PR Tips for Creative Clients and Cultural Institutions

 

By Katie Brenneman

Priorities of public relations campaigns and the methods involved aren’t the same for all clients in different industries — especially if you choose to work for creative clients like artists and cultural institutions.

Creative focused individuals and institutions generally require their own unique PR perspective and approaches. Guerilla marketing style stunts for an avant-garde artist aren’t going to work for a distinguished historical museum.

Regardless of who your clients are or what niche in the PR field you choose to fill, there are some things that remain the same. You must ensure you know your clients well, from the smallest artist to the grandest library; you must always be as creative as they are, if not more so; and you must use the tools relevant to your industry as well as theirs. This article will give you tips on how to do so in order to fulfill the needs of all types of creative and cultural clients.

Get to Know Your Client

Creative people, institutions, and their events don’t all fall into a single, all-encompassing category. While there will certainly be some common elements involved, this is a sector in which individualism is a priority and is fervently protected. When you’re creating a PR campaign for artists, taking time to gain a deeper understanding is essential to establishing the most appropriate strategy.

This can start with a phone call or video chat to talk to them about what they feel is important about the project. Discuss any themes relevant to their current work and how this reflects their ideas, practices, and the way they present themselves to the world. After all, when you write a press release for an artist, you’ll be emphasizing what is new or unique about them. Importantly, gain intelligence about PR methodologies and tools they are keen to avoid. This may seem like it’s limiting your options. But it’s more akin to honing your toolbox for more relevant and targeted campaigning.

Getting into the nitty-gritty of a cultural institution’s history is also likely to strengthen your relationship with them at a formative time. Indeed, if you’re still pitching to them, it can be an effective way to show you don’t just want the job but are also the best person for it. You’re demonstrating that you’re showing the same level of care and respect to the process of representing their works as they apply to curating it. By presenting them with strategy suggestions and ideas based on your conversations, you can leave a lasting impression.Adopt a Creative Mindset

There are certainly some technical and organizational skills you need to apply to your PR campaigns. However, it’s also helpful to recognize how working alongside creative clients can benefit from leaning into creative thought processes. Getting your client noticed over the significant number of other creatives in the industry can certainly benefit from outside-of-the-box ideas and innovative approaches. Cultivating your artistic mindset can help you achieve this.

It may seem like a hurdle to your productivity, but even simply taking moments out of your day to sketch aimlessly can be effective. Studies focused on the psychology of children doodling in class show the activity has significant practical and emotional advantages. It can improve memory, combat stress, and boost focus. In your PR campaigns, doodling is a great way of connecting to the creative mindset. This goes for all campaigns, even ones for natural history museums. You get to tap into less restricted ideas and consider your actions in the way an artist might.

From here you can start finding ways to combine other creative practices with your more traditional technical PR actions. This could include underexplored social media content types. It may involve producing more interactive publicity events that reflect the styles and ideas of your clients. Aside from being more closely tied to the goals of the project, these nontraditional approaches can help you and your client interact with the target audience in more memorable ways.

Use Relevant Tools

Your expertise is one of the most valuable assets as a PR professional. However, you also know how important utilizing the right tech and tools can be toward your success. When it comes to creative clients and art events, these tools also need to be relevant to the environment.

Some elements to consider can include:

Video Content

Campaigns for creative industries require highly visual PR tools. You want audiences to get a small taste of what the exhibition or project has to offer. This is no longer a complicated or expensive proposition. You or your artist client can film content on a smartphone. There is accessible and easy video editing software available to give this a professional appearance. These platforms not only cut content to the preferred time length for social channels, they also enable a more creative appearance with overlays and effects.

Collector Lists

If you’re running public relations for an artist or a historical exhibit, collector lists can be a powerful tool. Art is still being treated as a valuable investment and people are keen to find new pieces to boost their collections. Galleries will often keep a record for sales and marketing purposes. Work with the exhibition venue to gain access to this where possible. Your client should also have a list of regular collectors of their work. You can then use this to begin a targeted email campaign in the lead-up to an event.

Collaborators

The arts scene is filled with creative individuals. Most importantly, it is a supportive community where relationships are vital. Your PR campaign can benefit from seeking out opportunities for collaborations with other relevant artists and influencers. If your client is a street artist, you can gain publicity from a live collaborative mural event. Connect your client with art YouTubers and Twitch streamers to produce interesting content together. Structure the timing of these collaborations to generate a growing buzz in the weeks before the exhibition or product release.

Conclusion

Running a PR campaign for a creative client isn’t necessarily the same as in other industries. You need to gain a deeper understanding of their themes and drives so you can better communicate these. Cultivating a creative mindset can also help you better relate to your client and think outside of the box in your methods. Remember that adopting tools relevant to the arts community is a route toward a more impactful experience. With some planning and commitment, you can boost your client’s profile while enhancing your PR career.

Above Image Source: Pexels

Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in business productivity, lifestyle, and mental health topics. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.

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