Putting on a Show
Marketing Your Show
Having your show talked about in the media is a great way of reaching new audiences. Below are some tips and resources on how to publicise your show. If you have some media outlets in mind that you would love to have talk about your show, reach out to Nicola about how to get into contact with them.
How to write a media release
A media release should be dynamic and interesting so the media will want to interview you and come to your
show. It should be short and sharp, containing useful and interesting information in a concise way. Think simple,
and use short sentences and short paragraphs.
To get all the necessary information into a news story, the media follow this structure...
WHAT your show is about
WHERE the show is going to take place
WHO you/your team are (including past experience of interest)
WHEN your show is on
HOW & WHY - the juicy bits of information which will really 'sell' your show
The first paragraph of your media release is the most important. The media refer to it as the intro or lead. It will determine whether the reader is 'hooked' and wants to read on or whether they don’t finish reading it and move on. Your intro or lead should be hard-hitting and around 25 words. Here's an example of two different leads:
Lock up your mothers, he’s on his way.... Gore’s favourite comedian, Ivan Bumgardner, has launched his most
scandalous comedy revue to date.
Gore comedian, Ivan Bumgardner, is bringing a comedy revue to Auckland.
The first introduction will probably attract the reporter’s interest.
● Include some biographical information about the creative team and information about the show.
● Try not to fill too much of your media release with a synopsis of the show - keep it short and simple.
● Try to keep your language accessible for all audiences - not too highly theoretical. Also try not to over promise the experience.
● You should indicate on the first line that it is a media release.
● The date should be near the top.
● Your release should start with a big, bold and attention grabbing headline.
● Don't put anything other than the headline in capital letters.
● Put your contact name and details at the bottom of the release.
Now on to writing your Media Release! So you're not starting from scratch, download the Basement specific media release template below. It includes the Basement Theatre "boilerplate" as well, which helps the media get to know Basement if they haven't heard of us before.
Publicists pitch, chase and organise media spots surrounding the project to increase public awareness of the event. These are newsworthy stories (as opposed to paid ads), so the publicist will look for ‘the angle’ to secure the stories.
If you have funding, we advise finding or hiring someone to take care of publicity for your event. Depending on your budget it could be super beneficial to hire a professional...
Elephant Publicity are excellent - drop Michelle Lafferty an email at email@example.com or call on 027 295 6450. Nicola can also put you in touch with independent publicists.
If you don’t have funding/budget to hire someone - it should be a focus for the Producer. Whoever it is, make sure they are confident jumping on the phone to talk to the media about publicity opportunities.
TIPS FOR SENDING OUT YOUR MEDIA RELEASE
● When emailing media contacts, email to the person individually. Send a pitch in the body of the email that is around a paragraph long. Make sure you really sell the project so they are eager to open the release.
● Make sure your pitch is tailored to the specific media you are pitching to - look at what kind of stories they have been doing lately and think about why your project/person would be a good fit for that media outlet.
● Attach your media release as a Word document (the media like to copy and paste right from your release) and also attach any images you have for the production. Images need to be over 1MB for print.
● After you have sent out your media release, it is unlikely that the media you contacted will get back to you straight away so we highly recommend you follow up with the media release attached about a week later. If you are feeling really brave, follow up with a cold call - this is really effective.
● Tuesday mornings are the best time to send out your release. Better to email after 9.30/10am. Friday afternoon is the least effective time to send out your release.
TIPS FOR PITCHING
● Be friendly and professional.
● Make sure it’s clear what you’re asking for - “I was wondering if you’d be interested in chatting to Funny Girls star and staple of Snort Laura Daniel about how it is to return to theatre?”
● Have a clear idea of what your angle is. The easier you make it for the media outlet, the more likely they’ll be to want to do a story.
● Choose one person/idea to pitch, and talk about them/it upfront - why are they so interesting?
● Put a show blurb and/or bio further down in the email... this is filler information.
● Create a subject line that you think is eye-catching to the person you’re sending it to... something exciting for either the show or whoever you are pitching.
● Remember, it’s not just the journalist who decides, but the editor too. Sometimes you have to pitch to both. Sometimes one person will say yes and the other will say no. And, sometimes big news takes your spot - this is just the nature of the media.
● Media is all about deadlines - don’t miss them!
TIPS FOR INTERVIEWS
● Make sure you’re punctual and prepared with a background knowledge of the project and the company you are working with. It’s helpful to take a flyer with you (if you have some) in case the interviewer has misplaced the dates.
● Prepare what you want to say and how you are going to say it to the interviewer. We recommend being familiar with the media you are attending – their style and their audience.
● Remember that each interview is your chance to “sell” your show - try not to be nervous and speak from the heart about your event.
● Remember that an interview starts from the moment of “hello” and runs right through to “goodbye”, so beware of saying anything you don’t want said to the general public.
TIPS FOR OPENING NIGHT LISTS
● Give out opening night tickets to people who are going to help spread the word about your awesome show.
● Don’t forget to invite reviewers. They need to be specifically asked to review the show, and most reviewers will want two tickets.
● If people have helped you out with your show, it’s nice to thank them with two comps to opening and a thank you in the programme.
● Be strategic with who you invite to your opening - make sure this aligns with your goals for the season, i.e. If you want this to be your introduction to the industry, then invite some key decision makers in the industry who you want to get in front of.
● Suggested timeline for opening night invites: send out your opening invite three weeks out. Two weeks out, remind those that haven’t responded to get back to you. On the Monday before your show opens, send out a reminder to those attending your opening.