Once you have drawn up a hit list of useful contacts, and researched everything you can find out about them, it is time to start calling to try to make appointments. This is by no means easy – calling people in fashion, music or advertising can seem daunting, but practice makes perfect so don’t give up.
If the receptionist can’t put you through directly to the person you have asked to speak to, they will usually give you the option of leaving a brief message or voicemail. It is worth asking for an email address as well, though be aware that data-protection law prevents receptionists from giving out names or contact details over the phone. If you have an email address, send your contact an email to follow up on your call so they are aware of you and what you can offer them.
It doesn’t matter if you have an incorrect contact name for an art director, as you are most likely to get through to the secretary, booker, assistant or intern first, who will hopefully point you in the right direction.
Never underestimate an assistant – they are also just starting out. By sending your CV through the assistant, they will also look at it and can mention it to the art director if they like what they see. Add the assistant to your hit list of people to whom you should send new work.
If someone is difficult to reach but gives you a specific date or instruction to ring back, then make sure you stick to it. However, be prepared to keep phoning them – these are busy people and it could be months before you hear back from them (but if they ask you to stop calling, then stop). Little touch-points you could introduce along the way include sending your comp card in the post as a reminder of your work. If you keep going, you should eventually secure an appointment.