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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Offers: How to get it in the paper?


mom1

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Okay, so two dancers from our school found jobs as apprentices for Fall and two as company members last year. I sent a press release to the local paper and was brushed off by the "arts reporter" who said, "many schools have dancers leaving for jobs with professional companies this time of year. I think I'll pass."

 

We do not live in a city with a strong arts community nor great ballet training, so I know this is not true. Does anybody know the statistic for how few jobs there are per year. I seem to remember some comparison to professional basketball players.

 

Thanks.

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I don't recall any discussions with hard figures in them about comparative employment rates, but here's a link to the US Department of Labor Statistics:

 

http://www.bls.gov/

 

They tend to have the latest figures available in their "Occupational Outlook Handbook" and related titles like that. Click around and see if you can find information to help.

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In many areas, a small town or regional newspaper would have picked this up, as well as in many cities, I suspect, that have pride in certain local arts facilities and schools. I think the arts editor was just your bad luck!

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In this town, Sportsomania is pandemic. If somebody got onto the Jr. Varsity Soccer Team at the High School, it would make the front page of the local weekly. If somebody got into NYCB, it might make it to the social page, after about three months.

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Sounds a lot like my hometown, too. But the arts are not alone--good academic news (honors, awards, etc.) are also given much less coverage than high school sports. (Not to mention the pages devoted to college & pro sports.)

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  • 6 years later...

Did you include jpeg pictures with everyone's names?

 

Our home paper is very much into sports too, but they've printed just about everything I've sent because I've provided jpeg pictures that I've cropped to get rid of everything but the girl or girls. Don't send 4 individual pictures. Send one picture with the girls in a group with big smiles in front of something like trophies or the barre or arranged in dance poses as a group.

 

Newspapers love pictures because it really attracts the reader's eyes, they don't have to send out a paper photographer and they can stick it where they may be short on copy.

 

Only one time, did it take an extra week's cycle to get in there, but they did print everything.

 

Also, keep the announcement short. Read and reread and see if you can rewrite it or lose some adjectives to lessen the numbers of words. Use a press release form you can copy or download from the internet. They like that format. Again, don't make the text long even if the example the form has is long. Be very concise. Don't "attach" the press release in your email, copy it directly into the body of the email so they don't have to open it and have something go wrong or have to take that extra step.

 

But do include the name of the business, i.e. dance school, and the town that it is located. Newspapers also like to print local business news in the hopes that they may end up buying advertising space or reward them if they already do.

 

Hope this helps. They deserve to be in the paper!

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There are also an increasing number of news sources that are available only online. We found a strange article about DS in such a place. Never knew the "paper" existed until then - they used to be print media but stopped distributing so we thought they had completely folded. The just switched entirely to electronic media! It's worth checking out. There are also local "magazines" not unlike Parenting and Family that are unique to many smaller cities and towns. These are often freebies placed around the community, especially orthodontists, dentists, doctors, car washes, rrestaurants, bus stations, etc. They tend to have a heavy advertising basis. We tend to find a lot of articles about local dancers in those publications, too. Look around your local city/town and see if you can identify some of those publications. They might actually have a higher distribution/reader base than the regular paper!!

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I have to share this. Our local paper once covered our upcoming Nutcracker and on the same page the editor put a commentary he wrote on why he hates going to ballet and loves sports.

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My two cents, after years of trying to get my DD (as a student) and her studiomates coverage - Newspaper editors and writers are much like anyone else. They need a "hook" to the story. We got the best coverage over the years by sending a story, not a boring press release, with a photo AND a visual aid (actual tiny Nutcrackers, Christmas ornaments) with the holiday ballet story; tiny Mexican toys with the spring ballet story, etc. It's hard to get anything published without a relationship ongoing with the arts editor, and creating one of those takes time and forethought. Also, be aware that in some cities (my DD's training city included), a particular studio or two may have such a bad relationship with the paper, unrelated to you or your child, that the paper will reject any proposal out of hand. In that case, I found that I had to physically set up a meeting with the editor and "sell" the idea of even minimal coverage. There is a reason ballet companies pay PR folks - PR takes a lot of time and personal effort!

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