You Don’t Want To Be “That Guy” Do You?

Simply put, if you’re a public relations or marketing professional, you can’t get along in this business without a thorough understanding of new media. If you needed any more proof, the always poignant Lisa Hirsch over at Iron Tongue of Midnight published a wonderful post last week entitled “Don’t Be Stupid” which does an excellent job at defining some points we were exchanging in an email discussion about performing arts organizations and new media. Although the title says it all, Lisa goes the extra mile by putting together a nifty check list of do’s and don’ts that are worth printing out and tacking to your wall…

I especially like the following point:

DO make sure the press release is relevant to the people you’re emailing…

Dont get taken for a ride by shifty publicity firms!
Don't get taken for a ride by shifty publicity firms!

Far too often, PR professionals claiming to specialize in new media completely fail to demonstrate any working knowledge of this point. As of now (and I hope it is short-lived) what seems to pass for new media experience is simply mass emailing a standard press release to as many bloggers that write on loosely related topics as possible. For example, this blog is about orchestra management but I still receive a dozen or so PRs every day about the latest Indie band or touring DJ from publicity firms that claim to specialize in reaching new media outlets. What is most frustrating is artists are paying firms like this a portion of their limited promotional budget with the belief that they are going to reach targeted new media outlets.

Since you’re thinking about new media, don’t forget about the extensive series of articles on how to identify and connect with new media right here at Adaptistration (along with the free eBook) as well as some really fantastic material written by Marc van Bree over at The Dutch Perspective.

Read all of this material and incorporate it into your professional soul! After all, you don’t want to be “that guy” in the office 10 years from now who doesn’t “get” new media, do you?

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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