SOR 003: Lori Raffel

Lori Raffel

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A Nice Family Gathering is a show I did back in early 2011, and it was momentous for a few reasons. It was the first time I acted on stage in Indianapolis, the first time I had a leading role in a non-musical production, and the first exposure I had to Lori Raffel. She was the producer for this show (as well as the creative director of the theatre). I got to know Lori even better last year when I appeared in a show that she directed.

Her well-rounded theatre skill set doesn’t end there, though. I touch briefly in the episode on all the various hats she wears in the Indianapolis theatre community, but one of the most relevant roles to Sold Out Run readers and listeners is her “day” job as the Marketing and Media Relations Director at the Phoenix Theatre.

In this episode:

  • What a marketing and media relations director does – spoiler: it sounds like a little bit of everything.
  • The differences between promoting amateur and professional theatre – how you’re viewed by the press and how the difference in budgets change how you have to approach your promotions.
  • Getting the media to bite – what it takes to get the local press to cover your show.
  • Why Lori still loves postcards – while social media and mobile devices are taking over most marketing discussions, don’t count simple print pieces out yet.
  • Being part of the theatre community – how partnering with other theatres can help from an operational and financial stand point.
  • Casting a dog for Of Mice and Men – how your biggest production challenges can become unexpectedly powerful promotional tools.

Items mentioned:

  • Phoenix Theatre – professional theatre in downtown Indianapolis celebrating their 30th year (Lori’s role: Marketing and Media Relations Director)
  • Encore Association – a collection of community theatres in the Indianapolis area that work together to help individual theatres and raise the quality of amateur theatre for all of Indianapolis (Lori’s role: former President)
  • Carmel Community Players – reference in the last two episodes of the podcast, this community theatre is located in Carmel, a suburb of Indianapolis (Lori’s role: Artistic Director)
  • Humane Society of Indianapolis – a potential resource for canine acting talent

As I mentioned in the episode, I’m going to be giving away free copies of my marketing kit, Reaching a New Audience, to listeners who submit an audio question that I use on the podcast. Have a microphone on your computer or an iPhone? That’s all it takes…

Listener Challenge: Ask your theatre marketing question, and it might appear in a future episode of the podcast. Just ask me about whatever promotional obstacles you’ve got right now. It could be not knowing where to focus your attention, problems with social media, a lack of support, or whatever is keeping you up at night. Ask away.

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