Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Publicity Questions from a Fellow Blogger

In the comments to Don't Be Stupid, alto, physicist, and occasional PR person Celeste Winant asked some questions. I am going to theorize, but if the pros reading this blog have thoughts, please let us know!
Here's a question - I almost always offer recipients of press releases complimentary tickets when I want the reporter / outlet to consider promoting or covering us. I cannot usually send hardcopy tickets, and instead inform the recipient that their names (or organization's name) is on the press comp list. I rarely get any takers. Am I barking up the wrong tree? Is there a better way to approach this type of promotion?

I always paste the press release in the body, but I also attach a .pdf, thinking that the former serves to get the information out, but the latter makes it easier for the recipient to further distribute in a legitimizing (i.e. on official letterhead) format. Am I wrong? Is no attachment better than redundant attachment?

I also refrain from adding graphics to the press release, but provide a link to a high-res press photo on our group's press page (if available), which leaves the recipient the choice of further exploring. Again - is this wasted effort?
As far as the ticket question goes, sounds good to me. I've been offered tickets I wasn't able to use, even when I was not covering or publicizing a musical event. Mostly, I'm busy and can't get to an event.

About PDFs, I don't know. Pasting the press release in the body is definitely good. I am a crank on the subject of PDFs when they're the only way to read a document that is being distributed by email. I'm fine with long tech docs in PDF, for example. The answer might depend on whether any of your recipients are on dialup. Because the US is a third-world country where providing Internet services is concerned (rant deleted), it's possible, and waiting for even a 300K document to download is a real pain.

I like your solution to the high-resolution photo issue. It is what San Francisco Opera does on the press page of their web site. For example, take a look at the page for the recent production of La Boheme. The press release is linked; there's a page of photos and the high-resolution versions are both viewable on line and downloadable.

If you have opinions on these subjects, from any relevant viewpoint, please chime in!

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