Kingston Arts Council Presents How To Work With Local Media For Better Arts Communication

Last night, (November 9, 2010) I attended How to Work with Local Media for Better Arts Communication, a workshop presented by the Kingston Arts Council (KAC) at The Residence Inn at 7 Earl Street in Kingston. The Kingston Arts Council’s objective was “to create an open dialogue between artists, art organizations, and media members to better understand how to create more symbiotic communication between the groups” with the hope that this will result in less arts events being missed in media coverage.

Greg Tilson, Program Coordinator for KAC hosted the workshop that featured panel members comprised of Kingston media professionals including:

Ally Hall – Arts & Entertainment Editor of The Queen’s Journal
Greg Burliuk – Arts & Entertainment Editor for The Whig Standard
Tori Stafford – Reporter for Kingston This Week and The Gananoque Reporter
Danielle Lennon – Publisher & Editor of Kingstonist.com
Melissa Duggan – Videographer and Weather Anchor for Newswatch @5:30 on CKWS TV
Jef Johnston – Sales for CKWS, FM96 & CKWSFM
Jane Deacon – Editor of Kingston Life magazine
Alec RossFreelance Journalist (Kingston Life)
Meredith DaultFreelance Writer for The Globe and Mail, CBC Radio and Words and Music magazine
Irina Skvortsova – Business Manager for CFRC 101.9 FM Radio Queen’s University
Bonnie Golomb – Editor & Publisher of Profile Kingston (couldn’t attend but sent her comments)
Brian Johnson – General Sales Manager for CHUM FM (couldn’t attend but sent his comments)

and special presenter:

Colin Wiginton – Manager, Cultural Services, City of Kingston (Kingston actually has a cultural development agency and a Culture Plan, and is working towards greater communication and support of the media as well as audience development and cultural tourism.)

Workshop participants were asked by the media reps to remember that as arts promoters the question we should always ask is, “Why should I care?” Why should the media care about your press release? Kingston has such a rich cultural, arts & entertainment scene that the competition for attendees at events is fierce and it is impossible for the local media to cover everything. In fact, there are probably more producers of events in Kingston than there is an audience for them so promoters have to KNOW their audience and SELL their event.

The general consensus among panel members was that promoters should:

• Be unique
• Know what your angle is
• Make it easy for the media
• Be prepared
• Correspond by email
• Write a great press release that will grab the media’s attention
• Send a photo or EPK with your email
• Give them video to use if possible
• Follow up all communications with phone calls to ensure receipt
• Time events to avoid double booking (i.e. if three new plays by different theatre groups all open on the same night, Greg Burliuk cannot possibly review them all!)
• Time events that you want covered by CKWS TV away from 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00 pm
• Research the publications you’re interested in: know their audience and when they publish
• Use Listings@thewhig.com
• Use The Whig’s Events Calendar online – www.thewhig.com/Calendar/DisplayEvents.aspx
• Contact Kingstonist.com – www.kingstonist.com/about/
• Use the Kingston Arts Council’s Arts Directory – www.artskingston.ca/directory.cfm
• You’ll need more than one radio commercial per day to get your message across
• TV advertising doesn’t have to be expensive
• Be your own media and use your website, email list, videos, social media and all the current technologies that are available to you

Above all, don’t be afraid to get to know and network with your local media! They want to help raise awareness about arts & entertainment in Kingston!

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2 comments

  1. Kingston Arts Council · November 29, 2010

    Great summary! Thanks for posting this…

  2. scullylovepromo · December 1, 2010

    You’re very welcome! Thank you for hosting the event. I look forward to more of them.

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