November’s One-A-Day Q&A – Question #4

4 11 2016


november-q-a-finalQ: When I’ve closed licensing deals with two different companies, should a press release be done for each company, or can it be combined into one press release?

A: I do like combining a couple of deals into one press release, if possible.  It’s certainly a more efficient use of your time and you’re more likely to get press exposure when there is a lot happening.  If the media publishes the first one, and you’re doing multiple press releases all in a row, they may just decide not to run the second one.

Spread out your press releases, so you have them launching consistently throughout the year (whether 2x a year or 6x a year) and make every single one as impactful as you can.  You want them to be valuable and informative, in essence—newsworthy!

I have included as many as 4 or 5 deals in one press release. This really makes a statement and builds some excitement, but it can get a bit over whelming and cluttered.  In addition, each licensee (manufacturer or retailer) licensees tends not to get as much ‘play’ or stand out as much.  I’d recommend to 2 or 3 announcements per press release, at the most.

A couple of last thoughts would be:

  1. Make sure that you keep your writing very clear when you’re combining multiple purposes, objectives and/or deals into any press release.
  2. Make sure that you get each licensee’s approval before sending it out to press outlets.  I’ve had a couple of manufacturer licensees who didn’t appreciate being mentioned in the same press release with their competition. Even though they were mutually co-promoting a property, they still didn’t see it as a true ‘team’ venture. Instead, they saw it as a rivalry and it really upset them. I always get everyone’s pre-approval and I do this in plenty of time to avert any problems.

31 Days of Marketing Tips for All Art Licensors – Tip #6

6 10 2016


Public Relations for Licensors – Artists, Designers, Characters & Brands – and My Top Ten Promotional Techniques

14 04 2015

Question:  What gives exposure, makes an impression and moves your business forward.

Answer: Public Relations.

As many of you know, I am a firm proponent of public relations as a marketing tool. It’s truly amazing that we have control over so much content these days. I discussed this in last month’s All Art Licensing Infoletter article, ‘Maximize Your Publicity-New Media Mix Offers Many Avenues to Tell Your Story.’ Click here to read or download.

Tomorrow I’m teaching ‘Public Relations for Today’s Licensor,’ one of my favorite and most important classes, which has been fully updated and revamped for 2015. If you really don’t understand how Public Relations works and want to either do-it-yourself (DIY) or manage your PR agency with more finesse, then invest in yourself and take this course. We’ll be covering how to develop your own lead lists and EXACTLY how to write press releases. In addition, I cover the top PR mistakes to avoid, plus social media techniques, top journalistic writing recommendations and a growing list of HOT press tips (which now exceeds 20) to get you noticed! I hope you will join me tomorrow. You can even register and get your questions answered during the class, but take the course at another time. In addition to an 80+ illustrated handout, you will receive the audio file the day after the class, so you can listen at your convenience. The cost is $60. Register here.

Today I’m sharing with you my Top Ten Self-Promotion Tips. I hope you will print them out and commit them to memory. One of the reasons that some of these, shall I say OBVIOUS, points made it to my Top Ten List, is because people, marketers, brands, artists, creators and companies of all kinds…STILL refuse to do them!

Say 'Hi!' if you see me at Licensing Expo or Surtex. Illustration courtesy of Debbie Tomassi who created 'Bodacious Broads.'

Say ‘Hi!’ if you see me at Licensing Expo or Surtex. Illustration courtesy of Debbie Tomassi who created ‘Bodacious Broads.’

1. 24/7 Marketing is Key – make it a habit…repeat…repeat.
2. Join the Conversation – real connections hold real power.
3. Target Your Ideal Clients – or your dream won’t become reality.
4. Develop a Mailing List of Interested People – get permission to send them updates.
5. Don’t Ask for Subscribers – change “subscribe” to “get updates.”
6. Blogs Need Promotion Too – if you have decided that blogging is key to your business, then promote it. Make sure you have a focus, that the blog is targeted to only ONE audience, and that your time investment will pay-off.
7. Have a Personal Story – don’t hide the personal side.
8. Don’t Forget to Call or Email – find a good reason to work with interesting people with the right knowledge and contacts and then reach out to them individually.
9. Think About the Long Term – make sure your plans include short and long-term goals and tactics.
10. Be Enjoyable and Professional to Work With – you would be amazed at how few people are and how much this will make you stand out!

Another great place to get self-promotion tips is from Austin Kleon’s book titled, ‘Show Your Work!’ Here’s a fun and beneficial quick-read article from Fast Company Magazine.

Check out All Art Licensing’s complete line up of Worldwide Creator’ Intensive Courses (we don’t just hold classes, we train thoroughly). Click here for the April schedule or to register for the “Public Relations for Today’s Licensor’ course.

20 Important Press Tips for Artists and Creators

15 04 2014

PressreleaseHere are 20 valuable press tips from my recent virtual class, ‘Today’s PR and Promotion Essentials for Art Licensors.’  I enjoyed introducing Greg Walsh of Walsh PR during the course to share his expertise, as well.  The final class included more than 50 important recommendations you can implement yourself, in addition to information on how to determine your press strategy and write your own releases. For information on ordering the class (85+ PowerPoint slides and 2.5 hour audio), click here. I am confident that if you follow these tips, this information will help you get consumer and trade press.

  1. Write and rewrite your press releases to be as concise as possible.
  2. Get clever; there is a lot of clutter out there!
  3. Give the reporter something that they do not already know.
  4. Offer something to get replies (art, samples, interviews) and, always, easy contact information.
  5. Use links as references to back up your news points (use hyperlinks, not full web addresses).
  6. Attribute information, not opinion – its news, not editorial.
  7. If possible, relate to what’s in the news and trending.
  8. If time permits, research your reporter and see what they’ve written about. Then refer to that info in your news pitch – “I saw that you recently covered ComicCon and l liked your article. If you’re continuing to cover art focused news…”
  9. Try not to send too many news announcement or to duplicate information. You’ll be ignored when you do have BIG news.
  10. Create a press list that’s accurate, on target, and not so big that you can’t follow up with it on a regular basis.
  11. It’s better to get consistent press in five to ten publications, than try for 35 and get none.
  12. Once you hone your list and see some results, try to leverage it for something bigger…i.e. start with press releases, and then call the editors to pitch an article.
  13. Always include photos, but no more than three at a time.
  14. When you become a reliable source for an editor, they will certainly call you when they when you are appropriate for an article…now it gets interesting, because you become the resource for the editor.
  15. Call your licensees and see what they are doing…collaborate and combine forces to tap into their resources, rather than duplicate efforts. Ask what they normally do when they get a new license and what they are willing to do for you.
  16. Keep your web site up-to-date at all times, and especially when doing a press push. Editors will very likely check your web site if they have questions on your news release, even before they call you back.newmediamix
  17. Put your phone number and email everywhere; don’t make anyone hunt for it.
  18. Use social networking to find out about new online publications, newsletters, and groups.
  19. Think about non-profits and giving art or something away to gain exposure, increase recognition and help others (and you can write press about it too).
  20. Finally, don’t be intimidated by the press process. Writing press releases is relatively simple and will provide results. If you are reaching out to the editors via press releases, they will become familiar with your work and will eventually it will fit into a story. Editors like to write about everyone rather than a select few artists/companies.

Remember, as you set out to develop a press plan, to include all areas of the ‘New Media Mix’ in your strategy. Public relations can do what advertising can’t, and you will get much more ‘bang for your buck’ by spending time and energy on public relations than through paid advertising. It’s also a terrific way to control your message and build your brand over time.




4 Informational (& Motivational) Online Classes—with Special Guest Speaker

20 03 2014

Many times I have noticed that people (including myself sometimes) say and want to learn and increase their knowledge about a given subject, such as art licensing. Yet often it does not happen. The problem is that often there is no action or follow through to that desire, and therefore, no increased learning or movement forward.

The reason for this, I think, can be lack of continuous motivation. A daily habit of creating a motivation focused on your goals has to be developed. So you will remain motivated until you achieve your desire. This is one of the reasons, I continuously refine and present such detailed classes and blogs, month after month. I want you to succeed!

I have scheduled 4 new classes this spring, including two FREE Q&A’s, as well as two affordable, comprehensive courses.  All classes are designed to inspire and stimulate your desire to succeed in your goals, by providing practical and immediately useful information.

Join our Free Ask J’net Q&A on March 26th and May 14th for some ‘hot’ answers to your most pressing art marketing and licensing questions.

Below is our spring schedule of classes, part of the Worldwide Creators’ Intensive series.

Meanwhile, share this with your friends and colleagues; peruse the courses and register ASAP to get your questions answered!

Ask J’net Q&A’s

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 – 12 noon to 1 p.m. PST/3 p.m. – 4 p.m. EST

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 – 12 noon to 1 p.m. PST/3 p.m. – 4 p.m. EST

Price: FREE Register: HERE

These one-hour classes are a ‘live’ phone event, where you provide the questions about art, design & character licensing and J’net provides the answers. When registering online, just write your question at the bottom of the form. J’net will answer as many questions as possible during the hour, all you need to do is call in at the specific time to get answers to your questions and learn from others’ questions.

Please note: You will receive your Dial-in number and Access Code for the class the night before the event from All Art Licensing. This is not an 800 number, so your standard long distance fees will apply.

NEW–Today’s PR and Promotion Essentials for Art Licensors

I’m excited to announce that I will be joined by Guest Presenter, Greg Walsh of Walsh PR, who will discuss Social Media’s role, mistakes to avoid and hot tips and trends in PR today!!

Date: Wednesday April 9, 2014

Time: 12 noon – 2 p.m. PDT/3 p.m. – 5 p.m. EDT

Duration: 2 hours including Q&A

Price: $60 Register: HERE

This class is for the emerging and intermediate level art licensor, those who both have agents and are working solo.  Join me for a comprehensive course that moves you from wondering how to get the word out about your business to managing your own press and promotions (or understanding how to manage your PR agency or agent, if they handle your press).

The class will teach you how to:

·        develop your goals and create your own press plan

·        create targeted press lists

·        write effective press releases

·        build a press kit (and your brand)

·        determine priorities within Social Media, press and promotions

·        PR mistakes to avoid

·        plus 15 HOT press tips to turn up the HEAT!

The goal is for you to understand the PR tactics that will gain you exposure and build your brand and business.  This course will include more than 50 slides with guidelines and visual examples that relate to the licensing industry.

Greg Walsh of Walsh Public Relations, out of Fairfield, CT, will join J’net in presenting a part of this course.  A public relations veteran of 20+ years, Greg has extensive experience in creating PR campaigns through both the consumer and trade media. The brands, properties,and products he has successfully represented include: ZIGGY, U-Haul, Honeywell, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, National Geographic, Wild Republic Retail Stores, Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, Lalaloopsy, Batman®, Chicken Soup for the Soul®, MTV Game, Slylock Fox & Comics For Kids.

NEW–Character Licensing (Emerging Artist/Beginner Level)–This course has been totally updated and expanded.

Date: Wednesday May 21st, 2014

Time: 12 noon – 2 p.m. PDT/3 p.m. – 5 p.m. EDT

Duration: 2 hours including Q&A

Price: $60 Register: HERE

This course is an introduction to character licensing for cartoonists, animators and illustrators. A lot of creators ask: “What can I do with my characters?” This class will show you some very practical and useful answers to this question.

In this course, we will explore character licensing from the beginning first steps to the first signed contract. This class will teach you how to design characters to enhance their licensing potential, create exposure, leverage business opportunities, know when you are ready to license products and choose the product categories which are best for your characters. We will also cover the most important things to watch for and avoid.

If you are more inclined to create characters, than designs, then this is the right class for you. Your characters make sense to you…now let me help you make sure they will appeal to the broadest possible audience.  With the right industry knowledge and strategic thinking, you can learn how to share them with the world.

Remember, that if you want to attend a class, but have a scheduling conflict, the 2-hour courses always include a PowerPoint presentation & full audio, which will be provided the day after the live event. So sign up, save a few bucks by registering for the live event, but listen to them whenever you like!

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