Burlesque PR: Attract Media in 5 Easy Steps

Burlesque-Media-TipsFirst-time burlesque event coordinator? Or maybe you already sell out shows and want to nab the attention of a few media outlets. Media builds fans and boosts revenue. Here are five steps to attracting it:

1. Identify 5 Target Media Outlets

Ask your fans what media outlet they read or watch regularly. The answer is more and more likely to be a blog, a newsletter, a social media outlet, or other non-traditional media. This is good news, as it may be easier to get your story included in non-traditional media.

Tally responses. Then take out media outlets that do not influence your local market because it’s unlikely anyone but locals will buy tickets to your event. The top 5 on this list are your targets.

2. Identify Your Objective Value Propositions

To find your unique value proposition, ask yourself two questions:

What is it about your show that makes new ticket buyers want to spend their hard-earned dollars?

What makes your event worth the price? Ticket at any price, but the higher the price, the more you will need to justify value.

The answers to these questions are what will attract press to cover your event and ticket buyers to your show. Add your unique value propositions to the event title, description and headline of your press release.

Now it’s time to brainstorm, research and highlight your event’s objective (not subjective) superlatives. Journalists rely on facts, not opinions, so your event superlatives must be provable.

Find Your Superlatives

Award-winning performers (specify award and date received)

Largest or only event by any measure? Any metric can be used to make the superlative accurate, but you have to be able to back up your claim in one sentence. (Biggest burlesque festival in _____.)

The event had either more performers, more performances, or more square footage than any other burlesque event in ____.

First burlesque festival in ___ .  Because no one had ever done ____ before.

The press won’t be able to use the following superlatives because they aren’t provable by objective measures:

Wildest
Most fun
Greatest
_____ -est of its kind

3. Localize to the Largest Community Possible

Localize your event to create an attractive angle for the press to cover. Readers and viewers have more interest in what happens to people and places they know.

Add a location name to the title of your event and choose the largest community possible (i.e., the Florida Burlesque Festival would attract more news value than the Ft. Lauderdale Burlesque Festival).

However, if the smaller place of localization generates greater interest, use that. For instance, a Hollywood burlesque festival could sell more than a Los Angeles burlesque festival because of Hollywood’s caché.

How to do it

Get the hometown, neighborhood and professional high-resolution headshot for every performer in the event, and write an email to the appropriate reporter at his/her neighborhood blog (if it’s in your possible attendee coverage area) to alert them about the “hometown girl/boy done good story” with your event as the hook.

BPT_Icons_Bull_Horn4. Make Your Pitch Picture Perfect

Media outlets need good visuals to get clicks, likes and shares. Burlesque has an advantage: sequins, feathers and starlets make stunning visuals. Keep in mind that media outlets won’t normally publish a photo or video unless it’s G-rated.

How to do it

Amp the glamour, tone down the flesh. Invest in professional headshots and at least one full body and one performance photo, with high resolution.

If you are producing a show with other performers, ask them for headshots as soon as you book them for your show. You don’t want to lose a story because you don’t have photography ready.

Make sure your videos are G-rated. Also, television stations aren’t likely to use promotional videos with music, graphics, credits or logos embedded over the video. Hire a videographer to get natural sound, close-up footage and then edit out the more risqué parts to maximize your media coverage.

5. Submit Free Calendar Listings

You have a great localized value proposition. You have an enticing event description and pitch subject line. You included at least one dazzling visual. Time to get the word out.

Calendar listings are the low-hanging fruit of the publicity world. They are easy to get and almost always generate ticket sales (as long as you have successfully done steps 1-4).

Submitting a free calendar listing for your event is simple. Newsletter, blog or The New York Times, every one has an event listing. And you can be part of it if you complete the first four steps and closely follow event submission instructions.

How to do it

Take your new top 5 list. Go to the online events section for every special interest group, blog or media outlet. Search for “how to submit an event” and follow the directions. If you can’t find it, send the press contact a short email that describes your event. Ask the publication if they would write about it or include it in the topics they share with their community.

Poof. You just got press attention in every single one of your top 5 media targets.

Yes, it is that simple. And guess what? Editorial teams look at calendar listings when assigning stories. Therefore, this effort increases the likelihood of an additional story. There are many ways to amp the press for your event. But these basics ensure that the press you get goes further to help you achieve your goals and reach new levels of success.

Photo credit: “The Secret Taboo” Elena Gatti

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Media Preview 101

Media Preview 101

If you are producing a visual event, such as a festival, a class where you are creating something unusual, or a staged event with captivating costumes, consider holding a media preview.

The purpose of a media preview is to get publicity and public awarenessbefore your event begins. If the media is interested in your event but has to wait until your show starts to write the story, then press attention will come only after your event is over – and that won’t help you sell any tickets. It takes effort to put a media event together, but getting reviews and exposure in the press can help draw a big crowd, making it well worth your time!

Step 1: What is the most visual piece of your event?
Figuring out the key visual elements of your show and deciding who you want interviewed as part of the news story are what you should focus on. If you are having an old-time car rally, pull a couple of the most interesting looking cars for the press. What can the reporter experience as part of the story? Can they ride in a vehicle, play the instrument or participate in any other way? The more interactive the media preview, the more reporters you will attract and the more interesting the story will be.

Step 2: Plan the date and time for your media preview at the easiest time for the media to cover it. 
This means weekdays with a start time between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. If your press event has to be at night, realize that you may have less press in attendance. Less press is better than no press, however it is a resource that you should maximize as much as possible.

Step 3: Invite the media sooner rather than later.
Give the press a notice of 4 to 6 weeks minimum, if possible. You can email invitations, but if you really want to receive press attention, create and send a physical piece of mail that is not flat, helping it stand out from the rest of their mail.

Step 4: Have everything ready in advance.
Make sure you have everything set up before the press arrives. Get your visuals in place. This includes your visual elements, at least one spokesperson for reporters to speak with, and your other “enthusiasts” and/or event attendees who will rave about the show. They will do the talking for you. Your fan club or mailing list would be a great source for your “enthusiasts.”

Step 5: At the event, treat the press like royalty.
Give them a freebie, some refreshments if possible, and a fact sheet on your event that includes the key marketing points that you’d like them to include in their stories. Don’t forget to include your business card so, if needed, they can ask questions later. Make sure each media representative gets an equal opportunity for the interviews and visuals he/she needs at the event.

If you could use more help or ideas while planning your media preview, don’t hesitate to call and/or write us! We are at your service atPromo@BrownPaperTickets.com or (800) 838-3006 (Option 5).

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How to get press coverage for your business or event

Fundraising

Have you ever picked up the newspaper and wondered how a business received press coverage? Always felt like press was out of your scope? Good news: it’s not as hard as you may think! As long as you know how to tell your story and who to tell your story to, you’re on a path to publicity. Here are three simple steps and tips to get started.

1. Create your target media list
Before you begin reaching out to press, it’s important to build a targeted media list for more purposeful communications.

  • Build a publication wish list. Include radio, television, newspaper, magazine, and blog publications you’d like to be in. Think about what your customers read or watch and make note of those.
  • Build a list of reporters you find in those publications who are writing stories that are related to you.
  • Make note of the angles and themes being discussed in those publications. This will help shape your release.

2. Tell your news story

  • Evaluate your cause. What makes you different from the rest? Your answer will be your news hook.
  • Write your press release in old school 5 W’s style, the who, what, when, where, and why, to cover all of your points.
  • Support your story with specific, measurable facts to prove your point to make your press release stronger. Avoid generalities.
  • Write a creative, newsworthy headline in eight words or less. This step is critical. If it’s not intriguing, they may never open the email in the first place!

3. Pitch your news story

  • When you are ready to send your story, put your release in thebody of the email, not as an attachment. Many computers won’t allow attachments to be opened. We don’t want your efforts to be wasted!
  • Send a short, personalized pitch letter to each journalist on your list with your press release.
  • Schedule your press around other news worthy dates. Holidays are a great place to start.
  • If possible, send your release in advance. The more time you give the reporter, the easier it will be to land the pitch.
  • If you have a phone number, you may call the journalist the next day to see if they received your release and to answer any questions. If the journalist is not interested, politely thank them and hang up. If you do not have a phone number, folow up by email after a week or two.
  • Avoid spamming. Press releases and press “pitches” need to be tailored to the specific reporter receiving them. Take the time.

Good luck and remember to be patient. It’s unlikely for a story to be placed on the same day you send the release. Sometimes they will use it when it fits into their schedule, but that could be months down the road. Lastly, remember to keep your relationships positive. A reporter might not pick up your story today, but they might in the future!

Looking for an example? Click here.

For additional help with PR and pitching, send our PR cognoscente, Barb Morgen, an email at: Barb@BrownPaperTickets.com, and she’ll be happy to help you!

In the Seattle area? Great news! Barb will be hosting a FREE PR workshop on how to get media to notice you on September 11th. Sign up here!

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