Saturday, July 30, 2011

Crowdsourcing Publicity

"Crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community (a "crowd"), through an open call."

I've been thinking a lot about  publicity for DPW lately. My understanding is having contacts in the media this profoundly important and that is why companies hire publicists. Unfortunately, what I don't have is contacts.

At the same time, I am a big believer in what large groups of people, such as all of you, can do, such as with the Help Japan Challenge, which raised over $30,000 in a relatively short time.

So, I am working on a plan to put out a call to our members and all our visitors to help DPW by getting articles and news stories about us in major publications, such as USA Today, Time, News Week, NPR, Network TV, etc., in exchange for payment for each story.

The idea is, to be considered, participants would email us with the target publication and the story proposal. Then, with approval, anyone whose efforts resulted in a story of a certain significance (yet to be determined) would receive a cash reward. At some point, we would stop, for the time being, accepting any more proposals, depending on the success of the over all undertaking.

What do you think? I welcome your feedback!

- David


  1. You go man! Glad to know you are dreaming up new ways to promote the site. That's good for all of us. Those of us who make our living painting need every leg up we can get.
    You're the man!

  2. David, here's a link you'll find helpful.
    I took a PR/Social Media course with her and she is very good. Lots of good free stuff on her site as well.

    We have to reach our target market, those who are interested in the majority of the works on this site. Selling art is all about KNOWING who your market is, then going out to meet them (where they are online).

    What is crucial in art sales is having artists that have a solid signature body of work, proper exposure to make sure the work is seen by the right audience, rock solid relationships with that key audience, along with marketing that is consistent which will then set the foundation for a long term sustainable art business.

    David, I may actually have something for you in regards to a story. I'll send you an email.

    Great ideas!

  3. Hi David,
    Your idea is a great one to encourage people to help land stories in publications.
    I've earned my living as a freelance writer and editor for the past 17 or so years (and am now focusing again on my first love, painting – see

    One immediate thought is that Daily Paintworks members are already highly internally motivated to get the word out about the site, since more awareness is only going to increase traffic and sales. So $1,000 seems high, and an external reward might even be unnecessary. Just sending everyone your idea as you have done is likely to lead many people to submit their ideas.

    How might you determine the significance of the article? Would it be based on the size of the readership? Would it take into account any additional media coverage that results from publication of the article? (the latter could be very hard to measure) Suppose 2 members suggest a similar article idea for the same publication; would they share the reward? Suppose someone submits a given article idea, but a publication comes up with the same idea on its own — would they still receive the award? When $1,000 is at stake these seem important considerations.

    A suggestion: You might want to send a bulleted list of the characteristics of any story proposal that would increase the its chances of being seriously considered by a major publication. What aspects increase the broad consumer appeal or newsworthy qualities (topical theme, for example)? This could help spark more ideas.

    A natural story here is a broader investigation of all painting sites that can help artists to sell their work online. (if the article is about the service itself, then any national or international publication would not want to limit the article to Daily Paintworks) A story that covers another topic, however, including one that happens to profile DP painter(s), and for which their DP participation is integral to the story, could lead to some more targeted exposure for DP. So you might encourage people to share ideas that bring DP in "through the back door" like this, so to speak.

    Just some initial thoughts -