When we offer our PR for Artists seminars to musicians, filmmakers or authors, we jump right into the whats and hows of PR and marketing, but when we’re addressing visual artists we’ve found that it’s important to start with the whys.
Because artists have generally been taught to shun marketing. The myth of the starving artist is a romantic one that society loves to propagate. Although (sadly) many have bought in to this myth, for centuries, savvy artists have effectively marketed their works, or have teamed up with others who had the ability and know-how to market their works for them. Yet, our culture loves the storyline. It loves its artists to be poor, die and then be discovered. That is a troublesome myth to buy into if you’re a working artist.
But, as art collectors gallerists and curators know art is a business and, like any other business, it needs a shrewd, effective marketing plan in order to succeed. Our seminars are designed to spread that gospel, so to speak, and, thankfully, more and more artists are beginning to realize that PR and marketing is not an option, but a necessity. It is something they owe to their work in order to build a successful career as an artist.
Collectors are also beginning to understand that by working with artists to help market and PR their work, they not only help to establish the artists, but can become directly involved in helping their artists establish themselves in the marketplace. It becomes a truly symbiotic relationship between the collector and the artist. They are able to develop a marketing roadmap both for the artist and his or her works. They are able to become directly involved in establishing the artist’s works.
By taking a media relations approach to marketing, collectors are able to use that validation and legitimacy of the media to help establish their artist’s works and build the artist’s brand. Unlike other forms of marketing, public relations establishes artists through the news, they are featured in a TV segment a magazine article, a newspaper story or a radio interview. It is then possible to magnify and amplify that story via social media. Through this approach the artist is not being “sold” through ads, but covered in the press. A compelling narrative is being created which will establish the artist and build the brand.
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