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Topic: Pr and promotion ideas
Message: Posted by: kg2magic (Jan 20, 2008 03:45PM)
Does anyone have any good ideas about story angles for getting pr and how to create them.
(i.e. What makes magic newsworthy???)
Message: Posted by: Christopher Starr (Jan 20, 2008 04:12PM)
The same thing that makes anything newsworthy - the human interest angle.

A story about me doing magic is of marginal interest to any newspaper/periodical editor. A story about a magician helping a disabled/disadvantaged person or child overcome their limitations through by using magic is a potentially newsworthy story idea.

My 2˘ - hope it helps.

Message: Posted by: kg2magic (Jan 20, 2008 05:07PM)
Hi Chris
That's great, and true.
However from my experience, a lot of organizations that work with these type of people can restrict you putting pr into the world. and it won't work for a kids birthday and we don't work for handicapped kids day in and day out.

And it's only for kids, and Although it's a great idea, I don't work with kids, and I've been struggling with this for years.I do about 80 events a year from adult birthdays, trade shows, corporate functions, and I'm truly at a loss to figure out how to get PR for this.

Yes I know there are the sensationals, such as the headline prediction and the straight jacket escape.

But obviously I'm not the only one struggling with this. I can't remember the last time I heard a magician getting pr on radio, tv or in print. There's always the paid adds but I'm interested in straight out PR.

Lets see if we can use this forum to generate a resource for all magicians and try to build up a list of 30 or 40 different approaches.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jan 20, 2008 05:33PM)
I know that some here like courses and some don't.

For those that give them a chance, Rick Allen has a course out called "The Ultimate Publicity Secret Weapon" that is all about getting publicity. He has also just released a revised version, with some new information in it -- Millenium Edition. (I have the original version.)

The reason I mention it, is there are lots of samples from him where he has gotten real world publicity, and he teaches you how to create "pegs" to hang your story onto, and other important information. This is the topic you are asking about.

He is definitely a master of publicity (he's been there, done that). Sometimes it helps to seek out products from pros who are willing to teach you how they do it, if you can't find quality help elsewhere.

I'm not saying whether you will get quality help on the Café or not on this topic. I'm just saying this product might have some information you're seeking.

- Donald

P.S. At one time, through his website, http://www.getmorebookings.com , you could sign up for a free six day course (six emails) that gave some excellent pointers about getting publicity.
Message: Posted by: kg2magic (Jan 20, 2008 06:08PM)
Hi Donald
I googled "rick Allen" and came up with rickallenmagic.com

BUt then I got a little more creative and finally found the right search.
The only product course info I could find is a 2 cd set which read like an interview.
Do you have any more info on the course? also cost and value?

Sounds ideal.

As for the forum, it may or may not be the best place every now and then the forum surprises me, so why not.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jan 20, 2008 06:52PM)
I think you have to fill out the form on this page, to get more information.


He had a different page for his Pre-Release on UPSW (Ultimate Publicity Secret Weapon), but that page is now down, because the (Pre-Release) offer is over.

As for the product, I don't know if the old version is still available. I also don't know what the new version is priced at, or what's in it.

Also, lots of links on this page, including a free report with ideas about Radio and TV coverage: http://www.newlifehypnosiscenter.com/bookings/tools.htm

- Donald

P.S. The magician at the link you gave is a different Rick Allen. The one I am speaking of is from Ohio, and has a different website. There is more than one Rick Allen who is a magician (and also a famous drummer by that name, too).
Message: Posted by: kg2magic (Jan 20, 2008 07:10PM)
Hi Donald, Yes there is a drummer also. and I did find the Ohio, Rick Allen
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jan 20, 2008 07:24PM)
I hope that this helps.

The best way to get information on his products is through his http://www.getmorebookings.com website.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Eric Paul (Jan 20, 2008 08:03PM)
I'd agree with Christopher. The human interest thing is huge. Any type of interest story works. Rarely, if ever, will it be about you doing magic, that's for sure.

Here are a couple angles I've gotten full-page articles about in the past...

1) Using local celebrities in my shows. Like sawing the Governor of Delaware in half. I've also levitated the reporters to make sure we get a photo in (play to their ego :) )

2) The stage I was doing a theater run in once had Harry Houdini there. After a little research, it turned out that I was to be the first magician on that stage since Houdini. That was my pitch and it got picked up in six papers including the biggie and I got a full-page! (Who can figure?)

3) Invite them! I am VERY consistent about telling the press what I'm up to and where I'll be. They appreciate it and so do their readers. This consistency has lead to incredible exposure that I would have never gotten. It's lead to incredible gigs I would have never gotten.

My advice would be to get into the game regardless of your angle. You'll see what works and what doesn't. Stay focused on their readership and you'll do fine.

All the best,

Message: Posted by: kg2magic (Jan 20, 2008 09:01PM)
Hi Eric
Nice tip about the research..Re Houdini. Loved it.

Re Inviting them:
I'm curious, how many of your shows are public and how many are private (I class corporate events as private and not public shows because in most cases they are closed door events, which leads to my question.

Do you invite them to a corporate event? if so what do you say? and how do you say it? And are the people running the event ok with this??
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Jan 20, 2008 10:35PM)
On 2008-01-20 18:07, kg2magic wrote:
I can't remember the last time I heard a magician getting pr on radio, tv or in print. There's always the paid adds but I'm interested in straight out PR.

Lets see if we can use this forum to generate a resource for all magicians and try to build up a list of 30 or 40 different approaches.

Well,,, I think this statement is so far off....

There are many magician on radio and TV all year around..
Myself I was on about 20 different radio station and 7 TV shows last year and I believe there is a guy on this form does radio work all the time. Plus I have seen and heard other magician on TV and RADIO....

The way to accomplish media attention is to utilize your type of show to that specific media.... SLANT YOUR STORY...
When I had an appearance on SPIKE TV I had the Columbus Dispatch write up an article on such... The news angle was... Magician from Columbus appears on SPIKE TV Manswers....

What ever type of show you are performing use it as the angle...
TRADE show performance... Go after the trade show magazines and business magazine and go with the concept Magic and business...

I am appearing in a major wedding mag. and the concept is how I make the bride and groom magically appear at weddings.....

The Emmy magazine is running an artical on me this coming spring the concept is MAGICIAN APPEARS on reality shows...

See my point? Go after the right news outlet for your story... :)

Best of luck...
Message: Posted by: kg2magic (Jan 20, 2008 11:54PM)
Hi magicofCurtis
I'm sorry I don't know Spike Tv and I'm not in your neck of the woods.
And in my neck of the woods there are no magicians getting publicity.....
See the opportunity........

Lets try something:
ABC Butches hire me for a 40 minute performance on the 8th floor of their HQ at 9:30 in the evening, which is in a very ordinary building. I'm not in the industry so I have no idea of what magazines to go after. And I really don't want press about magic butcher. And I'm now out of ideas on how to make this newsworthy.

This is my main market place. It doesn't matter if ABC Butchers are a lighting company, or a Butchers, or IBM, or a carpet company.

It's not open to the public and I can't readily say ..Oh by the way I'm inviting the press to a function your paying me $1,000 to perform at.

And even if I did I don't know how to get a hook for it. Magician makes Butchers head spin? Vanish? I'm not a bizzarist. Magicain sucks the price of meat from Butchers head. Oh God from a mentalism point that even worse.

Now everybody tells me it's easy to get press, and make it and while I agree with the principle that every business is newsworthy, and about human interest.

I've got no idea of how to create a hook for an event like this that makes it truly newsworthy. But I am trying to learn how and what to do.
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 21, 2008 08:24AM)
Greetings and Salutations,

I was once a reporter and editor for a goodly number of years, and the toughest obstacle for news release writers to overcome with journalists is the "so what" factor. The media are swamped with news releases from individuals, businesses, organizations, etc. all looking for free ink. Those reporters and editors are looking for something that will spark their interest; looking for something that will interest their readers.

What you're looking for is a news hook, and if your hook sounds like: "hey, I'm a magician and I need some publicity," your release is going to end up in the circular file. You have to find an angle that will appeal to Joe Sixpack, or at least an angle a journalist might think would appeal to Mr. Sixpack. Until you determine what that angle is, don't fire up the word processor because you'll be spinning your wheels.

There are no universal rules that I know of for guaranteeing coverage. You could have a professional publicist produce an award-winning news release and send it out to the media, and some news event (i.e., 9/11, the Titanic, a contested presidential election result going to the Supreme Court, or something seemingly mundane) could sweep the release into a trash bin.

When thinking about news releases, think about angles that would appeal to the largest numbers of readers, and angle that is relatively timeless, keep it brief, and angle it in such a way as to garner you at least a couple of quotes and some bio info in a potential story. Don't make the release about you if the event, etc. is not about you. What you're after is ink. A full-page story with photos is great, but unless you're at the top of the heap in your area, the likely-hood of that happening on a regular basis is rare. You want regular mentions.

Think about it like this, you're performing at ABC event, open to the public. Why would the public attend if you were not there? Now, other than a paycheck and you're love of performing, why are you there, and what do you add to the event?

Here's a "for instance" that applies to me. A renaissance festival is coming up. Visitors will be taken back in time to take part in the gaiety and fun of festival day. There are lions and tigers and bears, oh, my! And Joe, who's made a study of renaissance era magic and performing will be on hand to tell of magic and performance from that time in history and also amaze with tricks from the era.


Do you see where the "Joe" mention is? Add a quote or two.

I'm sure you can quote yourself adequately, something like: "Ren fests are marvelous fun -- characters in costume entertaining the whole family in a friendly atmosphere. There's so much to see and do, I don't think you can take it all in in just one day," he said. "I perform at many festivals around the Midwest, telling the story of magic and how it was performed on the streets in those long ago days, and doing the same tricks that were performed then. And no matter how advanced we think we are, those same tricks are just as entertaining today."

OK, so this was down and dirty and just one example, but I hope I shed a little light on the subject. And, more importantly, I'm not saying the above will work. I just came up with it while waiting for my dog to finishing eating so I can let her out again! :)

You're got to overcome the "so what" factor with a reporter or editor who's probably on deadline. And, when they're not on deadline they have a whole list of story ideas they've thought up on their own and are of personal interest to them. When a well thought out, timely, and interesting news release lands on their desk on an average day you've got a fighting chance. On a day of breaking news, it doesn't make any difference how fascinating your story is, if it won't hold for a couple of days, you're toast! And, if it sounds like an advertisement for you (which a news release is; looking for free ink), realistically, don't bother sending it.

Remember, the editors or producers know and understand that their papers sell space by the inch or their radio or TV time by the second, and those inches and seconds not filled with ads have to appeal to the greatest number of people in order to attract the greatest number of readers or listeners in order to sell those inches or seconds for the highest dollars possible. If you're news release sounds like an ad for you, send it to the advertising department, they'll be more than glad to put you in the paper or on the air.

Just my $.02 (USD) worth. YMMV

Joe Zeman aka
The Mage Ulysses
Message: Posted by: kg2magic (Jan 21, 2008 03:19PM)
Nice one Joe.
Ever thought of writing a book?
Message: Posted by: Eric Paul (Jan 21, 2008 09:54PM)
Great points Joe.

It is all about "What's in it for me". Unless you are sending press releases to the calendar sections (which is highly recommended).

To answer the earlier question though, I don't neccesarily invite the press to "private" gigs unless they would have an interest in the "scoop." And then I always consult with my client. Most of the times the client wants the press too, however.

Your hook with the ABC Butchers could easily be, "Magician teaches ABC Co. how to make clients appear!" or something along those lines. Shoot this to a trade mag or business editor and you may well get a bite. Certainly worth looking for. You're different, you're unique and will pique curiosity.

I'll give you another tip that I use often; ask them what they want!! I have many friends in the media and I ask them what they want and need. And I give it to them. One friend of mine needed a segment for the morning show showing people on tax day. well, that was pretty easy. I held a juggling workshop (you know, juggling the books :cool: for passer-bys in a busy section of downtown Philly at rush hour. We were on for the whole hour show, on & off and had a blast with folks. Great coverage!

Have fun, get creative, give 'em what they want! (sounds like the keys to a good show, doesn't it?)

Message: Posted by: M-Illusion (Jan 22, 2008 07:59AM)
I have the Rick Allen course (original) and it's great. It's worth it's weight in gold and has not only gotten me a lot of great media coverage, but it has also led to some great bookings and other contracts. I highly recommend it for anyone serious about getting media coverage.
Message: Posted by: MatthewJames (Jan 22, 2008 08:21PM)
Eric mentioned involving the reporter to get PR. Absolutely right on.

I'll be putting an on-air personality in my head chopper at a 10,000 person event in a couple weeks. Already have 2 radio spots lined up, followed up with some on-air mindreading.

Give em what they want,

Matthew James
Message: Posted by: kg2magic (Jan 23, 2008 06:13AM)
Here's a real live one.
I just got booked as a grabber/spruker for for a flooring business that has closed down.
They are reopening for 4 days to dump stock. It seems like a difficult thing to get a real human interest story...and realistically only a day or two at best to get it in the press if the deadline has not passed for the local paper.
I was thinking about using the approach of business hires magician to make stock disappear.
Figured it's a *** hard sell because it's obvious it's a closing down sale, but I'm going to try anyway.
Any thoughts or tips, or suggestions?
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 23, 2008 08:43AM)
Greetings and Salutations,

Hit the smaller papers, maybe you area's shopper or a small weekly. They are generally short-staffed, sometimes have holes to fill, and sometimes are so pressed for time they can't be too discerning about what to take as filler. (Please note the above provisos, I worked for a short time for a top-notch, award-winning shopper that ran hard news and had a full staff of reporters, photographers and editors.)

Don't get me wrong, you have a clever idea. And I have also worked for the aforementioned small paper which lacked time and resources and would run just about anything that sounded interesting. However, I don't think you're hook is going to pass muster with even a small daily -- it smacks too much of free advertising, particularly for the store, and their hiring a magician to draw a crowd or keep the kids happy.

Again, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the above, it's just not likely to induce a newspaper or TV or radio station to give you free ink or air time.

Now, if this was a multi-generation store that is finally succumbing to the competition of the big box stores, that could be an angle. Or another angle is that childless owner Old Joe, who took the store over from his father who took the store over from his father, now wants to sell so he can retire and go on a long-dreamed of world cruise, etc., you might have a story that a paper could run with. But, a company going out of business is not news, and neither is it news that they are having a going-out-of-business sale. I was also a business writer, and businesses going out of business happens everyday. It would have to have been an awfully slow news day for me to have shot what you're suggesting past my editor -- although I do admit that it's a clever ruse for some free ink.

I'm not saying that you idea wouldn't work, however, you will have to target your release carefully, both in audience and slant.

Just my $.02 (USD) worth. YMMV

Joe Zeman aka
The Mage Ulysses
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jan 23, 2008 10:35AM)
Great stuff, Joe. Real solid information.

Thank you for your generousity!

- Donald
Message: Posted by: kg2magic (Jan 23, 2008 04:13PM)
Hi Joe.
Thanks for your response. That was pretty much my take on it also. For me it was an "I can't think of a better hook and I've got nothing to loose so I may as well try it."
Planning to spend some time on it today to see if I can come up with something better and then send it.
If it hits the press I'll let you know.
Message: Posted by: bitterman (Feb 26, 2008 12:28PM)
After a lot of pressure, mostly from myself, I have finally tipped my Headline Prediction, [i]HEAD: The headline prediction for the performer without the stones to make a real headline prediction[/i]. Now, in disposable e-book form.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 26, 2008 04:08PM)
Well, nobody seems to think this, but this is not a one-stop fix.

First, yeah, get on, great.

What is the reason you SHOULD be on? That really is the question many are trying to answer, but usually have trouble with.

After you are on, what then? That is usually the more applicable question.
Message: Posted by: corpmagi (Feb 26, 2008 05:16PM)
Free Publicity by Jeff Crilly
Message: Posted by: DJBrenton (Feb 27, 2008 03:28AM)
One of the extra incentives for your piece to get used is a visual. By this I don't mean a publicity headshot, but a well taken shot of something visually interesting from your performance. I've worked many a festival and, invariably, the picture that appears in the newspapers is of the face painter with a child, a fire-breathing shot, or a stilt-walker. Why, because they're more visually interesting than most shots of magicians. Lots of shoppers/local newspapers may run a piece if it's sufficiently well written, it doesn't need editing, and comes with a picture worth using. Unless you have something quite large in your repertoire (head chop, Zig Zag, larger fire than is usual and safe), then your next hook is for the picture (and story) to be about someone else but including you (local mayor being amazed, etc.). Unfortunately, there isn't always such a person present at the event, but then, not every event has much potential for human interest. Part of the skill of PR is recognising what will be of interest and what won't and to whom.