The entrepreneurial artist: A conceptual target-marketing framework (Part II) (2001)
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While the “Guardian media guide” doesn’t include art magazines, it lists all sorts of art and culture editors— at newspapers and certain other magazines.
For a larger list, I looked at Ulrich’s database— a brilliant media resource listing 1000s of art and design titles.
Then a book search was good. For me, I used the online search engine at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and I crossed this list with the University of Pennsylvania library. Both are wealthy institutions— which buy a large selection of books on contemporary art. For the latest book titles, I searched amazon.com .
The result was a massive list of raw data, you could even call them raw possibilities. An artist-specific professional list.
Then it was a matter of targeting material to review, and building lists of names and addresses, while learning about what the tribe was doing. Adding notes on what they do. The more we knew about what they did, the better.
I think sometimes these procedures can be incorporated in what an art student is already doing: exploring their art, and studying about art and artists.
Then, with the artist’s specialised list for media and communications, once the artist was in a show, he was readily equipped to include these people on his communications and press list. And employ a long-term communications campaign. Everyone on this list needs information on artists, but there are many artists.
Some may indeed have no interest in the artwork, but others might. Some may be interested, but waiting to see what the artist does next. Right now as an art journalist, I’m waiting to see what several artists do next.
When the artist and I issued releases, sometimes in hard copy or via e-mail, we NEVER sent attachments without permission. I was concerned that it might annoy the receiver, like it always annoys me when receiving something this way, NOT at my request. It could tie up my computer for sometimes up to 5 minutes. Imagine you receive 25 press releases a week.
Last week, I was thrilled to see that TimeOut must feel the same way, as they instruct “send no attachments for announcements”. I think it is a quick and easy way to turn people off when they should be turned on. Of course, this has nothing to do with visual art, but has everything to do with media and communications.
Instead, the artist and I provided a website link— visuals a mouse-click away— as well as an e-mail address for image requests. As a journalist, I request images often.
For releases, we took into account the media structure of the press release. The Tate and the Hayward are particularly good at this. And we also took into account that the release can turn into a news announcement in some publications.
Also, the list was set up for contacting some people that the artist was very interested in because of their work. To request an appointment to find out more about what they do and think. Like artists, many people have 15 or 30 minutes of time— to meet someone who is eager, knowledgeable, and prepared, and has good questions.
Now, we didn’t send announcements for everything. Not every group show. That might be overkill. Instead, we tried to be strategic— like a growing company. The more that is known about an audience, the better. I think about who they are; who are the individuals in this audience?