Getting publicity for your production is often a matter of chance and being in the right place at the right time, but there are things you can do to improve your prospects. Press coverage will vary depending on things like how much space the paper has in an issue and what other events are taking place. So you might have to make news to give your story more prominence.
- If your production is aimed at children you could consider running a competition that is based on the subject matter of the play. To give the newspapers something to photograph make it a colouring or drawing competition and arrange for a local celebrity to judge the entries and present prizes (tickets to the show and cash or vouchers donated by shops). Have the entries displayed somewhere public, like the library, and make sure there are plenty of posters and handbills for people to see too.
- If your play has interesting or unusual costumes get your cast out in the town centre on market day talking to people and giving out handbills.
- If there is something special you need for your play that you can not easily find make a story out of it for the press. Make sure the local radio stations know and offer someone to be interviewed on air to appeal for people to help. You are much more likely to get an interview on a BBC local radio station than a commercial station.
- A longer term way of getting your message to people is to ask for people to give their mail or e-mail addresses. You could put a notice or form in programmes or at the door offering to give people "exclusive" advance notice of forthcoming productions. A few weeks before a production post a letter or leaflet or send e-mails with similar wording to your press release.
copyright Leigh Graham 1997-2010.