In the city I live in, there are about 235 theatres, another 50 or so dance companies, tons of arts galleries and museums, etc.
Now let's take a closer look at those 235 theatres, just for an example.
Out of those 235, I'd wager that 230 of them are local theatres meaning that their primary audiences comes from (or at least should come from) people from a 5-10 mile radius of where the organization performs.
In general, I see two types of arts organizations . . . those who embrace their "localness" and those who ignore their local market and spend their time trying to reach the more "attractive" arts consumer from other parts of town.
With very few exceptions, ignoring your immediate locale as your primary source of audience is a big mistake.
Local audiences need to be extremely loyal and once you have a built a relationship with them, you may be amazed at how far they carry what you do.
Now, what does that have to do with expanding your media presence (this week's topic)?
I see so many small to medium sized arts org investing a ton of time and energy in trying to get the attention of big media, i.e. their local paper(s) of record, the ABC affiliate station, etc.
For many people that time would be better spent embracing the media tools your neighborhood has.
Here's what I mean:
In the Hyde Park neighborhood where my day job is, there is both a local paper The Hyde Park Hearld and a local blog, The Hyde Park progress.
Does your neighborhood have something similar?
If yes, then go make some friends over there. Take the paper editor out to lunch, make sure the blog writers see your work. It will take you far.
And if the neighborhood doesn't have something like that . . . then start it yourself.
Yes, I'm serious.
Put together a blog about your neighborhood's art scene, publish an email newsletter about events having in the area.
These are the sorts of things that can embed your organization in the fabric of a community. When that happens you get audience, you get donors, you get Board members.
So spend today making sure you know every local/neighborhood media outlet, it could help you more then you imagine