The Open Book Project: 3 Weeks Out: The People
This is one of my favorite weeks in the process. I feel like the responses from the talent are a powerful draw to the production, and as a marketer the hard work for these pieces is already done back when you came up with great questions to ask. Now it’s just collecting the responses and putting them out there for the world to see. The combination of highly effective marketing pieces and low time commitment make this a great week.
This post is part of the Open Book Project, where I let you peek over my shoulder as I promote a theatre production.
Here’s what was originally planned for this week. (View the full marketing calendar.)
3 Weeks Out
|10/7/2013||about Scott (actor)||blog, social media|
|10/8/2013||about Allison||blog, social media|
|10/9/2013||about Josh||blog, social media|
|10/10/2013||press release email #3||special email|
|about Scot (director)||blog, social media|
I want to share at this point something about Beth, the business director of AUP and the point person on executing all of these marketing tactics I talk about each week. She’s in the middle of a serious bout of bronchitis and has been for weeks.
Part of the reason the marketing efforts have stayed more or less is on track is because we came up with a solid calendar a few months ago that clearly outlines when and by whom things need to be turned in to meet deadlines. But a calendar is worthless if it isn’t followed. Beth has done a fantastic job of fighting through some rough days to keep this marketing machine humming.
- Scott Russell
- Allison Reddick
- Joshua Ramsey
- Scot Greenwell
These went up as scheduled, and that’s pretty typical of the productions I’ve seen. When people feel like they have some good ideas about a particular topic, it’s fun to answer questions. At this point in the rehearsal process, the actors (and certainly the director) have had time to think about these characters and this story.
Some people drag their feet when they lack confidence in their writing ability, but I recommend this step on every production. I always see interesting insights that generate interest in coming to the show.
Of course this technique is also one of the best ways to utilize your actors in your marketing. Handing them a stack of flyers is setting them up to fail with a boring and time consuming task that anyone could be doing. Asking them questions like this is straightforward and gives them a task they are uniquely qualified to do.
A few weeks back Beth emailed the questions to our actors. We looked at their responses and narrowed it down to the best ones. What makes for a “best” response? It’s not how long or short the response is. It isn’t even if the response is simple or sophisticated. The only criteria that really matters is: does this answer make me want to see this person on stage?
Often those tend to be the responses that sound funny and/or thoughtful, but that isn’t a hard and fast rule.
This third press release email is the easiest. At this point we’ve already sent out press contacts all of the information about the show including a link to the media kit. What goes in this final email? Here’s my exact words to Beth:
Short, super casual, and friendly. Just a quick message to ask if they needed any materials or to schedule a call with Scot or anyone else to ask a few questions. Close with mentioning if they know what night they plan on coming you’ll make sure to hold a seat for them.