A Public Relations Digest for Artists

Artists can use the Internet to build a personal brand, carve out a niche, and to conduct business.  No matter the industry, everyone should incorporate public relations into their plans.  Social media is a great way for artists to connect to fans, fellow artists, and potential buyers.  Relying on mainstream media to increase popularity is about as productive as baking cupcakes by sunlight (not very productive).  Social networking sites like Delicious, Facebook, and Twitter can help artists create an online presence, get socially involved in the industry, and stay up-to-date on current news and trends.

"Public Relations" by fb 101

"Public Relations" by fb 101 can be found at DeviantArt.com

PR Rundown for Artists

Neil McKenzie’s post about PR for artists distinguishes between public relations and advertising.  The post lists public relations opportunities for artists to connect with their key publics and ways to monitor current PR efforts.  Below is an excerpt from his blog.

Some of the areas public relations address are:

  • Communication between you and your audience(s) and target customers
  • A bridge between you and the media
  • Setting up speaking engagements and involvement with public causes or charities
  • Positioning you as an expert in your particular field by being quoted and sought after
  • Building rapport with your stakeholders such as customers, employees, critics and the public
  • Refining your social media management and engagement
  • Developing third party endorsements for your art, company or organization
  • Crisis management (if you do things right you will probably not need this one – think BP and the Gulf oil spill)

Some examples of how you can use PR to tell what is going on in your world:

  • New projects, art or products you have developed or you are currently working on
  • Your shows, exhibits and where you will be
  • The hiring of new employees or opening a new studio or retail location
  • Awards or honors you have received.
  • Collaboration with other individuals or organizations
  • Community activities or groups that you are involved with
  • Panels and group discussions you participate in
  • Feature articles about you and your work
By Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

Trust Agents cover

Pre-Campaign Considerations

Before jumping into your online branding campaign, take some time to do research.  Chris Brogan’s Trust Agents is the perfect book for anyone who is new to social media.  Most of us are familiar with social networking, but social media as a whole offer great opportunity to create an online presence while connecting to people.  I read Trust Agents last semester in my Media Relations and Publicity class because we were required to do a book review.  After I finished the book, I had a much broader view of social media, but I also had a much more focused understanding.  So if you’re  interested in my review, let me know and I’ll send it to you.  I’d recommend it to those who are new to social media or interested in building an online presence via public relations.


Since this post is dedicated to PR efforts, I wanted to attempt to tie it into macabre.  Most macabre work can be described as shocking, taboo, or some other word that expresses an uncomfortable feeling.  This alone could be cause for publicity in mainstream media, but who wants to wait around for watermelon raindrops?  I know I’m not going to rely on some reporter to find me.  After conducting some research, it’s quite clear that most people are unaware of what macabre is.  I mean, the first few links when typing “macabre” into Google are from definition websites.  We need to band together and connect with people.  Macabre is something to talk about, it’s something to be proud of.  Maybe it’s time for some zombie picket signs to help us break out of movie and video game entertainment.  I say we push for an American macabre museum!!  Who’s with me?!

Zombie Vector by Mark Mandu

Zombie Vector by Mark Mandu


About BrittniBizarro

I'm a glitter-gluing, weight-lifting, cupcake-loving tomboy who enjoys romantic comedies, zombie video games, and pretty shoes. I'm a public relations grad student with high hopes and shallow pockets. May the force be with me. View all posts by BrittniBizarro

8 responses to “A Public Relations Digest for Artists

  • Corey

    I’m with you all the way. Zombies and other macabre should not just be limited to you movies and video games. There are very talented artist that don’t get the recognition they deserve because people tend to fear darker works of art. I think as a country we tend to think of ourselves as immortal and thus we fear the idea our own deaths. We are missing out on a very interesting and educational gene of art. Macabre art allows us to face our own mortality and view other’s interpretations of death. It would be pretty awesome if America would have a holiday similar to Mexico’s Day of the Dead.

    • DyneOh

      The Day of the Dead is a day to celebrate ancestors who have moved on to a better world. A world without suffering. You’re right about America’s fear of death. We all just want to leave this place knowing we’ve made an impact in some way.

  • Dave_DelCol

    I never thought about artists incorporating their works with social media. There are always musicians and an occasional photographer using social media but I have never seen any other artists. It would be awesome if someone uploaded pictures of their works to a catalog on a Facebook page for the world to see. Imagine how fast these works could be picked up and how many different audiences it could reach! I like how you explained PR and gave simplistic examples so that your readers won’t feel overwhelmed. If there is one thing PR is good at its intimidating new comers.

    • DyneOh

      PR should be considered by every industry. We all have stories, and we all want to tell them. Whether it’s a story about a product, service, or experience, we have valuable information that should be shared with anyone who wants it.

      I never thought PR would be intimidating to outsiders. I always thought we were looked down upon, so I’m always ready to defend public relations. haha. Nice insight, Dave_DelCol 🙂 I appreciate it.

  • Ashley

    I think it is very interesting that you are talking about using social networking sites as a way to market one’s self in the art world. It seems that artists have a difficulty in making their mark, and utilizing social networking sites is a great way to put their stamp in the public. I personally have not used a social networking site to promote myself or my art (currently an Art Ed. student) however in my program we are encouraged to create a personal website to use as a portfolio. These tend to include a personal philosophy on education, curriculum, as well as personal artwork. The downfall is that it is hard to spam these sorts of websites and still appear to be professional. I also think that a reason many artists have yet to fully utilize say, facebook to market their work is because it isn’t the “artsy” thing to do. Everyone wants to make it because of their artwork and message, not because of facebook. While it may be a great way to put yourself out there, that is most likely the reason it has yet to become a common tool. It would also allow for others to steal work. Facebook is such an open tool, it may prevent a great artist from making it when others put their name to the works. I still feel, for the right artists, these sites could allow for them to branch out and make a name for themselves.
    I also enjoy that you are talking about macabre artwork. Sadly I have never really looked into the genre, and being an art student that is rather surprising. I think that maybe this is because a natural reaction to death is to avoid it, it is almost taboo to show gruesome images. I know that in education we are not allowed to use violent imagery in our lesson plans. It is strange that a natural part of life, something every creature must go through, is pushed to the back.

    Just some thoughts.
    Ashley K

    • DyneOh

      Ashley, you bring some insight as an artist. I appreciate your input and explanation of why artists may be hesitant to use social media as a tool to connect with others. Instead of “selling out” and pushing their artwork at people, maybe it would be better to begin by creating an online artist community. Sites like DeviantArt.com allow artists to showcase their work, copyright it, and sell it. If we had more communities like that one, it may be easier for people to find. What do you think?

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