Tag: marketing

Why Being Shy About Promoting Your Show Could Be Hurting People

From a very young age we learn that selling is bad. Anyone who is constantly pushing their goods or services and doesn’t take no for an answer shouldn’t be trusted. We’re taught that any sort of marketing might be unethical. We’re taught to be bashful when it comes to promotion.

We don’t want to bug people or seem needy so we don’t promote. Do you think marketing is a bad thing?

If you answered “yes” and you’re still wondering why you don’t have anyone coming to your productions. It’s time to STOP THINKING THAT WAY.

If you’re not so shy and do plenty of promoting but it’s still not working, I’ll have another post for you soon.

Let’s look at it from another point of view…

Have you ever been to a performance and been inspired? Did it brighten your day? Did it teach you something about yourself? Did it make you laugh or cry? Did you feel more alive after going? Did you get ideas for your next show? Did you find new meaning in your life or career?

I’m guessing you have.

So now that you have a production that could have the same effect on someone. By not actively promoting it, you may be DEPRIVING SOMEONE OF THAT SAME EXPERIENCE.

That’s right. You could be doing a disservice to the world by not promoting your show.

So find those people that your show appeals to, who you think would be inspired by what you have to give. Don’t say everyone or anyone — be specific — there’s no way that one show appeals to everyone in the world, let alone everyone you know. Give it a try. Remember that you could be helping someone, hell, maybe even saving someone’s life. So stop being shy, emerge from your chrysalis of bashfulness and emerge a beautiful marketing butterfly!

What other obstacles stand in the way of you feeling comfortable promoting your show?

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This Post is About the Human Condition

I had been thinking a lot last month about the silly cliches we use to tell people about the shows we produce, largely inspired by a post by Howard Sherman.

There are some gems on there. Oh, and there’s a follow up post with even more good ones.

Then I stumbled across an article on LA Stage Times about Waiting For Godot.

…talks about what he focused on while directing – “revealing human condition through real character and behavior.”

What the fudge does that mean? Everything is about the human condition. Why just say “we’re doing a play with people in it.” OH GOOD. THANK GOD IT’S NOT CATS.

Howard Sherman defines it as…

“It’s about the human condition” = a) we don’t understand it at all, or b) if we told you what it’s actually about, you wouldn’t come.

I think that’s pretty much accurate. But what’s worse than hearing it from the director talking about his work is a marketer using it to try to motivate people to come see the show. Their plan must be following:

A patron gets a postcard in the mail from a theatre company he occasionally attends. He looks at the the title on the front with his usual disinterest when reading mail. He turns it over and reads the brief summary; suddenly he is filled with energy. “Hey honey! So-and-so Theatre has a play about the human condition! Let’s get tickets.”

Now that I think about it, I doubt that marketer (or whoever wrote the copy on that postcard) put that much effort into thinking it through.

My father recently told me about a positive experience he had with a local theatre. “It had everything I liked in a play: comedy, drama, and an intermission.” You know what I’m gonna tell him the next time I’ve got a play I want him to see?

Know thy audience.

But before I wrap up…. just WHAT IS THE HUMAN CONDITION?

Wikipedia says

the Human Condition is “The human condition encompasses the unique and inescapable features of being human in a social, cultural, and personal context. It can be described as the irreducible part of humanity that is inherent and not connected to factors such as gender, race or class. It includes concerns such as a search for purpose, search for gratification, sense of curiosity, the inevitability of isolation, or the fear of death.”

Oh, got it. I love shows about that stuff.

What silly things have you heard people say about shows?

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Consider The Source Part 2, or I Approve This Message

It’s not just breakfast that people are lying to you about.

We The People Don't Like Looking Things Up
Photo courtesy of Flickr
This isn’t meant to be about any political party in particular (for serious), but rather of our culture and current system of electing officials.

Just as you should be careful of believing messages from someone trying to sell you something, I’d advise you to be wary of what political candidates say. Their goal is to get elected. They say things that will make you want to vote for them. “We need to [fill in the blank]!”

Yes. We do need to [fill in the blank]. How do your policies make that happen. Do your policies make that happen? It’s possible that what you’re suggesting has been done in the past and failed miserably. But I don’t know. I haven’t looked it up.

Do research. Please.

I decided to to a little research a while back about what constitutes false advertising. My first stop was the ever-helpful Wikipedia. I found this nugget:

“All commercial acts may be deceptive, not just advertising, but noncommercial activity such as advertising for political candidates is not subject to prosecution under the FTC Act.”
– (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_advertising)

Politicians can straight up lie in campaign ads and not not face legal consequences. Just thought you should know.

Heard any good lies lately?

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Consider The Source, or Part of This Complete Breakfast?

In today’s world of mass media absolutely everywhere, a huge amount of the messages we’re getting are marketing messages. People trying to sell us something. Sometimes we take what we hear and believe it is fact. It makes sense to us.

Do research. Please.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

For eggxample (pun always intended), eggs are a popular food. You can find them in a lot of foods, or as the main part of your omelette. From our culture and education, we have certain assumptions. The one in this case is “fat/cholesterol is bad.” So someone one day says “what if I can give someone an egg without the fat or cholesterol?” Tada, Egg Beaters is born. Consumers say “I like eggs, I don’t like fat or cholesterol. BUY!” I don’t know that egg beaters as a brand are as popular in foods anymore, but there are tons of restaurants that offer “healthy” versions of their breakfasts by using only egg-whites.

It makes sense, right? Eggs = good. Cholesterol + Fat = bad. Egg whites = eggs – (cholesterol + fat)

The point here is that the consumer never stopped and considered that people have been eating eggs for thousands of years and doing just fine. Does the man with all the money in his pockets really know better than nature? Turns out whole eggs are better for you!

So now there are a lot of people going around thinking they’re eating healthier because they’ve bought into the message of a smart marketer.

The food industry is full of these. Sugary cereals are “part of this complete breakfast.” I heard that every day as a kid from ads. Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, Cinnamon Toast Crunch… but I just ate them because they tasted good. Lots of sugar, minimal nutrients. A healthy complete breakfast is probably more along the lines of a whole-egg and vegetable omelette, and some real fruit.

“Milk, it does a body good.”

Does it? I’ll let you look that one up.

If you’re brain isn’t too fried… what are other messages out there that you see people buy into as fact?

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