Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London and New York sent me a copy of their slick, beautiful 2006/2007 course catalog, which must have cost a fortune to produce.
I plucked it from my mailbox this morning. As soon as I opened the envelope, I asked myself, “Why are they sending this to me?”
I’m not an artist and don’t want to be. I don’t collect art. I’m not a photographer. The closest I’ve come to being an artist is being a member of the American Needlepoint Guild about 10 years ago and considering my own needlepoint artwork. But I stashed the needlepoint in the closet about eight years ago, shortly after I started my business.
So why is Sotheby’s trying to woo me? Beats me. Maybe they think I’m a member of the media and I’ll give them publicity for their institute. But as I said, I’m not interested, so the only publicity I’m giving them is what you’re reading here.
This leads me to ask: How much do you know about all the media outlets on your media lists? Have you taken the time to hold every newspaper and magazine in your hands, read them, and understand exactly what they cover and what kinds of news they need before you send them anything? Have you watched TV programs you’re pitching? Have you read print newsletters and ezines that are on your news release list?
If a reporter called you right now, confused as I am, and asked, “Why did you send this to me?” what would you say?
If you don’t have a good answer, it’s likely your publicity materials are ending up in the same place as the Sotheby’s catalog I just received: in the wastebasket.
Take the time to research every media outlet on your list. Go to their websites and look around. Read newspapers and magazines thoroughly to understand all your pitching opportunities. Listen to the archives of shows at websites such as National Public Radio so you know what you need to do to get booked on NPR or other shows.
Make the same mistakes Sotheby’s made and join the ranks of the Media Mutts that mean well, but remain clueless.