Friday, January 23, 2009

Full Frontal Advice: Courting the Media

Ripped from the pages of Mr. Fringey 's Marketing Log: Jan 21.2009.

5 Things to Know About Fringe Media Courtship

1) Most fringes don't have the staff to keep their media contact list current. Besides, many journalists and others who work in the media use their positions as springboards to greener pastures. Plan on having at least 30% - 60% of your e-mails for any fringe media contact list bounce back. Don't get sad, it's just the nature of the medium.

2) In terms of "The Fringe," many news departments (Especially magazines and the cool free weeklies) work at least 3 months out when planning content or a content oriented issue like one on The Fringe. Plan to make your initial e-mail contact with a media source 3-months out. This should be a friendly hello.

3) If you've never contacted your media source don't send a press release! That's kind of like a telemarketer calling your cell phone. Journalists especially like to write about people whom they know. You should plan on developing a relationship over a series of at least 1-2 e-mails before you send a press release. Nothing smells more like Spam than a press release to someone you don't know. It's called media courtship for a reason!

4) Google "Press Release Format," before you write and send one. Most media representatives get between 30-60 press release each day. If you're isn't formatted correctly it goes right in the circular file. The most common mistake artists make is using language that is subjective. There should be no adjectives in your press release - just facts.

5) If you get coverage, please be kind and follow-up. At the very least offer them free tickets to your show, send them an e-mail saying thank you, or if you want to be really radical and further your relationship and possibly get more coverage in the future - send them a snail-mail thank you card.


Sunny said...

I disagree mightily that you have to establish a relationship with media before sending a release. This is true only if you are an organization that routinely issues releases,e.g., news of your health foundation's charity events. That's when you wine and dine reporters. In my successful experience, trying to cozy up in advance when a pithy release will do is just annoying. Why would a reporter want to receive messages from you when you have nothing newsworthy? DELETE. Educate yourself as to each publication's deadlines and criteria, then send a well thought out release in time to do your show some good. The media needs you as much as you need them. Don't kiss butt, it lacks dignity and doesn't work.

Mr. Fringey said...

Whatever dude. No one said you had to cozy up on the casting couch with a journalist or buy them a Starbucks gift card. (I think I just threw up in my mouth)

1) One simple e-mail of less than 50 words with no capital letters within it assures you'll get through the spam filter on subsequent e-mails (which is where 80% of unsolicited e-mails go).

*And in a world where most editors get between 40-60 press releases a day,this small personal step is a gesture that makes you a flower amongst the weeds.

2) If you're looking to build a relationship with the media to build a "career" as an artist rather than just pimp your show for chump change small steps such as this will insure your not forgotten when that reporter moves along to bigger and better things.