Kampfire Kounsel 2010 

Last Updated 12/13/2010 

Helpful marketing and public relations tips for Off-Off-Broadway productions.
text KAMPFIRE to 99222 or visit www.kampfirefilmspr.com

  • Reaching a mobile market
    For the past ten years Kampfire PR has been doing Public Relations, Marketing and Audience Building. We are continually searching for better and more effective ways to help you reach your audience. Now we are offering a revolutionary unique mobile marketing tool catered specifically to the OOB market: KampFIRE Mobile!

    Every day, more people are using their phones to get information and make purchase related decisions. Will they find your show? Will they engage with you and purchase tickets? Will they share your project information with others?

    Using KampFIRE Mobile--THEY WILL!!!

    Do you want to have a simple listing? Enter your information by clicking HERE!
  • Robust, dynamic, sophisticated, branded mobile web platform, accessible on all web-enabled handsets and all major carriers.
  • Capture valuable watershed mobile browser traffic from traditional website
  • Utilize short code access with a unique keyword for text (SMS) access.
  • Enhance emails with mobile-optimized embedded links
  • Featured click-to-call for ticket purchase
  • Branded send-a-friend feature embedded on all content pages Supplemental advertising on third party mobile sites.
  • Social network integration
  • Integration with traditional marketing campaigns, including print, radio, tv, online, social nets, etc.
  • No setup fees
  • No long term contract
  • Live launch in less than 2 weeks
  • 7 day/wk support

  • Combating the downturn
    Some months are tougher than others, and autumn is always an incredibly busy time of year. It is the beginning of the theatrical season; Broadway, Off-Broadway and OOB productions are opening almost every day of the week and several big holiday shows and events are also competing for audiences and press. Everyone feels the pressure. So what can you do to combat a downturn, fill your houses and make your audience feel appreciated?

    1. Don't panic - Desperation never put BIS (Butts In Seats). Plus that sort of pressure can negatively affect the production. Your demeanor sets the standard for the cast and crew. Always be optimistic and calm.
    2. Change perspectives – If your marketing and PR strategies need a boost, try looking at them from a different direction. You can supplement the promotions you already use or try a different approach all together. It is never too late to change directions and ATTACK!
    3. Try unique social media strategies - Offer your friends (plus cast/crew's friends) a "Fire Sale,” i.e., an extremely cheap ticket that is only available for a limited time. Facebook ads are low cost (pay per click) and effective too. Post photos from the show.  Have previous audiences post one-line reviews to your wall or Twitter page.  Do a contest.
    4. Switch up your papering services - Offer tickets to an organization who you have never tried before (Kampfire has a list of great services and organizations if you are ever interested).
    5. Take advantage of holiday foot traffic – Hand out postcards and flyers on a street corner near your venue (or at an outdoor holiday market or any heavily trafficked area). Dress in costume or be in character as you hand out the flyers. Do a scene in Union Square. Or do a stunt - hang from the Empire State Building (well maybe not that extreme).
    6. Enjoy and appreciate the audiences that you DO have! People bought tickets to your show, they organized their night to come and be with you and your company.  Thank them, embrace them, and follow up with them and ask for their feedback. Always remember to stuff your program with a postcard so they can pass it on if they liked your show!

    It takes a unified effort to get Butts In Seats. Marketing, promotions, press relations and audience building all have to work together. Of course, there will be times when everything is in place and implemented aggressively and reaching your audience may still be a challenge. Try to not take it to heart and use it as a learning experience. Remember, there are other companies and producers in your same position. Use your colleagues as sounding boards and collaborators--together we can get through it! 

  • Use Video to Promote Your Shows
    It's true, the AEA showcase code prohibits you from recording rehearsals or performances. (Be very careful to follow equity guidelines because you do not want to run into trouble with the Union.)

    However, you can still come up with clever content for your videos, like the Frog and Peach Theatre Company did for their current production of Cymbeline. In this video they have Shakespeare "Terrorizing the Upper West Side" or create a video blog, like the NY Neo-Futurists did for (un)afraid. Now you post the videos on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter...tag people in the videos, share them with your friends...help them go viral and you spread the word on your show without ever breaking AEA guidelines.

  • Copy the experts
    Copying is the highest form of flattery and it can do your show a world of good when it comes to marketing and PR. Take a look at what some of the marketing experts on Broadway are doing and see how you can implement some of their campaign strategies into your outreach. What are some things that really draw your attention? What are techniques they are using which you can incorporate as well? One thing I always point out is the use of photography in their collateral. I find that photos can sell you and your product much better than any other artwork--see me on Monday, September 20th at my photo wall at the IT Awards for 10 tips on how to use these and other photos.

  • Audience Building is a year-round activity
    What can you do this month to build audiences for your show even if you don't have a show currently running?
  1. Increase your mobile presence. Kampfire Films PR is having a special promotional offer to have a banner and discount ads on a mobile site visited by over 3,000 visitors per month! No cost introductory offer. Check out the mobile site by texting KAMPFIRE to 99222. Contact KAMPFIRE to increase your MOBILE presence TODAY, activation within 24 hours.
  2. Go out and see more shows--FRINGENYC has 200 to choose from and Kampfire has 2 non-fringe shows (Sex in Mommyville and The Punishing Blow)
  3. Make a new friend a day, maybe it is the receptionist at your doctor's office, or the waitress at lunch...these are potential audience members and more importantly your favorite hairdresser or trainer at the gym could be your next taste-maker (great word of mouth people).
  4. Get involved with another organization - maybe it is another theater company that you can volunteer for, or an upcoming event the IT Awards Show, or a not-for-profit organization that helps inner city youth. If you invest in them, they will invest in you.
  5. Work on those activities that you do not have time to do when you are running a show: upgrade your website, build fans on Facebook, add followers to your twitter feed
  6. Invite groups of friends to go see an Off-Off-Broadway show with you. Get them invested in the community.
  7. Do something for yourself!!!

  • Always be appreciative of the media
    Always be appreciative of the media and the contacts you develop.  We've all heard that "it is all about relationships." This is especially true when it comes to PRESS. Hey, that's why you hire a press agent right?  So here are a few rules of thumb on how to deal with the press. Never demand different positioning or ask to be featured differently--be appreciative that you were showcased. There are lots of factors that go into how a particular item is covered. The media outlet, the reporter, the editor, the publisher all have input  on how your article will appear in their publication and you can not change their methodology.  In fact, sometimes asking for changes or special favors, may result in never being covered by that outlet again--ah, the dreaded black ball.  If there is a factual error, then yes, let your press agent address the mistake. But always be upbeat and appreciative when dealing with the press. Press is press. It is free publicity and every little bit helps! And always remember my first Kampfire Kounsel, and don’t forget to say THANK YOU!

  • Support those who support you
    Patrick Lee was an enormous supporter of the Off-Off-Broadway community. In December, when Patrick saw the production of Working Man's Clothes' She Likes Girls he made sure that I had notified the GLAAD committee so that the show would get noticed -- and it did, winning a GLAAD Award for writer Chisa Hutchinson. This month, when I learned Patrick had passed away, my heart broke as a huge champion of the theatre community, and my friend, was now gone - read about him here. Patrick was a lover of theatre and a support of the craft; he attended more Off-Off-Broadway shows than anyone I know and wrote about them on Just Shows to Go You and Show Showdown. I am sure he's reviewed one of your shows. Let's gather and remember him by making a donation in his name to nyitawards.com or GLAAD.org. Show him you appreciate his support.

  • Always direct people to your company website!
    Even if you are using an outside ticket vendor (such as theatermania or brownpapertickets), have audiences go to your website FIRST! Make sure your website is updated with the show information and a direct link to the ticket purchasing page. Include your website on postcards, in listings, in your press releases and in all of your promotional materials. Audiences are more likely to purchase a ticket if they learn something about the people behind the show. It might also spur an impromptu donation you weren't expecting. Plus, if you have bugs to Facebook and Twitter, you might add a follower or two.

  • Fan Page vs. Group?
    The difference between a Facebook Fan Page and a Group has become an age-old question (age old, meaning the in the last few years). Both can advertise and create events, but there are many differences.  Knowing the advantages and functions of each will help you and your organization use Facebook more effectively.

    A Facebook Fan Page is similar to a normal profile, where your organization is viewed as a “person” and communicates as such with updates and events (to their fan’s walls), plus a Page can be personalized with applications making your unique branding more succinct. Pages are visible to unregistered people and are indexed by search engines such as Google.

    Groups organize on a smaller interaction level and don’t automatically update members. Some people prefer the Group’s ability to send their members an email (under 5k members)—while other’s like that Pages automatically send updates to fan’s walls. Groups allow, “bulk invites” and work for better for short-term viral marketing. Groups offer far more control over who gets to participate (like a private club), while access to a Page can only be restricted by age and location.

    Both can create events!  And Both can advertise, although Pages benefit from social ads that connect a Page to a specific user. Thus, if you are creating a Facebook entity for your long-term organization, a Page makes the most sense, but if you are creating presence for a one-time production, a Group will make a great resource. Any questions—contact me! (see info below)

  • Get out and see more theater
    Go see other people's shows. It is a busy season with lots of opportunities to support fellow artists--check out our listings for shows that are registered with the IT Awards. If you want your friends to support your shows, or to meet new theater goers, go to where they are--at the theater--and PAY for your tickets, the good karma and networking will pay back ten-fold.

  • Make friends where ever you go
    You never know when you might need someone.  Perhaps, the local coffee place you visit daily will allow you to place postcards on their counter, or your local dry cleaner.  Utilize friendships you have cultivated in unique places to further your marketing efforts.

  • Use your email signature
    Every week you send hundreds maybe thousands of emails. Use every email you send as mode for your marketing message.  Change your email signature to include: The name of your company, your website, dates of your upcoming show, and ticketing link.  (Plus you can add your Twitter tag and your facebook page!)

For more helpful marketing & public relation tips check out these blogs by Katie Rosin:

101 Ways to Promote the Arts
PR in the OOB World
Audience Building
More About Press in the OOB World
Advice for Working with an OOB Publicist

And be sure to visit the Kampfire Films PR website.

Kampfire Films PR is a full service Marketing and Public Relations agency founded by Katie Rosin, offering exceptional and custom campaigns for each client’s unique needs and projects. Rosin was instrumental in the launch of the Broadway musical Brooklyn and the National Tour of Mother Load. She worked on the publicity team for the comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, and his movie Comedian. Antonio Miniño later joined the Kampfire Team, after having produced and marketed various fashion shows, theatrical productions, as well as produced and hosted for the award winning Fashion TV. Together they have represented companies of all levels, genres and aesthetics in the Arts. Kampfire Off-Broadway highlights include: GLAAD Award Nominee, She Like Girls, Ohio Theater; …Another Man’s Poison, Jay Sharp Theater; Swimming With The Polar Bears, 45 Bleecker Street; Much Ado About Nothing & American Rapture, Beckett Theater; Glimpses of the Moon, Algonquin Hotel; IT Awards recipient, Elizabeth Rex, Center Stage; Mother Load, Sage Theater; Wasps in Bed, Beckett Theater; Anaïs Nin: One Of Her Lives, Beckett Theater; Triple Threat: 2007 Drama Desk Nominee (mis)UNDERSTANDING MAMMY: The Hattie McDaniel Story, Theatre 5. Kampfire clients include: 3Graces Theater Co., Astoria Performing Arts Center, BOO-Arts, Maieutic Theatre Awards, New York Innovative Theatre Awards, New York Neo-Futurists, Nicu's Spoon, Oberon Theatre Ensemble, Pascal Productions, and Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.

Katie Rosin
Publicist New York IT Awards


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