Preparing to Sell – Press releases

Following on from yesterday Nicky Owen from White Rabbit Media gave us some tips about sending out press releases in preparation for Made by Hand at Tredegar House latter in the year.

  • Who do you send it to? Select publications you’d like to see your work featured in.
  • Better to send to 6 carefully sourced publications than blanket attack.
  • Find out name of person to send it to; the shopping editor, the features editor, the diary editor; maybe several but do it individually. The names of these people are usually found at the front of the magazine. If not telephone to get e mail address.
  • Why should yours be opened and read?
  • Make it stand out.
  • Must be visible amongst the many e mails received.
  • Don’t waste words such as ‘Press Release Sept 2012’.
  • Make title snappy but be clear. Have an angle – unique selling point.

Content

  • Header on top with contact details.
  • Images are important; embed them into the e mail.
  • Don’t make reader scroll down or open an attachment so place 3 across.
  • The text needs to cover;    

 What

Where

When

Who

  • It’s not a letter so don’t write too much, be genuine, don’t repeat.
  • What is the angle of your work? Why is it different? Materials used, the process, where the work is sold?
  • Two very short paragraphs at the most – the editor will write the article – write as you speak.

Follow up

  • Follow up with a phone call a couple of days later. Be nice!
  • Send out e mail again – it may have hit the in-box on a busy day – keep trying.
  • If they contact you reply immediately.

Other info

  • Keep networking.
  • Facebook page for work, use it frequently.
  • Post images – keep them flowing.
  • Link to other artists pages, galleries etc.

Next Karen Dell’Armi spoke to us about her experience of selling at Craft Fairs. She confirmed some of what Sarah James had told us but in her unique style. Here are her pointers.

  • Plan months in advance
  • Design your stand according to the style of your work.
  • Own your space.
  • Where are you going to put yourself?
  • Do you need plinths?
  • Logo or brand name can also be put on the walls.
  • If using images make sure they are large,  A4 ones will be lost on the walls.
  • Must have business cards to hand out to all – an image of your work plus contact details
  • May have brochures but costly to produce – give to select few.
  • Packaging – has to stay within your concept. Simple ink stamp logo on bags.
  • Don’t overstock with low priced items – keep a balance.
  • Pricing – raw materials (cost) x 2 for time x 2 for retail.
  • Be consistent with prices – retail is retail
  • Be honest with pricing
  • Be firm if offering sale or return –  for a limited period if doing that.

Month before

    • Have made a representative sample of work
    • All promotional material ready
    • Invites out to retail and trade
    • Facebook again – keep it up

Week before

  • Ramp up social media
  • Have tool kit ready – glue, tape, scissors, screwdriver etc
  • Know exactly where you are going

The Fair

  • Look great for the Private View.
  • Smile
  • Don’t judge
  • Engage with people
  • No need to be on their shoulder
  • Talk about your work

The last speaker we were treated to was Angela Linforth, the editor of Homes and Antiques magazine. She too covered some of what Nicky said about press releases but here are her key points.

  • Don’t be afraid to target magazine – they want to fill their pages.
  • You can make their job easier by sending a good press release.
  • Don’t forget YOUR angle.
  • Magazines work 3 months in advance – Christmas issues 5-6 months.
  • Newspapers a couple of weeks in advance.
  • Keep sending e mails – maybe at different times of the month – the 2nd week may be a busy one for some.
  • Follow up with a phone call.

So that’s a summary of the day I spent at Preparing to Sell. Lots of tips to take me on.

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