Do you feel like you’re sending your press releases out into the void? Helen Nugent, former Times journalist and founding editor of cultural website Northern Soul, shares her secrets for building a more fruitful relationship with your local arts journalist.
Unlike general news reporters whose area of expertise changes on a daily basis, arts writers are a specialist bunch. They’ve probably spent years getting to where they are, driven by a genuine interest and love of culture. And a regional arts reporter is likely to have built up an impressive network of arts contacts in the local area– your goal is to be one of them.
In many ways, dealing with an arts journalist is like pushing at an open door. You’re selling a product that is (most of the time) something they are keen to buy. Almost certainly you will not have to give them a hard sell – just be honest about what your organisation does and why you think it is important. Journalists respond to an open and frank approach.