Archive | January, 2014

Media, marketing and mint tea

1 Jan

It was a Grand Day Out for Off the Fence as Gary, Verity and I took a train to spend the whole day with Out of Joint. I had met Max briefly a year or so ago but not the whole team so was a tad apprehensive. However, my overriding emotion was excitement.

My role within Off the Fence is essentially to write the stuff to get us publicity – including online content, programmes, press releases – and get our message out there. This is made easier in Leicester as it is the city I live in and know well. My aim today though is to explore how to go about promoting a show when you know very little of an area, have no contacts and limited time to find out.

After an initial group chat, Verity and Panda went off to talk producing and Gary disappeared into Max’s room. Step forward Jon Bradfield, Marketing Manager at oJo who patiently took me through points to bear in mind when promoting a touring production.

Key to any marketing is to understand your product – what is the play about, what are its benefits and how can we talk about it? This information will then help discussions with venues when booking as well as forming the basis for our own publicity.

Next, the venues.  Best advice here is be a nuisance but in a good way; this is, after all, a two way relationship. It is important to build up good relations with receiving houses as they will assist in promotions but also have their own media contacts and followers and an audience base you want to convert to ticket sales. To make their life easier, provide as much information as you can – whether through images, video clips or interviews with cast to give the venue some meat for their social media bones. Provide copy for their e-flyers, find out what they would like and keep talking.

Mention must be made of Moroccan restaurant Le Rif, our destination for lunch and the place to go for superlative cous cous and mint tea. And a good chat.

To add to Verity’s comments (see previous post), whilst a lot of this advice may seem common sense (and it is), I found it so helpful talking to Jon who does this on a daily basis.  The whole point of mentoring is not for the mentor to dictate what you should be doing but to talk things through, make suggestions based on what they have learnt and listen to ideas. Verity and Gary hadn’t been idle either – after discussing a couple of our other projects with Graham and Panda, a new idea emerged which we are now progressing (more info later!). Ultimately, we as mentees must do what is right for us.

As we left oJo and ventured out into the cold, dark December night my overriding feeling was akin to a warm blanket of reassurance.

Sally Jack