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PR Checklist for Launching a Museum Exhibition

By April 9, 2019 No Comments

At South Florida and Aspen PR agency Durée & Company, we have had the opportunity to work with many distinguished cultural institutors, including museums, artists and curators from all around the world. While working with museums, we have promoted an endless number of groundbreaking exhibitions to help audiences foster a connection to the talent and passion that was put into the show as well as bring recognition to our client.

But, how do you make a museum exhibition stand out in the vast world of art and culture? We have put together our museum exhibition check list that we go through to make art and museum PR dreams come true.

  1. Create a press kit with all media assets: When a journalist expresses interest in covering your exhibition, the first thing they will ask for is images of the artwork that will be featured in the show, so it is important to line up your press materials from the start. Some of these press materials include the artist and curator biographies and headshots, the curator’s position statement and images of the artworks with an image guide which includes the titles of the art works, dates, sizes and proper photo credits.
  • Draft a press release: Draft a press release with the most compelling and unique details about the exhibition to give media a vision of what they should expect when visiting. Art lingo can sometimes seem confusing and gibberish, so making the release is as clear and concise as possible is key. The press release should also include a quote from the museum director and/or the curator of the show that media can utilize, as well as exhibition events and programming that guests can attend.
  • Curate a media list: The next step is to create the perfect media list with the key contacts who would potentially be interested in featuring your exhibition. The contacts may include art critics, national art publications, national and local editors, journalists, producers, freelance writers, bloggers, etc. It is essential to selectively target the media by reviewing the contact’s beat to ensure it aligns with your target audience.
  • Identify story angles: Museums showcase different exhibitions year-round, but what makes yours different? When pitching a new exhibition, the goals are to gain positive press for the museum itself, garner positive reviews from art critics around the world that in turn encourage others to visit and inform the public about the exhibition and event programming so that they can attend and see it for themselves. Try to tie in timely human-interest angles to connect with the reader. As part of our work with Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA), we promoted the museum’s exhibition, “AFRICOBRA: Messages to the People.” In order to garner press hits, we identified different story angles such as the collective’s 50th anniversary, Art Basel Miami Beach and Black History Month.
  • Invite media to the artist or opening reception: When pitching media to write a feature about your exhibition, invite the media to attend any events that the museum may be hosting in conjunction to the exhibition such as an opening celebration or artist reception. This will give the media an opportunity to interview all of the key spokespersons of the exhibition at once, whether it is the museum director, curator, artists, etc. If media cannot attend the opening event, you can also offer walkthroughs of the exhibition at their convenience during the duration of the exhibition.
  • Hire a photographer for main events: We cannot stress enough that images are crucial when it comes to public relations. During those main events that we previously mentioned, hire a professional photographer to take pictures. Curate a shot list and run of show for the photographer to make sure they capture photos of the main spokespersons, notable guests, artworks and the ambience. Without high-quality images, media is less likely to write about your event.
  • Continue to pitch, pitch, pitch: Although the opening of the exhibition is the main event, it can be on view for months after the show opened, so your job doesn’t stop there. For media who were unable to attend your opening, send them the professional images from the exhibition and offer them interviews and walkthroughs at their convenience. Utilize programming surrounding the exhibition for another chance to invite media in. Towards the end of the exhibition, circle back with media as a last chance to see the exhibition, and make sure to promote on social media that this will be the last opportunity to visit!

When promoting your museum exhibition, do you have a thorough check list with these steps? If not, give us a call and we are happy to help bring your museum exhibition to the forefront of the press!

About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. The firm serves the corporate, agency and non-profit arenas for local, national and international clients focusing on public relations for real estatepublic relations for restaurantspublic relations for law firmspublic relations for charitiespublic relations for healthcare, and many more. Durée & Company services include Public RelationsSocial MediaMarketingAdvertisingSpecial Events, and Radio Promotions and Outreach.

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