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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Theater Show Press Release - Help (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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magic4u02
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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
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magic4u02
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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
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DavidCaserta
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Sounds like a good show, best of luck
magic4u02
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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
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Al Angello
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Kyle
I'd be there but I'm booked.
Break a leg, my friend
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magic4u02
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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
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TomBoleware
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Congratulations, Kyle, on the press releases. Good to hear it went well.

Good luck with the show.

Tom
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Donald Dunphy
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Kyle is the action man! Way to go!

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
magic4u02
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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
Kyle Peron

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Frank Simpson
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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...


Clearly Kyle & Kelly and Bill & Nadine constitute two 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.
magic4u02
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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
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magic4u02
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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
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RandyStewart
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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.
magic4u02
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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
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Jim Snack
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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
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magic4u02
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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
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NJJ
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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!
magic4u02
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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
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TomBoleware
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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
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magic4u02
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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
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