Here is what I posted on the IT Awards MySpace blog today:
Since it is my job to raise awareness of the IT Awards to the media, as well as the fabulous OOBR shows I represent, I thought I would give you some pointers on what a Publicist can and can not do for your productions.
First the definition of publicity:
1. extensive mention in the news media or by word of mouth or other means of communication.
2. public notice so gained.
3. the measures, process, or business of securing public notice.
4. information, articles, or advertisements issued to secure public notice or attention.
5. the state of being public, or open to general observation or knowledge.
(publicity. ( n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved August 31, 2007, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/publicity )
As you can see this is not defined as "putting butts in seats" (PBIS) nor does it have a direct correlation to PBIS.
A publicists job is to raise the awareness of your production to the media and in turn your potential audiences. I feel it takes calculate and integrated efforts of PR, Marketing (which includes posters/postcards/e-blasts/flyers...and advertising), and Audience Building in order to PBIS. The later I will discuss in a future blog.
Here are some components of PR that a publicist can do for you:
1. Press Release: Include the Who, What, Where, When and Why of your production
2. Feature Idea: Create (with the help of all involved Artistic Staff through the cast) story ideas to pitch to the appropriate media
3. Review Requests: Ask critics to come and see your show and review for their outlet
But the publicist cannot wait around for the news to present opportunities. They must also try to create their own news. Examples of this include:
* Arrange a speech or talk
* Make an analysis or prediction
* Issue a report
* Take a stand on a controversial subject
* Announce an appointment
* Invent then present an award
* Issue a commendation
The advantages of publicity are low cost, and credibility (particularly if the publicity is aired in between news stories like on evening TV news casts). New technologies such as weblogs, web cameras, web affiliates, and convergence (phone-camera posting of pictures and videos to websites) are changing the cost-structure. The disadvantages are lack of control over how your releases will be used, and frustration over the low percentage of releases that are taken up by the media. (Publicity. (2007, July 15). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:24, August 31, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Publicity&oldid=144714064)
Additionally, it is the job of everyone in the production to think about PR. It is NOT their job to contact the media (too often I'm picking up pieces when this happens). Should someone involved in the production have a great idea, a great press contact, or be involved with something press worthy they should immediately contact their publicist and discuss it with them. I find these are the best leads for the publicist.
Keep these ideas in mind when deciding if and who to hire as a publicist on your production. Please feel free to contact me with questions on this subject.
See you on the 24th!