(Close Window)
Topic: Theater Show Press Release - Help
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Mar 19, 2006 04:17PM)
Hi guys,

I decided to post here my press release I have rewritten for use in promoting our upcoming theater magic show on May 6th. I have talked more about this show and the marketing we are doing for it in a thread marked Theater Show Marketing. I want to thank many of you for your valuable information and help you have given my wife and me. Thank you.

I am posting the press release here at the request of several folks and I hope that people can read it over and tell me what they think about it. If you would like background information on the show, please check out the other thread or go to the show website at: http://fantasyofillusion.white.prohosting.com/Fantasy_of_Ill/Page_1x.html

I look forward to hearing your comments and ideas on the release. Thanks in advance.

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Magic Show to Benefit Area High School Arts and Magic Club:
Two Families Team up to Present a Night of Unforgettable Magic!

Contact: Kyle S. Peron
Address: 700 Lower State Road
Bld. 15 / Apt. A-6
North Wales, PA 19454
Phone: 215-793-6697 - Home Number
610-879-8079 - Daytime Work Number
E-mail: Magic4u02@aol.com
URL: http://www.kyleandkellymagic.com

Spring time is upon us once again and the season is filled with rebirth and
magic. Flowers are blooming, grass grows greener and leaves start filling
the trees once more. Two families of magicians have teamed up to present a
family show to benefit the Hillsborough High School's Association of
Magicians Club.

The Hillsborough Association of Magicians (H.A.M) is a one-of-a-kind magic
and theatrical arts club that meets at the high school and teaches high
school age students theatrical arts through the use of magic and illusion.
The club has been in existence for well over 25 years and is unique in that
it is one of few clubs in the United States that promotes and teaches
students magic through demonstrations, lectures and live performances at the
High School level.

After a year in production, the award-winning “Fantasy of Illusion” magic
and illusion show breaks new ground at the Hillsborough High School
Auditorium in Hillsborough, NJ. The show combines the talents of Kyle and
Kelly Peron along with Bill and Nadine Dickson, two families of magicians
who have won numerous awards for their own unique brand of family style
magic. Fantasy of Illusion is proud to be working with the H.A.M club to
promote a family-style magic show to raise money and funds for the
organization and its students.

The show also features a special guest spot by Hillsborough’s own John
"Constantine" Mitsopoulos. John will be presenting an act called
"Abra-ca-doo-wop: Bringing Back Those Magical Years". John is also the group
leader of the Hillsborough Association of Magicians for well over 25 years
now and has won numerous awards for his unique brand of theatrical magic.

Fantasy of Illusion is a one-of-a-kind show. It is the first time two
families of magicians have combined their talents to produce a
fun-filled magical experience aimed at giving families an alternative to
spend a fun evening out together.

Fantasy of Illusion is a full stage production show featuring: Paradox; a
new illusion that is a big twist to the classic sawing a lady in half;
Animal Magic; an award-winning magic act themed around the magical
production of live birds and more, Wiz-Kote: A comical routine where a child
from the audience gets his or her shoe washed in the most magical of ways
and Lighter Than Air; where Kyle and Kelly will attempt to float a child
from the audience in mid air right on stage - LIVE!

Kyle and Kelly, along with Bill and Nadine, are two of the few husband and
wife magic teams in the tri-state area performing together as magical
partners. Combined they have performed for such vast clients as the
Philadelphia Flyers, Eagles, Phantoms and Phillies sports teams, as well as
can be seen this year performing at various resorts in the Poconos and
Catskill regions.

Their magical skills and showmanship help create a delightful atmosphere
full of fun and laughter. An outstanding show of magic, music, illusion and
fun, will leave viewers delighted, amazed and most of all entertained. The
people who participate in the show are the real stars, as Fantasy of
Illusion delights with numerous magical surprises. The audience is kept on
their toes as one magical feat after another is performed in front of their
very eyes.

SHOW INFORMATION
Fantasy of Illusion continues their theater tour, and will be performing at
Place: Hillsborough High School Auditorium
City: Hillsborough, NJ
Address: 466 Raider Blvd.
Date: May 6, 2006
Times: 7pm

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets are on sale now, and may be purchased in advance
by calling
215-793-6697, or by contacting via e-mail at fntsyofillusion@aol.com.
Tickets are $10 Adults / $8 Students / $6 Children 12 and under.

For more information, please visit the Fantasy of Illusion website at:
http://fantasyofillusion.white.prohosting.com/Fantasy_of_Ill/Page_1x.html

(Additonal photos available upon request)
END
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Mar 19, 2006 07:53PM)
Kyle, I like it.
I see nothing wrong with submitting it as is. But if I had to change something, maybe this:

I would include an action photo. Begin the story with a paragraph that sort of explains the photo and gets right to the point about the show.

Using your same paragraphs but rearranging them a little so that one leads to the other, possible avoiding any cut points from the editor.



(Begin under photo)

After a year in production, the award-winning “Fantasy of Illusion” magic and illusion show breaks new ground at the Hillsborough High School Auditorium in Hillsborough, NJ. The show combines the talents of Kyle and Kelly Peron along with Bill and Nadine Dickson, two families of magicians who have won numerous awards for their own unique brand of family style magic. Fantasy of Illusion is proud to be working with the H.A.M club to promote a family-style magic show to raise money and funds for the organization and its students.


The Hillsborough Association of Magicians (H.A.M) is a one of a kind magic and theatrical arts club that meets at the high school and teaches high school age students theatrical arts through the use of magic and illusion. The club has been in existence for well over 25 years and is unique in that it is one of few clubs in the United States that promotes and teaches students magic through demonstrations, lectures and live performances at the High School level.

Fantasy of Illusion is a full stage production show featuring: Paradox; a new illusion that is a big twist to the classic sawing a lady in half; Animal Magic; an award-winning magic act themed around the magical production of live birds and more, Wiz-Kote: A comical routine where a child from the audience gets his or her shoe washed in the most magical of ways and Lighter Than Air; where Kyle and Kelly will attempt to float a child from the audience in mid air right on stage - LIVE!

Fantasy of Illusion is a one-of-a-kind show. It is the first time two families of magicians have combined their talents to produce a fun-filled magical experience aimed at giving families an alternative to spend a fun evening out together.

Kyle and Kelly, along with Bill and Nadine, are two of the few husband and wife magic teams in the tri-state area performing together as magical partners. Combined they have performed for such vast clients as the Philadelphia Flyers, Eagles, Phantoms and Phillies sports teams, as well as can be seen this year performing at various resorts in the Poconos and
Catskill regions.

Their magical skills and showmanship help create a delightful atmosphere full of fun and laughter. An outstanding show of magic, music, illusion and fun, will leave viewers delighted, amazed and most of all entertained. The people who participate in the show are the real stars, as Fantasy of Illusion delights with numerous magical surprises. The audience is kept on their toes as one magical feat after another is performed in front of their very eyes.

The show also features a special guest spot by Hillsborough’s own John "Constantine" Mitsopoulos. John will be presenting an act called "Abra-ca-doo-wop: Bringing Back Those Magical Years". John is also the group leader of the Hillsborough Association of Magicians for well over 25 years now and has won numerous awards for his unique brand of theatrical magic.


SHOW INFORMATION
Fantasy of Illusion continues their theater tour, and will be performing at
Place: Hillsborough High School Auditorium
City: Hillsborough, NJ
Address: 466 Raider Blvd.
Date: May 6, 2006
Times: 7pm

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets are on sale now, and may be purchased in advance by calling 215-793-6697, or by contacting via e-mail at fntsyofillusion@aol.com. Tickets are $10 Adults / $8 Students / $6 Children 12 and under.


For more information, please visit the Fantasy of Illusion website at:
http://fantasyofillusion.white.prohosting.com/Fantasy_of_Ill/Page_1x.html

(Additonal photos available upon request)
END





Tom
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Mar 19, 2006 08:27PM)
YIKES!

WA-A-A-A-AY too long!

A press release is NOT supposed to be the final story (so, Tom, you're-off base on a few points, particularly the "cut points" commentary.) The purpose of a press release is to whet the editor's/reporter's appetite to find out more! I feel I know a little bit about this topic -- in the past month alone, I got 6 newspaper stories that had their start with my press releases. A page, double-spaced, is the goal. Editors get a lot of these every day... do you want him to read yours? If so, TRIM IT DOWN!

Paul Hartunian is one of the leading authorities on *effective* press release writing. I subscribe to his "Who cares?" approach to press release revision. There are a LOT of yawns in this one, Kyle. Read each and every line and ask yourself, from an unbiased reader's POV, "Who cares?" I don't want to do it here out of personal consideration... and I don't want you any angrier at me than you may already be <G>!

I know you like to write, Kyle, but a press release is NOT the place to be verbose.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Mar 19, 2006 08:56PM)
That is why I posted it here in order to get feedback and ideas. I have not delveed into the press release market and am relatively new at it. This is why I posted for feedback such as yourself and Tom's as well. I respect all of your comments and I will take them all to heart for sure. I am certainly not angry at you at all Mark. In fact, I thank you for your honesty. That is what I want and I respect you for it. So thank you.

I will try and go through it and re-read it and make some edits. Please feel free to PM me or post here if you like. However, since I am new to this aspect of marketing, I really could use some examples and some ideas as to how to make this better and how I could trim it to make it mor enticing. So please help in any way that you can either here or in PM. Which ever way you feel better doing is fine with me.

I know I love to write and God only knows that. hehe I hope that I can take this and make it work and get it working better. I look forward to your advice as well as any others that would like to read it and chime in with their comments and ideas.

Tom: thank you also for your kind words and advice. I like the reorganizing of the paragraphs and will take that to heart as well.

I would love to hear others' honest opinion on this. What do others feel about this? What are your comments and suggestions. I would appreciate hearing from others who have done this more than myself.

I do plan on including a photo with the press release. Do you guys send a black and white or a full color photo work better? Any ideas on this?

Thanks again.
Kyle
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Mar 19, 2006 09:52PM)
I agree, if the goal is to get them to contact you for a story, the shorter the better, just enough to get them interested.

But beginners do get stuff printed every day by providing the full story when it’s only a couple of pages. The writers wade through stuff understanding that most are not writers like themselves. If they spot a story within the first few paragraphs they will continue to read. If enough information is provided, they then cut to fit. If they need more information to go with a bigger story, they contact you.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Mar 20, 2006 12:37AM)
Kyle -

If you have Rick's course [i]Ultimate Publicity Secret Weapon System[/i], or have even signed up for his free e-course, you will know that you should cover the "who", "what", "where", "when" and "why" all in the first paragraph of a press release. Then expand out from there.

Or they should be covered within the release (throughout the paragraphs in an interesting way), and not tacked on at the end.

It comes across in its current way as too much about "who", and a little about "why". But you're missing the other 3 "Ws".

Also, the press release style is not the standard accepted format in other ways, too.

It might need to be re-written.

Strive to look like a pro who understands their needs and their business.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: noumena (Mar 20, 2006 03:22AM)
I am in the middle of my own theater show run. Nearly all the shows have been sold out and I have gotten a lot of great press. Prior to this I had my own dinner theater show that sold out for two years. That show got a lot of great press as well. One of the many tools we used was a press release.

I won't offer my own press release on an open forum. Such things should not be given away for free. However, I would suggest hiring an experienced writer to write a press release as well as a calendar release for you. If you want a professional press release then hire a professional. It will make a huge difference. They will also have great connections for getting articles written on your show. If you have the budget you can hire a PR rep to pitch your press release to all the right people.

- Brandon
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Mar 20, 2006 06:33AM)
Thanks guys. This is all great stuff I am taking to heart and will make changes today when I get home from work. I greatly appreciate your feedback and advice as press releases are still relatively new to me. The best way for me to find out what works, is to listen to all your advice, take it to heart, make the changes and test it out for myself and track the results. I do appreciate everyones' comments and suggestions and they are appreciated. Now it is time for me to get to work on the editing of the release. Thanks again all. You guys rock.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Mar 20, 2006 07:22AM)
Thanks again guys. While I am taking your advice to heart and editing and making changes I have a couple of quick questions to ask. Since I am sure that many of you have done far more releases that I, thought I would bring this up to get your feedback. As always, it is greatly appreciated.

My question is this: have any of you received better results by sending the press release over to the contact person via mailing, faxing or e-mailing or online via their website? Is one method better than another or have any of you done a combination of the above? Where might you mail and fax? I am just throwing this out there so that I may get some feedback and ideas from those who have more experience than I.

I look forward to hearing back from you all. I GREATLY appreciate it and thank you all so much for your time and willingness to help me out.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Mar 20, 2006 08:15AM)
I would think that unless a fax or e-mail is asked for, mailing would get better results with most anything you do.

Like Donald said, try to get the 5 W’s in the first few paragraphs. Keep in mind, unless they see a story, it’s an ad.


Tom
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Mar 20, 2006 08:44AM)
Tom-
Thanks again. This sharing of infrmation has been a huge help to Kelly and me and we greatly appreciate all of you who are chiming in here.

I am currently rewriting the entire thing this afternoon with everyones' thoughts in mind and will rework the first paragraph to answer the 5 Ws we are talking about. It is beginning to make more sense to me now and I see how what I had read more as a long story than an informative press release. I think I can rewrite ot to get it a lot better then what I had.

I also thought that mailing it would be a better way to go and more professional if they seek them that way. This way I can print it out on the show stationery and include our full-color action photo to go along with it. I guess I probably should call to find out for sure which ways they prefer to receive their press releases? Would that be the best thing to do at this point? Just want to ask those who have done this more then I.

Again many thanks. This help is so valuable to me.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Mar 20, 2006 09:30AM)
It really wouldn’t hurt to call.

Also, if you get a friendly voice on the other end, it wouldn’t hurt to say, “I’m trying to help a non profit group get a mention in your paper, exactly what do I need to send, and to whom do I need to send it?”

For the past ten years I have done something like what you are doing with the local club. Each any every year we have gotten a write up in the local paper. All from asking the right people.


Tom
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Mar 20, 2006 10:26AM)
Also, there is some information about writing press releases in David Ginn's book, "Promoting Me and You II". If you have access to that book instead of Rick's course, it might help you.

Don't forget to have a good "hook". Much better than what you have.

Right now, you start the first paragraph in a certain way, and then do a 180 degree turn half-way through the paragraph to an unrelated subject. You start by talking about spring, and then talk about the show, with no bridge. Also, the talk about "spring" is a weak hook.

[quote]Kyle:
Spring time is upon us once again and the season is filled with rebirth and magic. Flowers are blooming, grass grows greener and leaves start filling the trees once more. Two families of magicians have teamed up to present a family show to benefit the Hillsborough High School's Association of Magicians Club.[/quote]

- Donald
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Mar 20, 2006 10:50AM)
Tom: Great information and I like what you said about calling and mentioning the benefit to the person on the other end as a way of also getting the right decision maker. Thank you for that idea.

Donald. I totally agree. Now that I am reading it, after hearing your and others' comments, that first paragraph makes no sense at all. I have totally rewritten it to answer more of the 5 Ws and it reads much better. I also have changed the headline and the copy to highlight a better hook as well. I will try to make adjustments here at work during lunch and try and post the changes I have made and repost what I have.

It certainly is a great learning experience for me and I can not thank you guys enough for your help and support.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Mar 21, 2006 07:51AM)
Hey, Donald, I heard there are press release samples in "Money In Your Pocket" (heh-heh)

Lots of newspapers, radio, and television stations prefer fax or email. I use lot of fax and email sources to relay releases, as well as the old-fashioned snail-mail. Check out the websites of the news sources, and most will list the email addreses for the newsroom and various departments. News is NEWS ... a day or two later, it's often no longer news. Get it there ASAP. I've sent via FAX and email at times to the same outlet.

And Donald is correct ... a good "hook," or at least an intriguing headline, helps. But in smaller markets, they are DYING for new stories, so just get it out.

A B&W photo is always acceptable, as it can run regardless of the format. A color photo does not always reproduce well as B&W. If they want color, they'll ask. Also, NEVER write in ball-point pen on the back of a photo. Instead, attach a sticker with a suggested caption and other details.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Mar 21, 2006 08:49AM)
Mark-
Great stuff, my friend. Thank you so much for posting it here. This is wonderful and a huge help to Kelly and me as we continue to work on the press release and get things ready to send out.

I have a black and white version of the photo already created as well as a few photos that are being printed out on my photo printer in the event they can be snail-mailed to the places. Do you find that these places prefer a certain file type if you e-mail the photo over as an attachment? Just curious on that. I would think a Hi-Res JPG file would be good, have all the information while keeping the file size down for them.

I did not think about the idea of giving them a caption or caption information for the photo. Thank you for that great advice. I can certainly add that as a sticky note to the photo or mention it in the e-mail or fax if I fax over the release to them.

This area is a smaller community so I think you may be right in the fact that this area may be dying for newsworthy stories and things of interest in their communities. Is there a right time and a wrong time to get this out to them? We are about 7 weeks out from the event date. Thoughts on this? I am thinking of getting them out this week and into next week to just get them there ASAP.

I have been calling the different media places to qualify the information and I am finding what you say is right on the money. Most are saying they like to receive it either e-mail or fax or both. Is it OK to send the release out in both formats? Is it OK to fax it over AND e-mail it as well? Thoughts on this?

Thanks so much guys. I seriously can not thank you enough as I dive into learning more about press releases and how best to go about them. I look forward to your additional help and info.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Mar 21, 2006 11:49AM)
I'd certainly not send something any further out than one week. They just don't have the time nor the inclination to save press releases. Send it about the time you expect it to run.

I've had papers request all sorts of formats. Again, check their websites. I've been pretty safe sending jpg files at about 300 dpi and it's always worked. But, again, it's always best to ask.

That's the nice thing about getting interviewed; you can talk casually to the reporter and take advantage of that time to ask these types of questions. Unless yours is simply something you want to list in the "events" section of a paper, always shoot for the interview (which, of course, is why you don't want to provide an entire story. More about stories later, or PM for details.)
Message: Posted by: keithmagic (Mar 21, 2006 05:10PM)
Kyle and others,

If you are trying to get major publication to help sell tickets, having that story and a few faxes and emails I don't think are going to cut it. The magic community doesn't seem to have much of a clue (nor did I till I got out of magic-boy mode and got educated about this stuff by people who did this for a living) about this stuff (even published "magic marketing" authors!).

Go to your hometown newspaper, ask for a junior reporter who has experience with the PR newswire or other similar submission service to help you with the release. Pay them to write the release (it won’t be much, these people are woefully under-paid), and pay the fee to have it professionally formatted and sent. There are special codes (aside from ### and end) that will help place your article and get the proper attention and distribution).

You are a magician, not a media guy, so if you are really trying to get attention and make money on a theatre show, hire a pro. It's not much, and if you think it is cost prohibitive you're probably not making enough on the show for it to be worth your time in the first place.

Keith
Message: Posted by: magicguy67 (Mar 21, 2006 05:41PM)
Seems like your pretty much set to me.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Mar 21, 2006 11:24PM)
Keith makes a good point about asking the newspaper for help. When you want your car fixed you take to an auto place not to the plumber.

One of the best things I ever did was getting to know some of the newspaper folks. The first couple of years that we had our club show, I wrote it out myself. About half of it did make the paper, not in the idea section, but still I was pleased that it did make it. Now my situation is a little different, through my daycare I got to know a few of the news people. A couple years ago I had one of the writers bringing her child to my daycare. I got to be friends with them, so come show time for the club, I wrote out the date, time, etc on a napkin telling her that was my press release asking if she could redo it a little. She laughed and took it. She called the next day to set up a date for the photo people to come out. We ended up with a picture on the front page and a complete story inside of the Sunday entertainment section.

It’s not that hard to get to know the local press especially when it’s a small town paper. And once you do, it’s just a matter of asking for help. That’s their job, to make stories.

Not saying you can’t or shouldn’t do it yourself, I think you got a shot with all the suggestions above. Just wanted to share that about the napkin, and say get to know them if you can.

Tom
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Mar 22, 2006 06:25AM)
Thanks guys for all your help. I am taking it all to heart and making changes etc. based on the great information presented here. We are also making calls this week to area papers and other media to make sure we have all the information as to the ways THEY want and like to receive the press release. Thanks again and I will keep you all posted.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Apr 11, 2006 07:42AM)
Hi all!

I just wanted to write a new post to let you all know that I have taken all of your valuable information and advice and rewrote the entire press release. It took me a while to do, but I am glad I did as I learned a lot.

With this in mind, I submitted the press release a few days ago to multiple media outlets.

I have fantastic news. Within 2 days of sending the release, I have had 2 papers calling me picking up the release and running articles on it. I am extremely excited about this.

The one paper is the major newspaper that goes out to thousands of households and businesses directly within the community and surrounding area of where our venue is.

Not only does she want to write an article, she wants to write a feature cover story on the event. What I also found interesting was the fact that, the reporter wanted to know who wrote the release. When I said it was me, she was taken aback by it. She told me the only reason she asked is that she thought, it was so well-written that she wanted to ask permission if she could use a lot of it for the story.

Anyway, I sent her over photos and captions along with additional information. I just wanted to let you all know that this simply would not have come about if not for the direct help, suggestions and info that you all so willingly gave to me. I sincerely thank each and every one of you.

Your help really made this happen for me. I think rewriting the entire release made a huge impact. I talked less about me and more about how the show is going to benefit a one-of-a-kind magic club in the high school. They really loved that aspect of the story as well as the fact that there are 2 husband and wife teams that will be presenting it.

I hope as the days go on, other papers and media will be picking up the release and deciding to run with it as well. I know I said it a lot, I will say it again...

THANK YOU!!

Kyle
Message: Posted by: DavidCaserta (Apr 11, 2006 04:39PM)
Sounds like a good show, best of luck
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Apr 11, 2006 04:43PM)
Brain,

Thanks so much for the kind words. We have been working very hard in both preproduction and marketing for the show. The press release that we sent out and the response that we got from it was wonderful. I thank everyone for their help to get this release in good enough shape to get the media interested. It worked.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Apr 11, 2006 05:19PM)
Kyle
I'd be there but I'm booked.
Break a leg, my friend
Al Angello
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Apr 11, 2006 09:44PM)
Thanks Al,

A paying show has to come first. I totally understand, my friend. Thanks for the support. Kelly and I really appreciate it and will let you know how it goes. We are just really excited that the marketing and now the new press release has been working for us. I can not thank everyone here enough for their support and their help over the past few months leading up to this performance. Thanks guys.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Apr 11, 2006 10:24PM)
Congratulations, Kyle, on the press releases. Good to hear it went well.

Good luck with the show.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Apr 12, 2006 01:03AM)
Kyle is the action man! Way to go!

- Donald
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Apr 12, 2006 06:31AM)
Thanks guys. It is your help and willngness to share information with me, that helps me gain so much. Thank you. I will keep you posted as we go along.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Frank Simpson (Apr 12, 2006 03:14PM)
Kyle-

One thing I might mention for future press releases is to make certain that your spelling, grammar and punctuation are correct. I have just finished grammar checking this entire thread and I have found many, many errors. (In nearly every single post in the thread!) Remember too that spell check is only a first defense. It will not find errors such as this one:
[quote]
Kyle and Kelly, along with Bill and Nadine, are one of the few husband and
wife magic teams in the tri-state area...[/quote]

Clearly Kyle & Kelly and Bill & Nadine constitute [i][b]two[/i][/b] of the few husband and wife teams...

Also, something to keep in mind is formatting. The number one sign of amateur typesetting and layout is the common but incorrect use of a double space after sentences. Back when typewriters were being used it was necessary because they were "fixed pitch" meaning that every character would occupy the same width, so visually you would need an extra space to set off the next sentence. But computers kern type which renders the double space completely unnecessary. It can actually lead to unattractive line breaks and other formatting problems as well.

When all is said and done, there is really nothing to equal the skill of a professional copy writer. Having been in the printing and publishing business for the past 15 years I have seen all too many amateur-written catalogs, brochures, press releases etc.

The main problem is that it is not generally recognized as a profession, and most people come to the mistaken conclusion that they can do it themselves just as well as a pro. The last agency I worked for used to work a lot with a freelance copy writer who was exceptionally talented. He rewrote the copy for a chocolate company's catalog and just by doing that, and nothing else, their sales rose 40%!

If we are going to be the professional magicians, we should use professionals for our support services. While there is certainly much that can be done by and for ourselves, when the chips are down there is nothing to compare to the skills of a top-rated professional.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Apr 12, 2006 03:39PM)
Frank,

Thank you. This is valuable information to me and I thank you for it. What I did end up doing, was having the press release read over by one of our copywriters and copy editors at my work. I am glad I did because I will be the first to tell you that I am horrible at it. I also found their knowledge and experience to be of great importance to me and they helped me a great deal to get the release set up the right way. Thanks again.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 16, 2006 02:39PM)
I just wanted to find this old thread and say a huge thank you for everyone that has or had offered advice and information to my wife and I as we spent the 3 months leading up to the production of this show. I can say that it was an outstanding success and that it would not have been possible if not for the many ideas and thoughts shared so freely here.

The show debuted at the new 620 seat theater on May 6th for a one night only run and we did amazingly well. We sold about 225+ advanced seats and had a walk up attendance that was literally in the lobby and out the door waiting to buy tickets. We had an estimated attendance of about 450 people for the single 7:00pm show.

What was more remarkable was the fact that this place is not near any big cities or metropolitan areas. It really is a much smaller rural type suburban town, yet we were able to saturate the market through use of effective marketing to get people in the area not only knowing about the show, but excited to want to come out.

It was our first effort in totally four-walling an entire show ourselves and handling everything from the design of marketing materials to marketing the show to even handling all ticket sales ourselves.

When people called for tickets, they were mentioning multiple points of advertising and marketing that they saw. This was encouraging to us and let us know that not just one method overpowered another. It was really a lot of different marketing approaches that we took that helped to really get the word out and get folks to take direct action.

I learned an awful lot just from the act of doing and from being able to ask questions to you guys as well as others who have done this before. I thank you so much for all your great advice you gave Kelly and I.

The show was such a hit that we got great press coverage from the event and we are planning on taking the show to other venues and locations in the future.

If anyone is interested, I would be happy to go over what we did that worked, what did not work and what we would do differently if we had to do it all again. It would be my pleasure.

I just wanted to let you all know how well it went over and the success we received. Thank you all and I hope I can repay the great information you all shared to me.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: RandyStewart (May 19, 2006 12:34PM)
I'm glad you dug this one up Kyle as I couldn't find it! I wanted to see if you had a follow up story.

With the amount of time-tested marketing you put into this, I'm not surprised you had 450 show for that single performance!

I think you'll be packin' them in with future performances. No doubt.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 19, 2006 01:02PM)
Thanks Randy. I was trying to locate the old post myself and it took me a few days but I did find it. I simply owed a lot of people a lot of thanks and gratitude for their help in making our show simply the best success to date.

Not only did we break some attendance records for a single night event, but our advanced sales were a lot higher then I had even projected.

One thing I forgot to mention was that the thoughts, deas and tips expressed here about press releases worked amazingly well. I took all you guys advice and I totally rewrote the press release and had a editor and copy writer at my work read it over for me.

The newest press release that went out landed us 2 large articles in two of the bigger papers in the area. They also not only ran the full story, but also ran the photos I sent over and designed for them. It simply could not have gone better and I owe a lot of it to you guys.

So I simply want to say THANKS!!!!

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (May 19, 2006 01:19PM)
Kyle,

Congratulations! Two observations come immediately to mind:

First, your walk up was about the same as your pre-sale. If you have good publicity, a good rule of thumb is to double the advance sales to estimate the walk up ticket sales.

Second, you sold 450 seats out of a 620 seat house - that's about 73% - great. It is customary to budget a show to break even with about 60-65% of the house sold. Everything over your break even point then becomes pure profit. Of course, everything not sold becomes lost revenue!

Figuring an $8 average ticket price and setting aside 20 complimentary tickets, that's $1200 of additional income. If you didn't do so, you might have been able to fill those last seats by offering some group discounts, typically 20% off for a group of 20 or more (10 or more if you desire). Of course, that takes somebody calling on groups and trying to sell them.

I once visited a regional scouting leaders meeting about three weeks before a show I was promoting. I did a few tricks, sent a group sale flyer home with all the scout leaders with a great offer, and ended up selling nearly 300 group discount tickets to the show. I waived the minimum requirement of 20 per group because I combined all the orders into one and gave them a deadline of one week before the show to send in their orders. It worked out very well.

It's all about putting people in seats. Isn't show business fun!

Jim
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 19, 2006 06:27PM)
Thanks so mich Jim. Your complements mean so much to me. It was one of your first tele-seminars so many years back that really not only inspired me, but lit a fire under my rear to really get out there, learn how to market our show and really seek our own success.

Years later, I am still learning every single day and every gig that we perform. We are now performing the shows we want to do and getting paid much more money for doing them. The success has been simply amazing for Kelly and I and I can say genuinely that you had a lot to do with that, so thank you so very much.

It is funny that you mentioned doubling the advanced sales to gauge for your walk ups. that is actually what we did and it worked out pretty good for us. We were pleased with our walk up business and we learned so much from this past show.

Being that it was really in the middle of a non busy area, it was quite amazing to see such a turnout and really get people inspired to not only know about the show, but to act upon our marketing to come on out to see it.

I have some photos I will try and post here when I get a chance. One shows the double lines we had in the lobby and out the door. It was a fun evening but I must say it did not come without a lot of very hard work and effort in both pre-production and at least 3 months of solid marketing to saturate the area.

We actually did some group sales but we want to excell at that and push that even more the next time out with the show. I really love some of your ideas on that Jim and I plan on trying them out even more.

Thank you so much again. I can not thank everyone enough for their help in making our show a success.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: NJJ (May 19, 2006 07:30PM)
Glad it was a hit! Sorry I didn't see the thread sooner!

Here are some thoughts based on my experience for future readers of this thread. Just remember that this is my experience in my market and therefore should not be taken as gospel.

* Call it a MEDIA release - radio, TV, web etc are NOT press and often hate the term press release.

* Don't try and 'sell' in a media release. Get the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY and HOW in early. Journo's have little time for the usual marketing spiel.

* Find your angle and make it obvious. A magic show is not much of an angle. Neither is a fundraising magic show. But a family of magicians or better yet TWO families of magicians is GOLD!
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 19, 2006 08:39PM)
Nicholas:

Thanks again for the kind words and the great advice. I did indeed learn and realize these points you bring up through trial and error and rewote my entire media release before I sent it out. I am glad I did.

You absolutely must answer the who, what, when, why and how in the first paragraph of the release and get that in there early so they really get the beef of your entire release and hopefully inspires them to read onwards.

Having an angle is crucial to the success of a media release of any sort. You want to grab the atteention of the editor and give them a reason to run your story. They see so many releases come across their desk every day. you need something that draws them in and that they feel will make a great story for their readers.

Thanks again Nicholas for chiming in here. Kelly and I learned so much from the success of this show and it was simply an amazing night. It was so great seeing 3 months of hard work and marketing paying off in the attendance we had that evening and lines out the door.

What made it even more special for us was the complements we received from so many great folks after the show when we were in the lobby signing autographs. Everything seemed to come together so nicely. Hard work can really pay off.

I will have to talk about some of the main things I learned at another time. I want to post them here cause I feel they are so important when doing any theater or auditorium style show.

The first would have to be the fact that you can have the greatest show on earth and you can be the greatest performer there is... but if you can not fill the seats, then it means nothing.

It takes 2 main ingredients. 1) you have to have a good product or show and 2) you simply must learn how to market your theater show and get people knowing about the show and wanting to take action to buy tickets. You simply must fill those seats or even the best show falters.

I could go on, but I will save it for another night.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 19, 2006 09:11PM)
Congratulations Kyle on a job well done.

I know you put a lot of work into it, and you went in many directions with the marketing. Were you disappointed with any part of the marketing? What I mean is, will you drop anything next time and put that time into something else?

Again Congratulations on the success.

Tom
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 20, 2006 07:18AM)
Tom,

I have not finished the complete evaluation based upon the facts and stats gathered yet. However, from the advanced sales stats, what was simply amazing was that many folks mentioned a wide variety of where they heard about us. Some actually mentioned several points of contact.

That really surprised me because I thought it was probably going to be one or 2 main mareketing ideas that would prevail over the others. It really seems like we saturated the market so well that people were actually hearing andseeing our information in multiple locations.

I do know that several marketing ideas came over and worked more then others and I am going to run through the state and figure out which of those ranked up higher then the others. When I do, I will post my results here for you all.

I do know that getting flyers into the entire school district about 2-3 weeksprior to the event date was a HUGE success in sparking interest.

Kyle