Over at Crows to Burnaby, Kirsten links to Townie Bastard, a 'former disreputable media type'. He's written a four-part piece on how to pitch an entertainment reporter. Though I don't do it much anymore, I've done my fair share of arts promotion. There are plenty of obvious but oft-ignored truths here:
You have to think of it this way--it's not the Entertainment section, it's the entertainment business section. Ninety per cent of the stories I wrote for Jiggs and Reels in The Express were people promoting a product, whether it was art, music, books, etc. If your product is going to succeed you have to put as much thought into marketing and promoting it as you did in creating it. Because if you can't make it exciting enough to make a reporter, with space to fill, want to write about it, then you're in trouble when it comes to getting the rest of the general public engaged.
And this is where most artists fail. They create it and then think magically people will flock to it. It doesn’t work that way. I wish it did.
I see this in theatre all the time. Talented artists get together, make great art and then no one's willing to do the marketing work to bring people in. They take a "build it and they will come" attitude which, sadly, almost never works.
Here's the aforementioned Bastard's advice, in four parts: