Communication and Marketing
Here ‘communication’ refers to oral and written exchange of information between the members of the production team or the production team and related parties.
Effective communication means that everybody knows
a) what needs to be communicated to other people or parties
b) what is the best way to convey the message.
For example, as a managing producer (production manager), you have to know who will need to be informed about the decisions or changes concerning the production and what is the best channel of communication.
As a production manager, you will also need to communicate with the public sector, i.e. representatives of government agencies and city or town councils, as well as the corporate sector (businesses). And when you do, a more formal way of communicating might be at place.
Publicity Management and Media Relations
The main goal of publicity management is to get media coverage for the production in the form of advance stories, interviews and theatre reviews. Ideally, publicity management is a form of interplay between the publicist, who knows the production inside out and can present it in a positive light, and a journalist, whose job it is to produce interesting content for the medium he or she works for. Some of the most typical ways of attracting the attention of the media, is to send out press releases and invitations to press previews and the premiere.
You can also find out if there are publications that will publish stories written by you. Typically these would be local newspapers or trade union or NGO magazines. If you write the story yourself, you will need to choose an angle for the story. For example, you can interview the director or another member of the creative team about the artistic goals or the theme or subject matter of the production.
The main goal of marketing interventions is to convince people to come and see your show. First you’ll need to define the selling points of your production. For example, a well-known director or cast, the theme or subject matter of the play or fresh, thought-provoking or touching interpretation?
Second, you’ll need to think about what kinds of people are likely to be interested in the show? In other words, what is the target audience of the production? Then you’ll need to find out the best ways to reach these people and convince them to come and see the performance.
The next phase is to compose and send out marketing messages.
The form of a marketing message depends on
a) the receiver (e.g., age or social status; a regular patron or a first-timer)
b) the marketing channel (website, blog, mailing list or a Facebook group, Twitter, mobile phone, radio, TV or print media)
An important part of creating a marketing campaign is brainstorming, when you throw in all kinds of wild ideas or rediscover old ones. For example, one of the oldest forms of marketing a show is going to market places or strolling around town in costumes and telling people about the production. Why aren’t the companies doing more of that?
A marketing campaign takes concrete shape, when you select and refine the best ideas and finally execute a set of marketing interventions. The ideas should always arise from the production itself.
It is important to make sure that individual marketing interventions must complement and support each other. For example, if you distribute the posters and flyers at the same time as the first newspaper story comes out, people are more likely to remember the show and buy a ticket. You will also need to make sure that you will not start the marketing campaign before you are ready to accept bookings for the show.
Publicity and Marketing Plan
First write down the selling points of the show and target group.
Then write a timeline of publicity and marketing interventions.
Assign the marketing tasks in a production meeting.
Who will write the texts for the marketing materials, and when?
Who will take the photos for the marketing materials and the press, and when?
Which tasks will be done by the members of the company, and which services will be commissioned from outside?
What kind of printed materials will be needed?
Will the posters, flyers, brochures or teasers be printed by a printing press or will you be using a photocopier? Or do we anymore any printing?
Which media will you inform about the production?
In which media will you buy marketing space?
How can you make the best of social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) in marketing your production?