Written By Josie Gulliksen
April 16, 2019 at 5:56 PM

On a bright, sunny April morning in Miami, the conference room at the Adrienne Arsht Center filled up quickly, as attendees grabbed a cup of coffee and a seat. The eager audience was prepared to listen and learn from a diverse group of media panelists at the recent Miami Arts Marketing Project Lab at the Arsht Center. The event was the second in a series of annual workshops aimed at informing and educating non-profit arts organizations and individual artists on marketing, social media and publicity strategies.

Perched atop director’s chairs, local media leaders and influencers offered the inside scoop on how to get into the media spotlight. From digital to print, newspapers and magazines to radio and websites, participants learned the best ways to get their story covered in the interactive session; they learned what to do and, more importantly, what not to do when seeking coverage for their newsworthy events and announcements.

They received tips from the expert panelists on learning to build relationships with local reporters, creating strategies for press placement, fine tuning their message and pitching arts stories to non-traditional media.

Here’s what the panelists had to say:

Amy Reyes, Editor:

“We cover arts with a Miami angle and an interactive experience with photo opportunities are best. Two examples would be last year’s NightGarden Experience at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the Museum of Ice Cream in Wynwood.” Logistical info about a large event going on is also useful for their type of coverage.

Nadege Green, reporter with WLRN:

“A lot of art stories interact with social justice, how art intersects with the social issues of the community. Our daily program SunDial covers the arts with a local twist. The importance about radio coverage is to remember our needs are different than television; we need audio content.” SunDial is booked weeks in advance, so she urged attendees to pitch their ideas at least three weeks out. “Stories need a sense of place, so find the backstory behind the artists – that’s what we’re about.”

Melissa Harmon, director of production at South Florida PBS

“We hit about six million households due to recent mergers. Overseeing seven shows at PBS, I suggest you reach out to producers at least a week, maybe two before your event. Art Loft has a 12-episode season and will be back in July and we use video while the show isn’t in production. We also do plenty of arts profiles on our South Florida show.” They also now have a Your Story section “where we can highlight unique individuals who have done extraordinary things.”

Ciara LaVelle, arts and music editor at Miami New Times

“Find the hook, the angle of what works in Miami. We must have photo credits whenever an image is sent and communicate as much information as possible on your arts or music event as possible.” She also stressed “don’t be discouraged about not being in our print version because our online stories get more eyes.”

Michelle Solomon, writer Miami Artzine

“We write original content on classical and jazz music, visual arts, dance and theater. We plan ahead, especially for previews and need to know early enough in order to write them. Another good place to get visibility is in our calendar which has an auto form for submitting events.” She went on to say “we send photos to our photo gallery so it’s good to send photos of your audience at events. It’s all about building relationships.”

Suzette Espinosa, session leader for the day and vice president of Communications at the Arsht Center:

“Our takeaways are to identify your target audience, capture a visual during your event that can be viewed as an “Instagramable” moment and share your stories on all of our social media channels – which makes for good branding and helps all of us.”

All participants left that day armed with the tools to up their pitching game and also received a full media list via e-mail to work from.

Up next is MAMP Lab 3 Social Media Roundtable Roundup on April 30 at 9 a.m. at The Venture City in Little Havana. Click here to learn more and register. is a nonprofit source of theater, dance, music and performing-arts news. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and never miss a story.

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