Working with Newspapers to Promote Events
A common and fairly savvy way to partner is working with a local newspaper. Charles Saatchi, the advertising giant, did the following campaign in London. He asked a paper, the Guardian, if they would host an exhibit of artworks in one of their rooms. This is how it would work. There would be an open call to artists to submit work to a show that would be juried by the public. It would be announced through email and advertisements in the newspaper. As the art came in, this is what artists would have to do. They had to upload their work to a site (Saatchi’s) and then they had to sign up for the Guardian’s mailing list to get news on what was happening. Not unlike my last example, there is a mailing list collaboration here. You see, after the artists upload their work, they have to tell all their friends to please vote on their work so they will win a place in this show, the idea being that this is curated by the community.
So now take a look at the big picture here. Saatchi makes a proposal that is good for everyone. The Guardian is hosting an art show and telling their readers to pick the artist they like the best. That means there will be plenty of free coverage in a major newspaper. The reason the Guardian is doing all this at no cost is because every time someone votes, they have to sign up on the Guardian website, and they are adding to their email list. For Saatchi, a wealthy man who could have paid for it all, he is getting what he wants too. There will be more publicity for him and his new artist website, and he created a nationwide promotion that will cost him nothing. Pretty sly move, don’t you think? This is a version of what you could do. Of course you could take that exact example and go for it because it will probably work in most cities. However, the main lesson to take here is that you can partner with major media or stores and come out with a win-win situation so everyone is happy.
The way to earn an income stream from these ideas it to have something to sell or just continue to raise money for your gallery. That’s right, no sales at all, just donations from people to keep your gallery going. This is how most small organizations and nonprofits run to some degree. What makes some more profitable than others is how savvy they are at working with other businesses and finding a way to generate more donations and a larger mailing list. This can be very creative. I am talking about a gallery, but you could create a temporary outdoor exhibit for artists or a performance event or almost anything that will engage the community and be of artistic or cultural interest. Is this an income stream that could make you money right away? Absolutely. As soon as you have the idea, you can begin talking about it and raising money. It will take you longer to be an official nonprofit, recognized by your government, but you do not need to wait until that happens.
To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here. To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.