Media relations: Learning from the examples of others – both good and bad

To increase your odds of getting good publicity for your small business or nonprofit, follow the tips in the post.

By Mark G. Auerbach

I’ve been wearing two hats for most of my professional career. I’m a marketing and public relations consultant who also works as a print and broadcast journalist. When I do public relations workshops for arts administrators or communications students, I’ve learned that the best practices come from other people’s examples. Here are some recent ones.

– The Song With No Name. I get a press release about an interesting concert, and it has a theatre, date, and time on it, but no contact information to reach out to for additional information. The email comes from No XXXCompany website. Then, the theatre venue, a common name, like Colonial or Paramount, has no city or state location. There are two theatres by that name in our readership area. Too little information for me to do a calendar listing, and too much work for me on deadline to Google the event. The release goes into the trash. The Take Away: Always provide contact information for the event and the press person sending the release.

[amazon_link asins=’0988322005′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’eecf6287-dc46-11e8-9c3e-5ba60e9cacb8′]- Where Did The Good Times Go? A theatre director who reads my column and listens to my radio program approached me to do a feature about an upcoming play, a title I happen to personally love. I was enthusiastic, and suggested an interview time, noting that my shows broadcast live and aren’t pre-taped. I offered a couple of dates. She was always booked during those times, because she had to go to the gym. She suggested a pre-tape. I suggested she go to the gym earlier or later. No interview happened. The Take Away: Be flexible in your schedule if you want coverage for your event.

Earlier this fall, I had the opportunity to interview husband and wife James Barry and Tara Franklin, co-stars of Berkshire Theatre Group’s production of Pirandello’s Naked. When we were setting up the interview, and hour-long program, they said that one of them had to take their young son to school. We built that into the program, which was a hit with our radio audience, and showed a very human side of stage stars.

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