Getting an article about your work in a local newspaper or magazine is always a bit of luck and a good measure of preparation. From what I've seen, it takes three things, 1) a good "story," 2) great images, and 3) a personal letter to a writer or editor.
Press releases won't get it. While press releases may be handy dandy, and you think that you are doing something, in my experience they are close to worthless, i.e. "busy work." Sorry to bust the myth, but I've never seen the payoff. Sure, I dutifully send them out, but press releases always seem generic and boring . . . and I don't know who picks up on them.
What got my latest article was the one and only thing I believe in... a personal letter (or email) to a person. Sometimes you are reaching out to find a contact person. You may not know them, yet, or haven't talked to them in years, but yes, the personal touch is the "key". Sometimes you have to begin by just picking a name out of the newspaper, magazine, or website and start a personal communication.
To get a story, look for a writer or editor:
- give them one or two short paragraphs about why this is a great "story";
- tell them who, what, when, and where;
- add a few great photos, but only 2-3 small jpgs (less than 2 MB max);
Never use bulk emails. This is the worst possible solution for trying to capture a writer or editor's attention. If you can't write to them one on one, why would they give you an extra minute?
I'd like to hear if anyone has any experience that they can offer in this regard. How do you get articles?
The above image is from the Palo Alto Weekly March 23, 2012 edition about my show at the Anita Seipp Gallery, Castilleja School. The article writer is Karla Kane, Editor Rebecca Wallace, and the photographer is Veronica Weber. Download PaloAltoWeekly3.23.12PDF
This post was updated on March 12, 2022.