Regardless of whether you might run a one person shop or manage legions of employees, constant media liaisons just do not go away if you wish to be known for what you do. Targeting creative professions above all, a two-part report concerning sensible and fruitful cooperation with representatives of all branches of the media is intended to provide publicity novices with support in their endeavors to make a name of themselves.
- Events such as exhibition openings together with acquainted artists are the best way to get some reviews in the regional or local press (here: Creativ Haus Düsseldorf). This includes an invitation and a press text that answers the questions who, when, where and why in just a few sentences. A link to local events or a regional reference heightens the effects
- Success story as a plug: Using this item of jewelry made of lava stone and diamonds, the Swiss designer Eveline Frischknecht succeeded in being included in the collection “Diamonds, Nature’s Miracle” from among 1,500 applicants from all over the world. Her press portfolio lends clear emphasis to this success
Specifically newly founded and without doubt small companies tend to neglect their media liaisons. Whatsoever there is in terms of concentration and energy is spent on dreaming up and fashioning the finished product, and there is often insufficient time, money and know-how to publicize its emergence, although it is often specifically the newcomers and “lone sharks” who offer particularly creative, innovative and unusual ideas that would be worth reporting on. Fantastic products aside, the creative industry often forgets to advertise its achievements, or does so insufficiently. This is all the more unfortunate, as this self-inflicted anonymously whirls up scant to no public interest, stripping demand in its way. This is often a result of ignorance that a fairly surmountable investment in terms of time and money can lead to most gratifying media resonance. There is no urgent need, for example, to appoint a Media Liaison Officer immediately after a company has been founded. Good and mutually beneficial cooperation requires far more instead knowledge of the world of media, the people who work in it, their tasks, everyday lives, interests and how they fill their days and to maintain constant contact with them. This does not mean that the quality of information and press releases is without importance- but the perfection of its production is not the main focus of interest.
One hand washes the other:
We are often entirely unaware of things that the media do not report on. On the other hand, how can they report on things about which they themselves are unaware and uninformed on? Constant, mutual networking pays its way. For both sides.
Cause and effect
First of all it is important to understand what it is one wishes to achieve in media liaisons. After all, it is the premise (Who should hear this report? What is it that readers/listeners/viewers are meant to find out about my product? What kind of reaction do I expect the publication to trigger among readers/listeners/viewers?) that dictates which branch of the media should be informed.
The following distinction is made.
- Print media
Newspapers are published on a regional or national basis, daily, weekly or on a certain day of the week (local daily newspapers, regional or national newspapers, weekly newspapers and weekend editions, etc.)
Popular magazines are published every fortnight or on a monthly or quarterly basis and differ mainly due to their focus on certain topics, e.g. women/fashion, art/culture, cars/motorcycles or house, home and garden, etc. Specialist journals are frequently targeted at representatives of a certain profession, those interested in specific fields or people with distinct hobbies
- Electronic media
Radio: a distinction is made in this cont between public and private radio broadcasters
Television: this area also has the same distinction between public and private broadcasters
Internet: can respond extremely quickly to current changes and is accessible around the world at any time
- Journalists prefer the easy life: That is why a well-structured press portfolio is the most important, fundamental precondition for working with the media (here: Henriette Schumacher and JUNI). The press portfolio must contain a tabular CV with a list of all exhibitions, brief descriptions of the current collection, including the designer’s intentions, and images of the pieces, copies of press clippings, a business card and a CD with printable (300 dpi) image data, if possible in Tiff or JPG format, along with the texts in Word format
Anyone wishing to publicize information via the media (concerning a new product, cooperation with other manufacturers, an upcoming exhibition or such like) is faced with the question of the suitable media, depending on the information at hand, the desired target group and the currency of news. There is not much point in giving all and sundry media representatives the same information, without giving consideration to which medium will be publicized at which time. There is a certain senselessness, for example, of informing a specialist journal on interior design, published nationally every month, about a jewelry exhibition, held locally, even if one has the clear desire to see oneself once in its calendar of events, however attractive it may be. Providing information, in this case by the jewelry designer, should not only take into consideration the period of advance notice that the various media require for production, but should also ensure that journalists and editors are aware precisely of what their audience would be interested in, instead of burying them under an avalanche of unsolicited and therefore useless news.
In the next edition: networking skills and instruments of press liaisons: how to design the best possible mailing list and what are the most important elements of a press portfolio?