Publicity responsibilities

There are at least 3 aspects to this position.

  • Promotion; free stuff as in press releases, interviews, local TV, photo opportunities, newsletter, social media, image making.
  • Advertising; what you pay for, newspaper ads, radio, local TV, posters, flyers.
  • Marketing; who you aim the production at – what sector of the community. There is no one audience, there are audiences…..!

Publicity will play a major role in the success of a production and the financial health of the society. Bright, original, well-written and well-produced publicity material can do much to ensure the success of the production, and at the same time enhance the standing of the group in its local community.

The duties of the publicity manager are:

Read the play – understand what you are promoting.

Liaise with the business committee or the treasurer to decide on a publicity budget for the production.

Attend the production meeting or meet with the director separately to obtain information about the play for use in publicity.

Draw up a complete publicity programme, listing the date of release and cost of each newspaper advertisement, scheduled news material, posters, photographs, and any other type of publicity to be used.

Prepare and supply to the newspapers and radio for the news, items of news value relating to the production. Some media prefer to prepare their own copy so it is useful to contact the chief reporter or news editor with some ideas and ask whether they would prefer you to supply a draft or whether a reporter will contact you for the details.

Prepare drafts of the newspaper ads, giving size, layout, and date of insertion.

Contact the local radio station and discuss the cost, content etc, of using radio advertising. If using this medium, work out a possible schedule, arrange for the station to be supplied with the necessary material.

Arrange a photographer to take the publicity photographs, and negotiate with the director and the wardrobe mistress for a suitable date/time for the photographs to be taken. Don’t have a photographer turn up to rehearsals without informing the director – it could be most inopportune.

If you are also preparing the poster and programme, arrange for an artist to do suitable artwork, after discussion with the director. Get printing quotes from several printers, as these can vary considerably. Collect the details for the programme from those in charge of various sections—stage manager, wardrobe, director, etc. Obtain a proof copy from the printer before the programmes are printed so that it can be checked thoroughly for incorrect spelling of names, omissions, acknowledgments etc.

Prepare information sheets on the production to be sent to social clubs, community groups, etc, to encourage block bookings.

Seek opportunities for free publicity, window displays in the local library, community service notice boards, community diaries on local radio or community newspapers, cast appearances in shopping malls etc.

Keep cuttings of all advertisements and news coverage, programmes and posters, for the society’s archives and resources for the future.