The Power of the Press

In The News

Almost everyone today would flat out tell you that newspapers have outlived their usefulness; that no one reads ‘the paper’ anymore. If you want to read something, you simply go online.

While that may be true, those newspapers are what many people are reading online. The press still has a tremendous impact and a wide audience spanning all demographics.

I coordinated an event this last December, The Homestead Christmas Market. It was held at Frontier Homestead State Park and Museum.  I applied for a large amount of advertising money from different groups for this event in 2016.  Many of these granting bodies require data demonstrating how well the ad dollars they granted were used.  To write this report at the end of this year, I needed some baseline data from the 2015 event to be able to compare.

We spent a boatload of money on advertising all over Utah, Southern Nevada, Northern Arizona and Western Colorado.  Our survey indicated that people had seen or heard our ads, most of which were via social media, web sites and radio.  But what completely blew me away was that 57% of the people we surveyed at the event claimed that they learned about it via the newspaper.

Why is that so amazing?  Because we didn’t spend one dime on newspaper advertising!  What we did do was a number of press releases, most of which got picked up in local papers throughout our marketing area.

ExhibitwithmeWhat Has Any of This Got to Do With Me?

As artists and cyber-business owners, we tend to completely overlook our local and regional markets.  We concentrate on SEO and the global community.  But for a couple of paragraphs of interesting information about yourself – the artist – many publications will pick up the story and run it at no cost to you.  Smaller papers are always looking for words to fill their space.

You Don’t Have To Have a Degree in Journalism to Write a Press Release

Consider whether your press release is ‘news’ or ‘lifestyle.’  News might by entitled “Local Artist Accepted into Pretigious Festival,” then cover the who/what/when/where/why/how questions.  A lifestyle article could be, “Local Artist Embraces Skills of the Past to Build Inventory for Summer Art Festivals,” and then cover all the Ws just mentioned.  It doesn’t have to be fancy or lengthy.  And always, always include one or more pictures with your submission.

What Happens if No One Uses It?  I Wasted My Time

Not at all – especially if you have a blog!  You’ll have done a bit of soul-searching in the process of writing that press release and you will know yourself and your art/craft that much better.  At the very least, you can share what you learned on social media!

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