TITLE: Trust in "The Professionals"
DATE: 12/26/2004 08:51:00 AM
Last week an artist-friend asked my opinion on hiring a professional to draft and circulate a press release in support of her recently completed commission. Her instinct had merit. If you are too busy to tackle the administrative side of your business, why not hire a contractor to manage this work for you?
Generally I advocate against this. An artist or craftsperson will fill their press release with passion and mail it with drive. They know what makes their newest piece so exciting and it’s hard for a hired professional to recapture this enthusiasm.
I also find that we tend to run from what we don’t know. Artists are rarely confident writers, marketers, or pricing gurus. So, of course the first instinct would be to hand it off to someone else. But, how can you hire a professional to do work you have never completed yourself? How would you know if the release was structured appropriately or mailed to the right people? If you have no meter against which to prove the professional did a superior job, then how can you be assured you are paying for a worthwhile service?
Consider that many people hire doctors and don’t question their diagnosis or ask for additional testing. They assume their particular medial professional 'got it right the first time'.
Consider that many entrepreneurs hire lawyers without setting limit or questioning what was delivered during the attorney’s billable hours. The very idea of questioning a lawyers work is terrifying and brings up an image of an angry Perry Mason peering down on you.
Consider that human nature instinctively nudges us toward a professional whom we will pay a lot, but not necessary demand a lot.
This being said, there are absolutely times to use a professional marketer or press agent. If you have the budget, you have outlined your expectations, and you intend to focus on deliverables, you are right to be in shopping the market. Marketing and promotion are not small jobs to be forgetten. If you aren't performing these jobs, someone should!
Here are a few of my recommendations to get started in your search:
Heather Rothnie with Your Arts Copilot - emailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Beitler with Yellow Sky – emailto:email@example.com
Do you have a great PR or marketing professional you have contracted work out to? Email me and forward your recommendation.