5 Must-Read PR Tips For Dancers & Choreographers
Updated: Aug 29
Note: This article was originally published on April 25, 2017. It has been updated to include more helpful hints.
There are tons of articles out there from public relations experts who offer great advice on building your brand as a dancer — from social media to dance reels. When it comes to interacting with the media, there seems to be little guidance happening in the dance community.
What people tend to forget is that it is show business. Dancers are great at the “show,” but they often stumble when it comes to the “business.” The ones who are succeeding and moving up to choreographers, creative directors and producers are doing something right.
Take a look at who is working nonstop on the dancer level all the way up to the top. These are the people whose careers you should be emulating. Not only are they making a mark artistically, they are handling the business side equally as well.
Here are a few tips to navigate working with the media and getting maximum exposure in the press:
1. Return Emails/Phone Calls/Texts: If a member of the press has reached out to you, get back to them in a timely fashion. There’s a reason they want to interview you, so take the opportunity to give them a response.
It’s OK if you can’t do an interview because of contract restrictions, nondisclosure agreements or your schedule. It’s better to say, “Not at this time, but I can do in later this month or when the project is released.”
Rule of thumb: Any answer is better than no answer. If a talent is consistently unresponsive, the media moves on to the next dancer who is willing to be interviewed.
2. Reach out: Some of the savviest talents reach out to the press themselves. If there is a reporter with whom you have a good relationship with, email them to let them know about your show or project. It’s a great way to develop a long-term media strategy if you have someone from the press in your corner.
If you are uncomfortable reaching out to a member of the press, have your agent or manager do it. You don’t have to have a publicist to make press coverage happen.
Rule of thumb: Be proactive with your career. Find allies in the press who will be your cheerleaders for your career.
3. Timing: In a recent interview on To The Pointe, Lex Ishimoto talks about "riding the wave." It's the momentum you have after coming off a TV show like So You Think You Can Dance or having a video go viral. These are the moments you want to do as much press as possible because there is another season of contestants or social media superstars coming up behind you.
Rule of thumb: If you are lucky enough to have a moment in the public eye, take advantage of the opportunities being given to you in the press as long as it feels authentic to you. The wave will eventually slow down, so take the time to promote your brand at its peak.
4. Honor Your Commitment: Once you have committed to the interview, do your best to keep the date and time agreed upon. Of course, life happens — work gets booked, emergencies occur and sometimes people get sick — that is all understandable.
If you are someone who has trouble keeping your calendar, get someone to help manage it for you. Agents, publicists, assistants and managers are all people who can keep you on your toes in these situations.
Rule of thumb: Whether you are booked on Good Morning America, a local news spot or a podcast, please remember that you are affecting an entire crew of people when you cancel at the last minute. It throws everyone's day off because they have to find another guest, shift around segments or even cancel a show. Honor your smaller media opportunities as highly as you would your major media moments.
5. Social media support: Once a video interview or article about you is published, retweet, post and share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or get creative on TikTok. It helps the media outlet out and guess what? It helps YOU out. This is a great opportunity for your fans to learn more about you and it helps new fans discover who you are.
Rule of thumb: It’s not just up to the media outlet to promote your career, you should share it, too. Remember, we are all in this together.
Don't miss this classic episode of To The Pointe:
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