... make publicity
You’ve worked on a project you want to present. You hope to use publicity to attract attention from potential visitors, buyers or clients.
In order to set up a succesful campaign, answer the following questions:
- What is it you want to promote; is it the project: the performance, work of art, film etc. Or do you want to promote the ensemble, choreographer, the actors or the collaberation?
- Where will it take place; throughout the country, in a certain city for example?
- What is the objective of your promotion; do you want to attract an audience for your show, or gain a reputation for the artist(s)?
- Who do you want to reach; celebrities, journalists, new audience groups?
- Where can you find your potential audience; for example in schools, nightlife or at home.
- What is your promotion budget?
Only after this can you decide which forms of publicity are suitable. For instance it isn’t very efficient to place an ad in a national newspaper if you’re only playing in one location.
So-called free publicity is always good, but you don’t usually get it automatically. You get media attention by sending a press release. Make sure that you do a follow up by telephone. You can always call local radio stations, dailies and such with the offer of an interview.
You also get attention by taking part in larger events, like festivals. Or you can give a sensational taste at YouTube or a busy square for example. Use your online communities as well: websites like Hyves, Myspace, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can be very usefull to promote your activities.
But the cheapest and most effective way is still word-of-mouth advertising. You can stimulate this form of advertising somewhat by networking, but it is mainly ‘created’ as a result of the show itself.
Having posters, flyers and folders made and placing advertisements costs money, but can be very effective.
Posters and such can be distributed via the bulletin boards and folder racks of cultural organizations, community centres and schools. This is usually free, but there’s a big chance that someone will hang their poster on top of yours. Distribution to inside and outdoor locations by specialized companies costs money but you have a greater chance that it will remain in view during the agreed period.
You can place ads in newspapers, magazines, free local papers and on internet. If you have an address list you can send folders personally via direct mail or e-mail - which is obviously less expensive.
Planning and budget
List all the activities separately and attach a plan and budget to them: Ask yourself questions like: how many days before the premiere do all the posters have to be up? How much time do the designer, photographer and printer need to make the promotional material? Think about the various media deadlines for the press releases. Check regularly to make sure you haven’t gone over your promotion budget.