American Masterpieces American Muse American Moves Tour A Guide for Conducting Public Relations Preface The following guide has been designed to help each organization achieve the publicity

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American Masterpieces American Muse American Moves Tour A Guide for Conducting Public Relations Preface The following guide has been designed to help each organization achieve the publicity Powered By Docstoc
					American Masterpieces
American Muse | American Moves Tour

A Guide for Conducting Public Relations
The following guide has been designed to help each organization achieve the
publicity impact that is central to the American Muse | American Moves tour
program. The material contained in this guide should be viewed as helpful
suggestions on ways in which to achieve your publicity goals. Mid Atlantic Arts
Foundation understands that not every suggestion contained in this guide will be
appropriate or achievable for each host organization. However, the Foundation
does request that each host organization follow the publicity requirements listed

1) Funding Acknowledgements / Logo Use

   The appropriate credit copy must appear on all American Muse | American
   Moves related publications, press releases or other public documents:


   Grantees are also required to link their web sites to Mid Atlantic Arts
   Foundation web site at This link MUST remain
   active during the entire length of your grant period with MAAF. You are
   requested, but not required, to use MAAF's logo to indicate the link on
   your web site. An electronic copy of the logo has been included in your
   American Masterpieces electronic media kit.

2) Technical Assistance

   MAAF’s communications staff is available for technical assistance and advice
   on implementation of individual publicity campaigns. Call Karen Newell at
   410/539-6656 x 104 or email

3) Media Coverage
   Please forward copies of all press coverage received to the Communications
   Office of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. If you are able to secure television or
   radio coverage, please inform MAAF so that the Foundation can secure audio
   or video from the local media outlet.
I:     How Can Public Relations Help You?

There are many definitions for and many different ways of conducting public
relations. For the purposes of American Muse | American Moves public relations
provides an organized and effective way of establishing positive relationships, as
well as communicating with and sharing information with local media who may be
interested in your presentation of a world quality artist as part Mid Atlantic’s
American Masterpieces program.

Public relations generally tries to provide relevant, timely information to the media
and the community they serve. The American Muse | American Moves Tour
provides access to the highest quality performing artists in communities across
the region. Public relations is a valuable tool for promoting this effort to
disseminate the work of the artists across the region.

This guide is specially designed to help you communicate with the media in your
local area by using tested and proven public relations techniques. Some of it
may be old hat – but if even one piece helps you get exposure for your
organization and the tour – it was well worth the read! Additionally, Mid Atlantic
Arts Foundation’s communications staff is available to provide you with any
technical PR assistance you may need beyond what is covered in this manual.
Call 410/539-6656 x104

II:    Why Conduct Public Relations for American Muse |
       American Moves?

American Muse | American Moves celebrates premier American dance
companies and repertoire by choreographic masters set to quintessentially
American music – from the Broadway musical and jazz and blues standards, to
iconic minimalism and traditional spirituals.

Your local public relations activities can result in print, television,
electronic/internet, and radio publicity for your organization, artist, the American
Muse | American Moves tour as a whole, and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.
Public relations will serve to introduce and detail the theme that ties the American
Muse | American Moves tour together, the legendary performers of these
wonderful cultural traditions, and what your audience can expect to see and/or
hear at a performance.
III:   Selecting a Public Relations Point Person

To generate a sense of excitement or “buzz” around your project, it is important
that everyone involved with the American Muse | American Moves tour at your
organization is kept informed and involved. Discuss how the program will play
a vital role in generating significant exposure for your organization.

Dependent on the size and resources of your organization, it is advisable to
designate a PR point person. The PR point person will be the primary contact
and consistent information source for local media and MAAF staff.

 Since this person will be communicating with many different people and
  will be on call to the media and resident artists, it is ideal to choose someone
  who may already be familiar with the local media.

 The PR point person will need to be consistently available to rapidly
  respond to reporter inquiries and even provide American Muse | American
  Moves interviews. His or her time should be structured to be responsive to
  this program and its publicity needs.
IV:      Developing, Using and Updating Media Lists

An accurate media list may well be one of the most valuable tools used in public
relations. A media list is a compilation of newspapers, other print media, TV
stations, radio stations, and other electronic media in your area. The list should

     Contact person at the publication or station
     Contact person’s title/responsibilities
     Contact person’s mailing and email address
     Contact person’s phone and fax number
     Additional section containing any pertinent information on the
      reporter/producer you are contacting (i.e., area of interest or beat, best time to
      contact, best way to contact, etc.)

The media list contact person should be the one most likely to be interested in
covering your program. Arts Editors, Community/Social Issues Reporters, and
Feature/Lifestyle Writers at print publications and News Directors, News
Assignment Editors, and Producers at television and radio stations, may have the
most interest in covering your event or story. You should also include prominent
bloggers in your area and the editors of various email and online newsletters as
part of your campaign.


Make an effort to update any previous lists you have created before
beginning any new media outreach project. This way, you are ensured that
you are sending your materials to and following up with the correct person.

V:       Developing and Using Key Message Points

The American Muse | American Moves tour is an interesting program with a great
deal of important information to be shared with the public. Yet, you’ll often find
your conversations/interactions with print and television reporters need to be very
brief and focused. Becoming familiar with and communicating consistent key
message points to all media will help your PR efforts.

These messages will be useful when you are customizing press materials for
your events and when you have a media interview scheduled. It is important to
become familiar with the messages to an extent that you are delivering them but
also putting your own spin on them. The best media interview is one where you
or your spokesperson sounds and acts natural, knowledgeable, and excited.

It will be critical to the success of your PR efforts for you to be consistent in your
message use. Once you have decided on the message that works best for your
organization and community, continue using that message throughout your
publicity campaign.

VI:    Preparing & Distributing Press Materials

In this guide’s Tool Kit section, you will find several examples of sample press
materials for conducting your public relations efforts. We’ve constructed fictional
events to give you a sense of the interactive tone that can be used when talking
about American Muse | American Moves. Using these templates as a starting
point, you can fill in the information pertinent to your local news event and most
interesting to your local media.

 Press Release:

A press release is a primary tool that will help you get coverage for in your local
for your event newspaper and print publications. Press releases always include
a “lead” or “headline” that outlines what is happening and who is involved in one
sentence. More detail can be added to the lead by use of a “subhead.” Press
releases should also include background information on the program or event
taking place and the people involved. Press releases can include supporting
quotes from people involved. Quotes are useful in making sure those involved
with a project, either as collaborators or sponsors, have a voice in the article.
Finally, press releases end with a “boilerplate” that is consistent language
describing all organizations involved. The first thing to get the axe from the editor
will be the “boilerplate.” That is why a quote is often helpful in retaining the voice
of the program’s supporters.

Press releases can be distributed via fax, hand delivery, email or mail anytime
from two weeks to three days before a news event. Many small newspapers will
lift the entire press release and use it as copy if sent electronically. It is highly
suggested that an email blast to the local media accompanies any other
distribution method. If they have to type the entire piece over again, you can be
sure your copy will be cut.

 Media Alert:

A media alert is a one-page document outlining the who, what, where, and when
of an event taking place. It is intended as a quick reference for media who may
be interested in attending or covering your event. It should always include
pertinent dates, times and locations, as well as the name and number of a
contact person who can be called for more information.

Media alerts are most important on the day before and the day of an event. They
should be distributed by fax, email, or hand as the material contained in them is
time sensitive. Television stations most often rely on media alerts to become
aware of events with good visual opportunities for coverage. It is usually a good
idea to follow-up with your contact to make sure the media alert has been
received and to see if you can expect coverage of your event.

 Radio Public Service Announcement (PSA)

Radio PSAs are broadcast as a service to the community. Generally, a 15-30
second script is drafted and sent to local radio stations. The announcement is
read verbatim during local news broadcasts.

 Captioned Photos

“A picture is worth a thousand words” and much of what interests the media is
visual. Think of how a breaking news or major world story is made much more
pertinent and real by being able to see what is going on. You will find photos of
the featured artists included in your electronic media kit. Simply add a caption
about the date, time, and performance venue and you have saved a reporter a lot
of time.

 Press Kits

Press kits are generally a combination of the components listed above. Usually
compiled in a folder (either hard copy of electronic), kits include press releases,
media alerts, quote sheets from artists, presenters, and participants, photos, and
other electronic media (CD-Roms, DVDs, CDs, Video) that might prove helpful to
your contact. Keep in mind that the media receive quite a few kits everyday.
Anything you can do to make yours stand out is a good idea. For example, scan
an image and some text on an oversize printer sticker and affix it to the front of a
bold colored folder. Get their attention on the outside and sell your story on the

 Additional Media Opportunities

Keep in mind that there is a broad range of publicity opportunities in addition to
gaining coverage for your events or hard news.
Within print publications alone, you can plan to target the following special
sections to share more detailed news about your American Muse | American
Moves performance.

                Feature articles
                Arts supplement sections
                Letters to the Editor
                Editorial columns
                Calendar sections

DO NOT FORGET your social networking sites! Post to your MySpace,
Facebook, YouTube, Blogger and various RSS syndicated sites. Use Twitter or
live blog your outreach activity. Invites can be sent via many social networking
sites for your opt in list – use what you have. Social media is extremely cost
effective and one of the best ways to reach your younger audience.

VII:   Contacting Local Media—What is Newsworthy?

Getting your materials into the hands of the correct media is a crucial step
in the PR process. The next major step is following up with or ―pitching‖
local media that you would like to cover your story.

Like anything else in PR, your pitching is best accomplished by following a few
tried and true techniques that will make your contact with the media efficient and

Be aware and sensitive to the fact that most reporters/media representatives
operate on tight schedules with daily deadline pressures. Realize that you have
limited time to sell the reporter on the idea of doing a story about your American
Muse | American Moves presentation. An effective sell to a reporter should be
clear and brief as well as demonstrate why the story is newsworthy.

Reporters generally determine newsworthiness by the following criteria:

 Relevance to their audience: Determine what information in your story
  would interest a particular reporter the most and tailor your pitch accordingly.
  For arts editors/writers/newsletters show why this program is a priority for
  your organization. For local editors/writers/newsletters, show how this
  program adds value to your organization or community.

 Timeliness: Outdated material is useless to reporters. You must keep them
  updated on events/news surrounding your performances on a timely basis.
 Emotional Appeal: Often, the most compelling stories contain a very
  personal, human element. Play on the American Muse | American Moves
  theme…What does your community consider quintessentially American?

 Local Interest: Is your American Muse | American Moves presentation a
  significant local story? If so, then use that angle. How does it affect your
  programming? How about that of the community around you?

How to Contact Key Types of Media:

Print and Online:

 Make sure they have received the information you’ve sent and ask them
  when they prefer to receive phone calls. Most reporters, due to daily
  deadlines, are only free for phone conversations a few hours during the early
  part of the day. Email is a very heavily used form of communication and
 Briefly and quickly pitch your story and ask them if they have questions or
  need further background materials on your organization, artist, or MAAF.
 If appropriate, suggest an interview with your artist or a member of your
  organization that is well-versed (and well spoken) in your programming and
  its goals.
 Finally, if a story does run, obtain a copy of the published article for your
  press coverage files.
 Understand that reporters receive a lot of different materials on their desk on
  a daily basis and you may need to re-fax or re-send your materials.
 DO NOT call print reporters after 4 p.m. as they are usually filing their stories
  at that point.


 Television stations operate primarily off media alerts and press releases since
  these are tools that allow them to look at information in a quick, focused
 It is always a good idea to fax or email the media alert a day or two before
  your event and again the morning of the event to television stations.
 Understand that television needs a visual opportunity to make a story happen.
  When contacting a television story editor, include as part of your story what
  will be taking place – make it visual.
 Television newsrooms tend to be even more pressed for time than the offices
  of print publications. Do not be surprised if you have to speak to more than
  one assignment editor or forward your materials several different times and to
  several different people.
 Make a follow-up call several hours before the news program airs.
 Generally, a station representative will let you know on the phone if they are
  able to send a camera crew to your event.


 When you are following up with radio stations, they should already have been
  sent copies of your press materials along with your PSA script.
 You will need to follow up with the Station Manager or PSA Director to see if
  your item will run.
Use your organization’s letterhead and envelopes for all media
correspondence. It is important to use letterhead because it will lend a
professional look and a sense of consistency. If you are using electronic
transmission for your materials, create a template and use it – all of the

Include a business card for the reporter’s files and future use.

More and more, media is depending upon electronic transmission of
information. Make sure your email address file is up-to-date!

Include photographs with press releases if available and appropriate.

Good luck and happy pitching!

We look forward to hearing about your success!

VIII: Preparing for and Participating in Media Interviews
A media interview is another valuable tool that puts a live face your American
Muse | American Moves performance. Media interviews can take place over the
phone, in-person or at a television station studio. In every case, there are certain
key tips that will serve you well.

During a media interview:

Phone Interview:

 In preparation for the interview, transfer your pertinent notes to index cards so
  you are not rustling papers during the interview while looking for a key fact.
 The reporter may be recording the interview. Make sure to speak slowly,
  clearly and in language that might be quoted.
 If a reporter asks a question you don’t have the answer to, offer to research it
  and call him or her back. Don’t be forced into answering something that you
  are not sure about. It is perfectly acceptable to call back with the correct
  information later in the day.
 Close the interview by offering any other assistance the reporter might need.
  By giving your time to the interview process, you now have an opportunity to
  contact this reporter by phone in the future. You want to continue to serve as
  and be viewed as a resource.
 Remember, anything you say can be used in the story.
Television/In-Person Interview:

 Your spokesperson should be simply dressed. Clothing with distracting
  patterns and black or white attire should be avoided as it photographs and
  shows up on television poorly.
 The spokesperson should be briefed on and review all message points prior
  to the interview.
 State the most important facts or the information you most want to share at
  the beginning of the interview.
 Keep answers brief and to the point. Do not offer answers to questions that
  were not asked or attempt to answer a question to which the answer is not
  really known. If the answer is something that you can find out later, offer to
  do so and follow up with the interviewer.
 Assume that when you are in the room with an interviewer, everything is “on
  record.” Try to avoid casual, off-the-cuff comments and stick to delivering
  consistent messages.

Radio Interview

 The spokesperson should be briefed on and review all message points prior
  to the interview.
 State the most important facts or the information you most want to share at
  the beginning of the interview.
 Substantiate concepts about the program with an example or story that
  proves the point you are trying to make.
 Keep answers brief and to the point. Do not offer answers to questions that
  were not asked or attempt to answer a question to which the answer is not
  really known. If the answer is something that you can find out later, offer to
  do so and follow up with the interviewer.
 Assume that when you are in the room with an interviewer, everything is “on
  record.” Try to avoid casual, off-the-cuff comments and stick to delivering
  consistent messages.

IX:   Planning an American Muse | American Moves Event

While the performance is the culmination of all of your hard work, community
events are what brings personal interest to your program – and often provide the
perfect media opportunity to your local press.

Depending on your resources and imagination, an event can take many forms,
including workshops, master classes, Q&A before or after the performance, or a
reception. In addition to involving your community, an event allows media
representatives the chance to secure the kind of visuals they need to make their
stories pop.

A fictional event schedule might look like this:
Event: Ailey II Master Class

10 a.m.                   Ailey II arrives at XYZ University
10:15-10:30               Introductions
10:30-11:30               Ailey II Master Class
11:30                     Brief reception at XYZ University Dance Department

The best events are well organized and adequately staffed.
Make sure your entire team is on hand to help out with special events.

X:      Documenting Public Relations Results

Your entire public relations process will be more efficient if there is a system in
place for documenting the results of media outreach, follow-up calls, event
attendance and anything else that takes place as part of your program.

 One of the simplest and most effective ways of keeping track of PR results is
     a media contact/tracking form. We’ve included this as a sample in the PR
     Tool Kit. As you make contacts, filling out these forms diligently will help
     greatly in writing up and being aware of your successful results if you should
     receive later inquiries and requests for copies of stories written about your

 When stories you have pitched appear in a publication, you should obtain the
     original piece and paste it on plain white paper. This is called a media clip or
     a media “paste-up.” This original page can then easily be reproduced to
     provide other people with a copy of the story. You can also download the
     story from the online publication and print it out as well as save it

 MAAF maintains a centralized file of media coverage obtained in each
  grantee community. Please forward any clips and media coverage
  obtained in your area to the Foundation. Clips can be forwarded via
  mail or fax.
Sample Press Release

For Immediate Release                             Contact:      [Name]
[Date]                                                          [Phone]

   [Org name] presents [artist] as part of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s
     American Masterpieces: American Muse | American Moves Tour

[City, State]: [Org Name] will be presenting [Insert Artist Name] as the result of a
grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through their American Masterpieces
program. American Muse | American Moves celebrates premier American dance
companies and repertoire by choreographic masters set to quintessentially
American music – from the Broadway musical and jazz and blues standards, to
iconic minimalism and traditional spirituals. The Foundation will provide fee
support for the presentations of Ailey II, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, and
Trisha Brown Dance Company in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland,
New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the US Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West
Virginia during the 2010-2011 season.

As part of the American Muse | American Moves tour, artists will perform pieces
from their repertoire that exemplify and celebrate genres or works that are
artistically, historically and culturally significant.

[Org Name] will present [Artist Name] on [insert event location, time, date info
here]. Tickets are available [insert ticket info here].

[Insert info about your artist here – see artist descriptions below]

Ailey II
Ailey II combines the spirit and energy of some of America’s brightest young
dancers with the vision of leading and emerging choreographers. Founded in
1974 as the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble from a workshop for some of the
most promising scholarship students from The Ailey School, the Company
embodies Ailey’s pioneering mission to extend dance, training and community
outreach programs to all people. Today, the company has become one of the
most popular dance companies in the country, combining a rigorous touring
schedule with extensive community outreach. Ailey II continues to win critical
praise and awards for its performances, residencies, and community
engagement activities.
In 2010-11, the company will present Ailey Highlights, including enduring classics
from the Ailey repertoire, George Faison’s ballet, Movin’ On, set to the songs of
celebrated jazz artist Betty Carter, and newer works set to music by Philip Glass.

Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
Fresh off of celebrating its 40th anniversary and the resumption of worldwide
touring, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company is renowned for its musicality,
rhapsodic style and gorgeous dancing. Lubovitch has choreographed more than
100 dances for his New York-based company, which has performed across the
United States as well as in more than 30 foreign countries. The company has
appeared on national television as part of the PBS “Great Performances” series
and has been featured on the BBC.

For 2010-11, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company will tour recently remounted
signature works, such as North Star, set to music by Philip Glass and Marimba,
set to works by Steve Reich. Also available will be new and recently premiered
pieces, including Lubovitch’s Jazz Trilogy: Elemental Brubeck set to excerpts
from Dave Brubeck’s 1963 jazz suite “Time Change's”; Nature Boy, set to pop
songs by Chicago jazz stylist Kurt Elling; and a new work, Coltrane’s Favorite
Things, set to John Coltrane’s famous interpretations of the Richard Rodgers
classic “My Favorite Things.”

Trisha Brown Dance Company
The Trisha Brown Dance Company has presented the work of its legendary
artistic director for more than 35 years. Founded in 1970 when Trisha Brown
emerged from the experimental Judson Dance Theater to work with her own
ensemble, the company has performed her contemporary and charming gesture-
driven work, highlighting Brown as one of the most influential choreographers of
her generation. From its first performances in New York’s alternative theater
spaces, the company is seen today at landmark opera houses and theaters
around the world. Its repertory has grown from solos and small group pieces to
major evening-length works and collaborations between Ms. Brown and
esteemed visual artists.

For the 2010-11 season, the Trisha Brown Dance Company offers performances
of current repertory pieces, such as Groove and Countermove, the final piece in
a jazz trilogy set to music by jazz composer and trumpeter Dave Douglas; Foray
Forêt, Ms. Brown’s last collaboration with Robert Rauschenberg with music by
John Philip Sousa; and Set and Reset, a masterful work set to a driving score by
Laurie Anderson.

[Insert info about your organization here]
[Insert MAAF grant contract addendum language here]
Sample Media Alert


Ailey II to Lead Master Class for XYZ University Dance Students

WHAT:       World renowned dance company Ailey II, will hold a special master
            class for XYZ University students.

WHEN:       Saturday, February 12, 2011
            10:00am – 12:00pm

WHERE:      XYZ University
            209 XYZ Way
            Smith, MD 55555

WHY:        Ailey II is performing at XYZ Cultural Center Saturday, February 12,
            2011 at 8:00pm. The performance is funded by Mid Atlantic Arts
            Foundation through the American Masterpieces: American Muse |
            American Moves program.

CONTACT:    John Doe
            XYZ University
Sample Media Outreach Status Report


Media Outreach Status Report


Week of February 6, 2011

Secured Placements

Media Outlet         Action                                    Coverage
Baltimore Sun        Forwarded press materials to Arts Editor. Article to run 2/10.
Circulation:         Contacted via telephone and email to set-
472,688              up interview. Interview scheduled for 2/7
                     at 2pm.
Smith Times          Contacted local color reporter Jane Doe Article to run 2/11.
Circulation: 289,427 who will be doing a piece on the master

In Progress

Media Outlet           Action
Coastal                Contacted John Smith about feature piece. He is out of the
Happenings             country until 2/8, but will be in touch when he returns.
Circulation: 123,077
WWWW-TV                Contacted station about sending crew out to master class. We
                       are currently on log but may be bumped if something more
                       newsworthy occurs. Reminder: Send media alert day before and
                       day of event.

Other/Not Appropriate

Media Outlet           Action
Marylander             Contacted Arts Editor. Their next issue will not be out until March
                       and the story will be old.
Sample Radio PSA

:30 Second Script






:15 Second Script



XYZ BOX OFFICE AT 410.555.1111.
XII:   Your Press Materials
The previous Tool Kit section provided you with some examples of what the
materials you distribute to the media might look like. Of course, you will tailor
these materials to your story, the needs of your community project and your local

Use a binder to store:

       1.    PRESS RELEASES you write and distribute. File the releases or
             other materials chronologically to have a neat, referenced record of
             what was sent out on what date.

       2.    Keep track of MEDIA COVERAGE obtained as a result of your PR
             outreach. This might be a good section to keep any tracking
             reports you’ve written or other items pertinent to your system of
             media outreach.

       3.    We all know that effective public relations is a time consuming and
             careful process. Please SHARE YOUR SUCCESS with members
             of your team and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. Use this section to
             file the stories you’ve placed and your media clips or paste-ups.

XV: Conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to review this guide. We hope it will serve as a
resource throughout your media outreach process.

If you have any specific questions concerning this message guide or public
relations outreach for American Masterpieces: American Muse | American
Moves, please contact Karen Newell at MAAF for assistance.

Karen Newell
410.539.6656 x104

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