Curating Hype: An Analysis of the New York Art World's Boutique Public Relations Agencies
By: Julia Foxworth
Published: 05/01/2015
Uploaded: 05/12/2015
Uploaded by: Arts Administration Program
Pockets: Arts Administration, Arts Administration Program Theses, Marketing, ARAD Theses: Fall 2013 to Spring 2015
Tags: agency, art, boutique, media, Public relations

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Description/Abstract: Public relations is a relatively new phenomenon in the art industry, and yet it is rapidly becoming commonplace. As the art world expands and its participants multiply, there is an increasing need for artists and art organizations to promote themselves. Since the 1990s, a collection of small, boutique public relations agencies specializing in the representation of these clients has been established to meet this demand in cities such as London and New York. As these firms grow and evolve, they are quickly discovering how to distinguish themselves from their larger, more established competitors as providing the best service to clients in the arts.

By exploring boutique agencies in New York City, this study builds a framework that is currently lacking in the field of art public relations. Conversations with leaders in these agencies reveal how these firms are positioning and organizing themselves in order to compete within the increasingly competitive environment of public relations. This investigation demonstrates how these agencies are modeling their brand and services to fit the needs of artists and art organizations.

Through an examination of the strategies these agencies employ, this study explores how boutique public relations agencies create, evaluate, and communicate their value to the art world. By cultivating and maintaining close and mutually beneficial relationships with their clients and their valuable network of influencers, these agencies are able to achieve great success for the artists and art organizations that hire them. This thesis therefore provides insight into the best practices being used by arts administrators working in the field of art public relations.