Wednesday, August 11, 2010

April discussion on media awareness/relations for Atlanta dance

So I'm finally getting around to typing up my notes from the April 25 DanceATL meeting! I hope someone finds it interesting or useful to have them if you couldn't make it to the meeting. Sorry the layout isn't all that clean or legible. Let me know if you can't read it at all or now without a headache. My contacts are, ot if you'd like to host an upcoming meeting!)

April 25 Discussion with Suzanne Van Atten A&E Editor at the AJC, and Thomas Bell, Partner at Chronicle LLC
Strategies for media need to emphasize the changes in media because of the internet
A brief history of recent changes:
Most dramatic changes in newspapers, they're thinner these days and where before the critics were niche, now tend to be overall "arts"
salaries weren't from the sales of papers but from advertising and classifieds in particular
the papers always lost money on dance reviews anyway, but did it because they could afford it
craigs list happened
how do the critical pieces fit into the new business model? a new model was needed
to pitch for a print review on a show you need to explain why it's of interest to the general public
why dance matters--specifically
doesn't have to be reductive, but needs a good communication of the relevance
60% or so of costs before went into printing and distribution of papers
news organizations that thrive now will figure out how to do it all online, especially revenue
the good news is that because online, the cost doesn't increase for size of the article, a review can actually be longer than it might have been in the printed paper
online people might be interested in video of rehearsal or dress rehearsal
you can get a flip camera to make creating content easier
online there's also a proliferation of independent media outlets like and INTown
the possibility of citizen journalism--DIY easier now online
social media--traditional media picks it up if it seems interesting or popular
take advantage of the small paths
Suzanne comments that the nuts and bolts of everything may change but things remain the same-send the press release! there's more dance in the community than she's aware of, so let her know.
her job now is to assign freelancers. needs to know at least 3 weeks out
find the fine line between being persistent with contacting her and being a pain in the ass.
Call or send a personal note to follow up after sending a release. give her an angle, a person with a story
things we mentioned earlier in the meeting, the autism and dance angle is good
new initiatives are good as are things going on in the "burbs" right now
collaborative events are more likely to get coverage
it would also be great to have a video clip
you can call and ask whom to talk to
DanceATL--media contacts as a membership benefit??
what's interesting? depends on how much intown/out etc.
get to the point, 2 sec to read--you can add an attachment with an additional backgrounder
good access for a journalist attending a show
what's a realistic expectation for what you'll get? limited--not a review most likely
if quoting, make sure to say where something was published
reviews are much more likely if you can do over more than one weekend
as a writer it's frustrating to do a preview, but the more resources that are available in the process, the easier it is for the writer
Blake B.--it's sad that we've lost reviews. we have to find other ways to document work.
Suzanne: and want it to be quality to get coverage, broad acessibility, not just of interest to the dance community.
Looking for interesting stories. Dance can be difficult to write about, need to find a universal story angle.
artistically revolutionary could be it but otherwise, reciprocal relationship, make sure to tell our friends to read the story too
if people don't click it's a problem with the overall editors, though they may realize there's a small, loyal audience
Tom B.--Writing about dance is really about translation from dance to words and you're translating for an audience who doesn't speak the language at all.
Cynthia Perry: Tom B's press release for Blake D.'s show "Your Head is Full of Stars" was best ever: clearly defined, pulled you in, facts up front
learn lessons from industry on promotion
Suzanne welcomes communication
Tom thinks we need to take matters into our own hands and think about our story then communicate it.

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