Five Top PR Tips For Your Next Arts Event

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By Monica Rosenfeld

It’s the time of year when event managers get busy, particularly in the Australian Arts landscape. And we Aussies love to get out and about at festivals, exhibitions, fetes, fairs and performances.

Yet, despite the extraordinary weather and venues that this great country offers, many events don’t enjoy the best public relations coverage. Too many organisers only think about PR at the last minute, mainly to secure coverage in events listings and ‘What’s On’ sections.

If you are holding a large theatrical production or even a local community event, there are tactics you can use to secure premium media exposure. By taking these steps you will educate your target audience about the event and encourage them to book tickets.

Here are my Five Top Tips to consider when aiming to secure fantastic media coverage for your next event.

Tip 1: Human Interest
The human interest angle goes a long way in piquing the journalist’s interest in a story. A great way to do this by identifying one or more performers in the production and pitch their story to the media. The story could include their background, how they came to their profession, any adversity they may have faced along the way or what their schedule is like to perfect their art form.

A good example of this was the recent production for my client Cirque Africa. All the performers came from West Africa and many had interesting stories to tell.

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We selected a few of these key artists to talk to the media, resulting in large feature articles across a wide range of media. In turn, this led to information about the performance and how to purchase tickets.

Tip 2: A Powerful Image
A great image goes a long way to securing a story in the media. Whether it’s a musical performance, dance or an exhibition, by putting effort into capturing a unique and interesting image, you can gain valuable media coverage. It’s also worth capturing video footage showcasing unique talents and sending this to online news pages and TV.

Tip 3: Promote The Expert
If the event is more a workshop where an expert is imparting information, provide the media with key information from the expert. For instance, if the workshop is about How To Stage An Art Exhibition, send relevant business journalists the experts’ key tips on this topic. The journalist’s agenda is to add value and engage their audience. If your information is relevant they are likely to run it and, as part of the article will very likely mention your workshop.

Tip 4: Free Tickets
Put a few tickets aside to allow journalists to run ticket giveaways in their media outlets. As mentioned previously, journalists are wanting to add value and engage their audience so this will also increase your chances of media coverage.

Tip 5: Create a VIP Experience
Invite journalists to attend the event for free and in doing so, provide a VIP experience. Save seats for them in the front rows, offer behind the scenes access, provide photographic, filming and interview opportunities. Then have people available to help them with their requirements. You are sure to get great coverage.

Monica Rosenfeld is a leading public relations practitioner, expert media trainer and public relations keynote speaker. Monica will be speaking at Botany BEC on Thursday, September 8 about Generating Free Publicity For Your Business.

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