Public Relations

 

 

At the point where your project is ready to be presented or the artistic outcomes disseminated, it is worthwhile to develop a Public Relations or PR plan. Funders, commissioners or contracting organisations may have specific conditions or requirements with regard to promotion. It is advisable to agree on these elements early on so expectations are clear and realistic. At a minimum, it is to be expected that they will require clear display of their logos with all promotional material. 

Promotional material may involve any of the following:

  • Printed material – posters, flyers, brochures, catalogues

  • Digital copies of the above for web download or sharing via social media

  • Websites

  • Online posts (eg. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with images in the correct proportions for use on each platform

 

A PR plan should outline how each promotional item will be designed, who it will be targeted at and how and a schedule for doing so. This work will have certain time demands and thus require a budget of its own. Large scale projects might require the engagement of a specialist PR or marketing company. 

It may be possible to do an adequate level of PR simply via the project stakeholder’s own social media channels with little budgetary expenditure, including that of the artists. Although this will inevitably be limited, both the group and the artist’s own networks can offer a very valuable support base and assist in heightening the profile of the work, the group and the artist. 

While useful, PR decisions, particularly what material is to be used on social media, and how it will be used must be discussed and agreed in advance. it is particularly important to secure consent from participants before sharing any identifying content.

Project Outline

A one-page A4 document that summarises activities is an invaluable resource for any project where you may have to communicate with third parties. It is not unlike the type of information found in an MOU or required in a funding application but in this case it is more like a fact sheet agreed by the project parties outlining how the project is to be communicated externally and the messaging of the project to third parties, funders, social media and the press. This overview could include the following:

  • Aims

  • Objectives

  • Purpose

  • Brief Description of Activities

  • Anticipated Outcomes

  • Link/Reference to supporting evidence

  • Participant Testimony

  • Information about funding sources

  • Project logos as relevant

Press Release

Press Releases are useful for generating publicity for a project. A press release should typically be short and concise and include the following:

  • Date of release

  • Title of release

  • Details of project/event

  • Contact details of project personnel tasked with the management of publicity

Media Release Form

This form is distinct from a Participant Consent Form in that it specifically seeks permission to capture the participant on media (ie photo, video, audio etc). The release form should be compliant with up-to-date GDPR criteria which require information around where and when the media may be shared publicly. A release form could be combined with a consent form however it is recommended that the participant be clear that participation does not depend on permission for publication unless the activities require this. When working with children and young people or vulnerable adults all such consents should be sought from parents/guardians or next-of-kin.

Acknowledgements

As outlined in section C.8 on Authorship and Ownership, it is important to credit all the stakeholders of a project. It is worthwhile to agree in advance exactly how such acknowledgements will be phrased and presented. 

When using social media, this might consist of ‘tagging’ appropriately. For other media, a more formal acknowledgement in a specific format may be required.

Directory of Contacts

As the project progresses, it is likely that you will accumulate valuable contacts. It is recommended that these contacts be recorded in an organised manner that can be easily accessible when needed.

Branding Design 

Some projects or programmes benefit from the creation of a clear identity through distinctive design or ‘branding’.  Branding might include logo design. 

If not designing branding materials yourself, it is best to outline your requirements in a design brief for a designer. The design brief could include information about the following:

  • target audience

  • text content 

  • image content

  • design schedule with deadline for proofing, delivery of the final 

  • Dimensions

  • design format (ie. Landscape or portrait)

  • colour profile (eg. full colour, black and white)

 

Should you require a logo for your project or programme, you need to factor in the costs and time involved. A logo design process typically involves the stages outlined below. It is rare that this process will take less than 3 weeks and will entail the following:

  • Discussion with potential designers and viewing of their prior work/portfolios

  • Agreement on the terms of employment and schedule

  • Initial meeting to discuss the design of the logo and any ideas about how it should look, who the target audience is, where there is to be a graphic or text involved etc

  • Review of up to 3 rough design options mocked up by the designer. Choice of one for further development

  • Review of logo development. Sign off on design including colour, style, proportions etc

  • Review of final logo design and sign off on delivery

  • Receipt of logo design in formats for use in a variety of layouts 

 

Logos are useful to have in the following formats for usage in different materials on black, white and transparent backgrounds:

  • Full colour logo in .jpg format

  • Full colour logo in .pdf format

  • Full colour logo in .eps format

  • Black and White logo in .jpg format

  • Black and White in .pdf format

  • Black and White in .eps format

 

Logos can be created for social media sites based on the specific measurements recommended by each.