Sending press releases to bloggers/critics?
With the fall exhibition season gearing up this week, now is a good time for one of MAN's periodic Advice for Gallerists/PR Types posts. Today: Things to think about before sending me (and other writers/bloggers) a press release or email. Helpful press releases are a very good thing and unhelpful press releases are very, very much not:
- There is almost never a reason to send more than one notice per show. I immediately delete weekly emails/releases. The more email a gallery sends me, the more likely I am to delete everything from them without looking at it. Furthermore, I will mark it as spam, entering the sender into Yahoo's spam database. One Washington gallery is especially notorious -- it seems like I get at least a daily email from them. These emails even come from different people in the gallery, and sometimes one email has been 'jointly' sent by "two" people in the gallery (according to the 'from' line.) Completely unnecessary.
- Do not send me files/releases that are more than 1MB. It clogs up and slows down my email.
- Send an image with (or in) your press release. Send it at 72dpi so it isn't bigger than my memory stick.
- Send your press release as HTML. Not only does downloading and opening a file add another step (which sounds like not such a big deal, but people such as me receive 50 of these things a day), but if there's a virus or something going around I'm just not going to download files from semi-known senders.
- Type a subject line. Tell me what's in the email or what the show is, or I'm not going to open it. See spam/virus concerns above.
- Do not use all caps in show titles, subject lines, or anywhere else. It's ANNOYING.
- Did I mention: One release/email per show.
- Send what you got via email. I read almost none of my snail mail. (Notable exceptions: Hand-addressed notes, catalogues and snail mail with media-friendly conveniences such as CDs or DVDs.) A few museums, such as the Met and the Frick, operate primarily on snail mail. I love both places, but c'mon, get with the century.
- If you follow-up, do so just once. I don't mean to be a crank, but see above about getting 50+ releases/etc. a day.
- Have a link to an updated website, preferrably with images.
- And finally (and, well, not related): Put a bench in your gallery! My feet hurt. Especially if you're in Chelsea, where you're probably the 30th gallery I've hit that day. (You who have done so: You are loved. Seriously.)
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