SOR 035: Following Best Practices Could Kill You

I hope you take from Sold Out Run that which works for your theatre - and discard the rest.

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I sincerely hope that I’ve said at least one thing on Sold Out Run that you don’t agree with. I’ve shared a lot of strategic and tactical ideas on theatre promotion, and I hope you embrace no more than 90% of what I suggest. If everyone is following the same best practices, then we all start to look the same. That is death to both your arts community and your particular organization.

There was no episode last week because of the U.S. holiday Thanksgiving. In the spirit of that holiday, I want to extend my sincere thanks to all of you readers and listeners of Sold Out Run. This site started on a lark, and it has grown into something that brings me a lot of pride and satisfaction. All of that growth can be attributed to those of you who visit the site, try out these ideas in your productions, and/or provide feedback – so you have my deepest gratitude.

In this episode:

  • collaboration is easier –  you aren’t in direct competition with other theatres in your market when you stray just enough from conventional wisdom to be stand out
  • you can’t just be unique on stage – most of the individuals in your community don’t see your productions, so you have to show that you’re unique through your marketing (which so many more people see)
  • don’t get complacent – when you do a show that’s easy to market, don’t get lulled into relaxing your marketing approach because the next shows are going to be challenging again
  • being unique isn’t enough – you can be boring in a way that no one ever has before, and that won’t help you find your audience
  • marketing is art – the best marketing is as subjective (and hopefully as entertaining and engaging) as a good stage production

Items mentioned:

  • SOR 015: Hope Baugh – in this previous episode, Hope Baugh shared a particularly memorable approach to promotion where someone visited her office in a rabbit suit to invite her to the show
  • Improv Everywhere – the group out of New York that stages public displays of random, remarkable absurdity
  • Theatre Geeks – another theatre podcast (of which I am a big fan)

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Thanks to you guys for listening and giving me feedback about how the show is helping you and what I could be doing differently to help you more.

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