Art publicity is expensive. It’s also vital to get the best visibility. Follow these PR tips below to understand what is involved in DIY PR.
Complexity will not get headlines
One thing to remember is journalists aren’t (initially) interested in the complex ideas behind your artwork. They want to know the headline, and what’s unique about your practice. You can go into depth once you’ve got their attention.
Tailor those emails
Mail merge an announcement but send bespoke emails for features and interviews. You want to tailor the email to the journalist and include the name of their publication and what sort of piece you are interested in. Journalists also like it if you read their articles, and pitch something in line with their interests.
Don’t take no for an answer
Publicity isn’t as elusive as you might think. There are many ways to pitch your work, and many platforms to pitch it to. Don’t get put off by no responses or rejection. The key is to be persistent and keep going. If you are really getting nowhere, try changing the subject line, and pitch to a different journalist at the same outlet.
Use social media as a tool
One way to get in front of a journalist is by putting a face (and artworks) to a name. Follow and network with journalists on Twitter and Instagram. Journalists (especially freelance) may also welcome private view and press view invites via DM.
As you are in a creative industry, get creative with the PR. If your pitches aren’t landing, think about your hook. Are you the first artist to do something? The youngest? Have you broken a record (the most paint, biggest painting, longest time spent on one artwork)? The more extraordinary, the more likely you’ll get a result.
Leighanne is an art PR expert, with 10 years of experience in the art world. She has worked with galleries, institutions and artists from Saatchi Gallery, Opera Gallery, Artes Mundi, ART X Lagos to Pussy Riot. Follow her on
Text by Leighanne Murray