You have a new Web site? So what? They say that’s the biggest question in PR: So what? You know as well as I that there is no longer anything new or exciting about having a Web site. Everyone has one. In announcing a new site or update, don’t focus on the newness of it. Instead, focus on the content of the site.
The goal of your announcement is to get people to click through to your site and, I hope, to sign up for your mailing list.
Before you send anything, make sure everything on your site is in order. You don’t want pages that are under construction or ones with a lot of broken links. (See these audio programs for Web site help.)
Announce your new or revised site in an email rather than a postcard. Email allows people to click through and to share easily with others. But don’t put every address in the TO line. Instead, use the BCC line to keep email addresses private.
Use a program like Constant Contact that can be formatted to look like your new site. (A list of email distribution sites is in the Resources section of my book. And there is a lot more about emailing this kind of stuff in the chapters.)
In your announcement, describe your art in a way that makes me want to see it.
- Evoke a memory (”Remember when you used to l ie on the grass and see things in the clouds?”).
- Use humor and/or relate your text to a current event (”Tired of reading about the bad economy and Joe the Plummer? You need an art break!”).
- Give away something in a drawing (a catalog, note cards, reproduction, or report) to get people to sign up for your mailing list.
- Tell a story about one of your pieces or your process. Use part of the story in the announcement and place the entire text on your site.
Finally, be sure you ASK that the recipient of your email visit your new site. Don’t tell them to do it in a bossy way ("Visit my new site!"), ask them nicely ("It would mean the world to me if you’d stop by the new site at some point”). Also–and this is a pet peeve of mine–don’t say “Please tell me what you think.” You’re opening yourself up for input you may not want with this invitation.
At the end of your announcement, be sure to ask that your email be forwarded to anyone who might be interested. You don’t get what you don’t ask for!