Why aren’t they? Try: why should they?

by Smartie on June 12, 2012

“Why aren’t they?” I hear this question often. Why aren’t they reviewing me? Why aren’t they writing a feature story? Why aren’t they giving me a rave review?

It’s easy to ask why, but only when you rephrase the question can you actually take action to fix the problem:

Why SHOULD they?

What are you doing that is different from everyone else? And different does not automatically mean coverage–what makes it innovative? What stands out about your project? Are you doing something that is part of the zeitgeist? Does it fit into the news cycle in anyway? (And remember, the news cycle is going to be vastly different a week from now, never mind six months from now.)

Sometimes, the answer to “why should they” is not what you want to hear. There are hundreds of theater shows running each week in New York City. Now factor in live music, opera, dance, film (mega-releases and small independents), book readings, poetry slams, art gallery openings, new museum exhibits, and loads of other stuff I am forgetting. That’s a lot of stuff, all vying for the same limited column inches that you are.

Your “why should they” may come up empty this time, but maybe next time it won’t. If your “why should they” is repeatedly coming up empty, maybe you need to think a bit more strategically about what you are doing. If press is your goal, you may have to compromise something in your programming to reach that goal.

And if you don’t want to compromise, that’s perfectly okay. Just realize that it will be a struggle to get the coverage you want and deserve, and adjust your goals accordingly.


Dale Heller March 24, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Thank you for verbalizing and putting this into print!

Smartie March 25, 2013 at 9:32 am

It’s a tough thing to say directly to a client. But it’s something they need to hear. Loudly and often.

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