Reader Question: How to create content for social media without beating the same drum about ticket sales

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I received this question from a reader recently. I responded via email at the time, but I’ve decided that I want to include my response here for two reasons: 1. the ideas here might help someone in a similar situation and 2. other readers might be able to provide even more helpful ideas in the comments section.

I should also point out that I was not familiar with any of Agatha Christie’s plays (no, not even Mousetrap) or the character of Poirot before receiving this email. I did a little poking around on Wikipedia before I responded.

Hi Clay

I’ve recently taken over the publicity for my theatre group and we have a production in two weeks of Agatha Christie’s The Hollow. One of my challenges is finding/creating content relative to the production for social media/PR so we don’t keep beating the same drum about how well ticket sales/rehearsals are going. Do you have any tips?

Thanks!
Charlotte
http://www.barnescharityplayers.com

First my hat is off to you for recognizing that droning on about ticket sales and how positive rehearsals are going is not the best way to use social media or any other kind of publicity. At best it comes off as unimaginative, and at worst it seems desperate and (forgive the pun) hollow.

I cover this in some detail in Reaching a New Audience, but I’ll give you a broad overview of a few points here since you open in a matter of days. Start by identifying what is unique about this production. It might be the script itself. Are all the other venues in your city doing musicals and comedies right now? If so you can emphasize how The Hollow is different.

You could talk about the character of Poirot and how he is woven throughout so much of Christie’s work. Help people feel that by seeing The Hollow they are actually sampling Christie’s larger body of work. Alternatively you could talk about how Christie actually wanted to remove Poirot when converting the story from a book to a play.

But maybe that’s old news to your audience. In that case what is unique about this particular production? Do any of the characters have a dramatically different age, race, or gender than what’s in the script? (And does that change anything?)

Here are some more questions to get you thinking:

- What attracted the director to this show?
- How is The Hollow different from the rest of Christie’s works?
- Does any of the cast have favorite lines from the show (that you could share without giving away plot points)?

I’m sure there are many more, but hopefully that’s some useful creative fodder. Good luck!

When your social media starts turning into a list of updates about ticket sales, how do you spice things up? Comment here.

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