Exposing Yourself Isn't Always A Bad Thing
Exposing yourself isn't always a bad thing: A press release can be your friend
Guest Blog Post by Brook Rieman
To put it mildly, when I was selected to be in the studio audience for Bambi Cantrell's Posing Masterclass on creativeLIVE, I was ecstatic. I knew that I would gain many new skills as a photographer, learning directly from an amazing posing and lighting instructor like Bambi. She has been an inspiration to me for quite some time. My photography was most certainly going to improve as a result of attending this course. Beyond that, I knew that it would be great for networking, as it gave me the opportunity to meet lots of other photographers both in the studio and through social media outside of the course. But that got me thinking. Were there any other ways I could capitalize on this experience to benefit my business?
Of course there were! I realized I should let my community know about this special experience for which I was selected. Not only could I draw the eye of potential clients, I could also give creativeLIVE a little boost of free advertizing to help them continue to provide free photography education to the masses. And, a little self-promotion can go a very long way. No matter how big or small our photography businesses may be, getting some press is almost always a good thing. Working for yourself means you wear all the hats. It is often hard to put yourself out there; it feels egotistical to toot your own horn, at least that's the case for me. Sometimes though, we need to step out from behind the lens and promote ourselves. After all, if you don't do it, who will?
I decided to issue a press release to the local newspaper, letting the community know that I was selected to be on creativeLIVE. Having never written a press release before, I simply searched “How to write a press release” on the web. Within moments I had plenty of examples right at my finger tips. I was able to quickly put together an article which could simply be submitted electronically. You can see a sample of my press release here.
Honestly, I didn't have high hopes that my press release would actually make it into the paper, but what the heck, I had nothing to lose in trying. While in Seattle, I started hearing from friends and colleagues, telling they had read a great article about me in the newspaper.
Press release writing tips:
I am by no means claiming to be an expert in the area of writing press releases, but I can tell you what I learned after doing a little research on the subject.
Begin with your letterhead. Write the words “PRESS RELEASE” in all caps, followed by “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE”. Below this, write the contact information. This is necessary in case the newspaper has questions regarding the release.
For the headline, write a brief, attention grabbing headline that states the key point of your article. The headline should tell a person what your article is about and why it is important.
Begin the body with the City, State and date of the release. Write the body of the news release exactly as you would like it to be published in the paper. The body of your release should be clear and concise. Avoid too much jargon and fluff. Be sure to include information on how someone can contact you or your company. A paragraph below the bottom of the body, it is customary to put three # symbols in a row, like this “###”.
So what about you? Are there things you are doing that others might be interested in hearing about? How about some charitable work you are doing, or a unique technique that you have developed? Think of something that sets your photography apart from others in your area and find a way to write a press release about that. Go ahead, expose yourself!
Brook Rieman owns Brook Rieman Photography and lives in Bloomington, Indiana with her husband and young daughter. Brook is an on-location portrait photographer of children, families and high school seniors. See Brook's behind the scene photos and read more about her experience at creativeLIVE on her blog.