Depending on the scale and visibility of the project there is likely to be a degree of public interest in your commission and from the point of view of advocacy for the work of artists in the public realm it is worth exploiting every opportunity to show this work in a positive light.
If your commission includes community involvement then the project will be in the public domain already. If not, how important is it that the public know about the project before it is finished.
Local press, radio and television would be first port of call but it may also be of interest to specific interest columnists in the national press, as well as journals specifically dealing with art, design, architectural or environmental issues. If you are going to have direct and pro-active contact with the media contact the Press Office, who will be able to advise you.
The artist or your other project partners may have existing contacts or ideas about how best to publicise the project. It is always worth checking that there is a common understanding of the aims and objectives of the project among the stakeholders and giving some thought to who might be willing and best able, to represent the project to particular sectors of the media.
Art projects that utilise public funds often attract a significant degree of publicity and even controversy and there is always a degree of risk attached to any project that involves an exploration of new ideas or ways of working (but that’s what creativity is all about!) You will have considered this in your risk assessment so the likelihood of an unsuccessful outcome that would be difficult to explain or defend in public is low. However, it may be that clarity in terms of what the artist will produce depends on development work in the early part of the process. It may be worth delaying major publicity until you have achieved a degree of certainty over the outcome.
Good publicity raises awareness of Hampshire County Council as a forward thinking local authority committed to cultural enrichment and best practice in working with artists. It contributes to the perception of Hampshire as a county which values creativity and the benefits to be gained from increasing opportunities for artists and audiences to encounter each other in their everyday lives.