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I use press releases for my Arts Magazine and I have seen many of the discussion members using the press releases which is good. What is not good is the way they are doing it.
A press release is just that, a release to the press.
I cannot stress this enough, you MUST remember that the press will not use a release that just says, 'UPDATE', or one that talks in the first person unless it has all the details of what on earth you are talking about.
The press does not know you. Saying things like 'I have uploaded a new image to my gallery, take a look' is NOT going to get your press release spread around the www.
You must say who you are. What the release is about. Name names, give addresses, give dates, give ALL details needed for someone that has NO idea who on earth you are.. or what you are talking about.
Here is a recap of a post I put on a few weeks ago
Press Releases are an huge asset to anyone marketing work.
A press release is the first thing a site like mine, for instance, looks for to bring news to its readers. Here at FAA you have the option to write a Press Release of your own.
Date and Time
Image if you are given an area for one.
Never write a press release like this...and never in the first person (I)
Hi. Im having an art show and you may like to come. Its only small but you may like it. If you do want to come then you can. Thanks.
Hopefully I do not have to explain why that is NOT a press release.
A good press release is always in the third person and would run more like this...
Title Gallery holds Impression Show by Elizabeth Edwards
Elizabeth Edwards is pleased to announce the showing of 17 impressionism paintings, including the popular Blue Farm at the Title Gallery in City
Internationally known Elizabeth Edwards has received acclaim for this style of work which she has been working on for the last 5 years.
'I am thrilled that Title Gallery is showing my work' said Edwards.
Works to be exhibited are...
Any other blah blah here
September 30 2009 - September 30 2010
7pm - 8pm Mon - Fri
6pm - 7pm Sat
The reason that press releases in the third person receive better feedback and result in more sales, or visitors, is that people who place these releases on their sites or in their papers, quite often copy and paste them as you have written them to remain true (and to save time), only editing spelling and grammar.
They very often will miss off any that use 'I' in them as they are quite useless for someone else to place.
If you are not going to do this and am just going to say 'hi guys, updated work in my gallery', then use your blog area instead.
Thanks for addressing this problem Beth. It has been huge problem for quite sometime now with about half of the new releases being real bad with no contact information. Hopefully your excellent advice will be read and acted upon my some. Thanks!
You are welcome Frank. I have also been contacting a couple of them (when I can find out who on earth they are) and letting them know that press releases are NOT for the way they have been using them.
I am hoping that Sean will address this problem which is actually a larger one than some others due to the fact that people in the media will come expressly for a proper press release to use in their issues. I have been watching them carefully recently for the magazine and out of 10, only one will be usable!
beth, i use several press release services, and they have parameters that must be followed..including number of words.
not that i want more work for you, but if they don't fit the bill, they don't post. there's a 24 hour waiting period for review.....problem here is that they are up immediately...and then grabbed by the search engines within an hour or so....
Yes Marlene, that is a big problem here. This is one side of the site that the media may be watching and, as it is, is being abused terribly. Not on purpose I am sure. The people I have contacted so far did not know how to use this area. It must be addressed I feel.
My fear is that the misuse of press releases could harm FAA's credibility with the press and with galleries and art dealers you pick up FAA originated releases via RSS. My experience with press releases is that if you get enough garbage from a source, you stop looking at that source altogether.
Perhaps a press release "template" could be added along with "pop up" instructions on how to fill out the template?
That is the type of line I was heading down idea-wise, Joe. As I said in the top post, this is business and I also wish to use peoples press releases on my magazine BUT, I cannot and I have been tempted to stop even looking. That's me, the person that works here and really wants to promote the site so, if even I am turned off, imagine what the other press feels like who is not biased towards the site.
I have let FAA know about this post and I hope that it is taken seriously as this is a a HUGE problem to people that do wish to market their work properly.
I cannot state this enough, a press release can make or break a person wishing to market. It is very serious that people do them properly.
i must agree with joe...fill in the blanks template AND if you cannot fill in all of the blanks, one's 'press release' doesn't qualify and will not post.
there's got to be software available...when i fill in forms online and leave one line blank, they return to that page with a note in red to fill it in!
i experienced this last year with a grant application...."ALL areas must be filled in. If anything is left blank, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed."
WOW! I just went through 10 pages on the "Fine Art News & Press Releases" and things have really become worse than just a few months ago! Typical of the emptiness in press releases is this one;
New here at FAA.. I love it here and the work of others has inspired me! Hope that you all will take a minute to look at my work. Feel free to critique and comment. Thanks
No contact; no information just taking up some 0's and 1's in cyberspace as are thousands more like it. Time to plug in the shredder and clean out the wastebasket that "Fine Art News & Press Releases" has become!
With some form of template it would show people also what a press release actually is. So many people use it as though they wee posting here that I truly believe they think it is some sort of forum area where everyone sees it and can go and congratulate them, (eg I just won a contest, that was it, no other link, description, anything!).
A template would make people stop and give proper details.
And they should DEFINITELY be linked to when they post as finding these people to inform them what they are doing is impossible. I have no idea who on earth they are.
Another thing I find annoying is to see zazzle and other sites being promoted with NO link to the artist here at FAA.
beth, i think that should not be allowed...promoting oneself on another site when there is no connection to faa?
faa is not like fb where anything goes...it is a site that promotes the SALE of your work and faa makes the profit for doing so. it isn't free advertising.
bad form to use it to promote sales elsewhere.
Agree with all about a template! I won't use the press release feature because of all the issues and garbage I see. It could prove to be an effective tool and I think a template will certainly weed out those who wish to abuse the feature. As Beth said, it isn't a forum! Let's all try to remember: GIGO - garbage in - garbage out. It could hurt all of us!
Beth, this is the first that I've seen of this particular discussion and I am very glad to have come across it. I've never done a press release and had no clue how to do one. I appreciate your explanation of how to properly create a press release and look forward to doing so very soon.
Thank you, Beth, for your interesting anf useful advices.
May I ask you what do you think of my article?
You will find it here: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/erminio-biandolino.html?tab=press
Why, according to you, I wasn't able to up-load the related event in the event slot?
What have I to do in order to do it in the right manner?
FAA provides some excellent tools for marketing our work, if used in conjunction with our own efforts outside FAA some great results can be achieved. I use the news release feature for different events. Often I have the information of the location and their contact numbers rather then mine. Last year I ended up with two front page news stories and one full page story on page three of a local paper. Many places also pick these up and add the event to their community calendars. The main problem I see with the news release on FAA is that many artists are just using them in a desperate attempt to get other artists to look at their work. Sure we all want our work seen but it needs to be by the right people. When used to get attention of other artists it waters down the overall effectiveness of releases on FAA. I know mine releases are not ideal but here is a sample of one.
I was all ready to write a press release via FAA but after reading all this, I'm wondering if it's worth it. Unless I'm missing a link (no comments, please!), FAA have not yet provided a set template, let alone one that will not publish unless it's completed correctly. What would you advise?
In order to prevent people from posting absolutely anything in the press release area, how about a small charge for posing a press release? Not much, just $1.00 or so, so that someone has to go to at least a little bit of trouble to post one and can't just pull up the screen and drop anything in there.
Thank you so much for writing this (and continually bumping it!) I recently joined and had absolutely NO idea what was supposed to go in the press release section or how it is used here.
So I started looking around for info and was very happy to find your post. There is so much possibility if used correctly - a template would be awesome, but even just more information that is easy to access would help.