art.

1. Tie in with a problem, trend or issue.

This is what she calls the “outside in” approach. If there’s a growing trend – people are building in this type of style, decorating in a certain way, or reviving a certain technique – you have an angle for approaching the media. For example, if there’s a growing preference for smaller, condo-sized spaces, you could position your art as smaller, condo-sized art. Always be on the lookout for opportunities.

2. Find a freelance writer who writes about art.

Rather than going directly to the media outlet, pitch to someone who writes articles or produces segments about art, interior design, architecture, or real estate. If they like your work, they will pitch you to the media. In Canada you could try writers.ca, the web site for the Professional Writers Association of Canada. In the United States you could try the American Society of Journalists and Authors www.asja.org/find-a-writer. Another source to consider is HARO www.helpareporter.com/

3. Team up with someone or some place that already has a database.

You’re looking for places that can expose you to media that you can’t otherwise get on your own. Restaurants, community galleries, shared spaces that show local artists, and online sites like Mercartto.com all have databases. Look for win-win situations.

4. Go local.

Don’t be a snob. Local matters. You’d be surprised how many people read their local free magazines and community newspapers on a daily or weekly basis.

5. Donate art.

Get involved with your community. Find a hospital fundraiser or a silent auction and approach them about taking one of your pieces. In this way you will be included in all of their publicity materials: the program, the auction signage, and the thank you ads. In addition, if a local Board of Trade or Chamber of Commerce has an art auction, donate art and you could suddenly be exposed to a whole new buying audience. (Little known fact: business people buy art.)

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