5 Elements to Include in a Press Release

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One of the most important things an organization must do when marketing a performing arts event is include information in the press. With all the planning, rehearsing, fundraising and promoting that is already going on to get ready for an event, it is very easy to overlook exactly what to include in a press release.

It is very often that if the press does not get all of this information ahead of time, then they will not release anything in the press and will move on to a different story that provides more information. All of these elements should make it easier for the reader to gain more access about the organization and event without having to dig for information.

Here is a list of five elements that should never be forgotten when writing a press release:

1. Logo: It is important to send a very high-resolution logo that the reporter will have no trouble opening. If it is too difficult to open or it does not look like high-quality, the reporter may decide not to include it or may exclude your story all together. If the reporter does include it and it is not high-resolution, then your organization will not be represented very well.

2. About us: Explain exactly what the organization is about and what its history is. Give some background on who you are and your contribution to the organization. Never forget to include contact information for yourself and the organization so the report can include in the press release but can reach you as well.

3.  Season information: Talk about what organization’s season will be like and what other events will be happening in the future.

4: Event information: This is a press release primarily about the upcoming event the organization is having. Make sure to include all the details for that so that readers will not have to dig for more information. Details to include are: Date, time, location, ticket prices and the organization’s information.

5. Reviews: Include a few good reviews that the organization has had in the past. Including quotes from old reviews is a great way to draw people in and show that others enjoyed past events.

For more tips on how to format a press release, click here.

How to Give a Memorable Presentation

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Public speaking does not come naturally to everyone, and for some, it can be a very difficult task. However, there are a few tips that can benefit any presenter and make sure their presentation is a memorable one.

Here are a few tips that I have learned after giving presentations over the years:

  • Avoid saying “uhm”- This is a huge issue that people struggle with, including myself. It is easy to lose your train of thought while in front of a group of people, and often, saying “uhm” is a common way to figure out what to say next. I have found that it is most beneficial to practice your speech over and over and know exactly what to say next so that you are confident and not found needing to say “uhm” after every other word.
  • Make eye contact- No one likes to give a presentation to an unengaged audience who doesn’t even look at you, but similarly, no one likes to watch a presentation where the presenter doesn’t even make eye contact with the audience. If you are reading from slides or notes, make sure to look up at your audience so you can keep them engaged.
  • Reduce amount of text on slides- If you are going to use a slideshow during your presentation, make sure the slides are as simple as possible. If there is too much text, the audience is going  to be focusing on that rather than listening to the important information you have to say. Think about using images instead of text to guide your presentation.
  • Practice, practice, practice- I cannot stress enough how beneficial it is to practice your speech before giving it. Whether it is practicing in a mirror or practicing in front of family and friends, any practice will help get a flow down in your head. Practicing will even make it easier to avoid saying “uhm” and hopefully will help you make more eye contact.

These are just a few tips, among many others, that every person should keep in mind when presenting. For more tips on how to give a memorable presentation, visit these sites:

Forbes

Huffington Post

Business Insider

3 Things Music Festivals Teach PR Specialists

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After spending my weekend at Sasquatch! Music Festival near the Columbia Gorge, there were a few things that I felt PR specialists could learn from music festivals in general. With the help from theblacksheepagency.com, here are a few tips for PR specialists who attend music festivals:

  1. Take a step back and appreciate what’s around you. At Sasquatch! it is crucial and inevitable to chill out and love everything around you. With all the great music, great people and great vibes, there is no way you can be stressed out. PR specialists need to be reminded of this too. It is easy to get stressed out and overwhelmed with everything going on around you, but it is necessary to take a step back and  be appreciative of everything.
  2. Prepare. No one can fully prepare for music festivals and what they have to offer; however, it is crucial to be prepared and go with the flow. This is how PR specialists should be as well. Unexpected events are often thrown at PR specialists; however, it is important that they must always be prepared and ready to do damage control.
  3. Be confident. Outkast and Kid Cudi were just some of the artists who had great stage presence at Sasquatch! this year. They performed and put on a great show that was engaging for the audience. PR specialists should do the same. Having confidence and great stage presence is something specialists must have in order to engage their audience.

For more tips on things that PR specialists can learn from music festivals, click here.

How to Master the Art of Storytelling in PR

As PR specialists, storytelling is the main task of our career. We are constantly looking for stories, recovering from bad stories, pitching stories, and creating stories. Stories are so effective because they are an easy way to communicate with our audience.

Here are a few components that every great story has:

  • Plot. The story must have a beginning, middle and end. Here is a great example of a story arc created by prinyourpajamas. The arc  starts with the beginning where a main character and dilemma is introduced, then the story continues on and the dilemma is working on being resolved, either the bad or good outcome is introduced, and the story has a satisfying ending where the main character learns a lesson.

pr-classic-Storytelling-Arc

  • Hero/Heroine. Every great story needs a hero/heroine who has human characteristics that the audience can relate to. Usually this is the main character through out the story.
  • Satisfying ending. No one enjoys a story that has a disappointing ending. Part of a great story is having an ending that satisfies the audience, whether it be good or bad.

While these are great structural elements of a good story, storytellers must master these elements before starting to write:

  • Determine who your audience is. The reason for this is because different stories are more appropriate for different audiences. For example, and adult is not going to want to read a children’s book and vice versa.
  • Identify character roles. Determine who the hero/heroine and villains are. What are their characteristics? Develop these characteristics before writing a story and be consistent.
  • Outline. It is always a great idea to figure out a direction you want your story to go in before diving in and writing. What do you want your audience to leave with? What’s the point of your story? Figure these things out before starting to write.

These are just a few of the many elements that all stories should have. Most importantly, the story should be engaging well-structured.

Recognizing Emotional Appeal

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There are many commercials out there that play on the public’s emotions in order to manipulate behavior or decisions. It is easy to overlook the emotional appeal of these commercials. Emotional appeal not only means feeling sadness but may also make you feel pity, anger, motivation, among others.

Below is a great example of how Extra uses emotion to grab the viewer’s attention. Extra Gum does not seem like a very emotional product, but through emotional appeal, they are able to draw the viewer in and make a non-emotional subject seem touching and inspirational.

In the ad above, personal emotion appeal was used. It made the viewer feel a connection with the father and daughter and it was a heart-warming and touching advertisement.

There are four types of emotional appeals that advertisers typically use:

  1. Personal Appeal- This is the personal emotion that you may feel when viewing an advertisement. For example, happiness, love, sadness, anger, humor, etc.
  2. Social Appeal- More often than not, people are motivated to buy things because everyone else is. Social appeal is about buying something because you like the feeling of being accepted and approved by others around you.
  3. Fear Appeal- This is used to make others worry about if they do not purchase what is being sold, then something bad will happen to them. An example of this is anti-aging cream. Advertisers make it seem like if you do not buy this anti-aging cream, then you will age horribly.
  4. Humor Appeal- This is a great way to get the attention of viewers and is used in many commercials. These ads are generally positive and produce good emotions.

Other appeals used in advertising are:

  • Sex appeal
  • Music appeal
  • Brand appeal
  • Statistics

For more information on emotional appeal, click here.

How to Use Social Media to Promote an Event

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Social media is a great tool to use to reach a broad audience and get the word out about your upcoming production. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, advertising on any of the sites will be effective and free. Here are some tips on how to utilize these social media sites:

Facebook:

  • Create a page. Make a page for your organization so that people can ‘like’ it. Once you create a page, you can easily market towards the people you know are interested in your organization.
  • Create an event. Make it an event on Facebook and invite everyone you know. Make sure it is not set to “invite only” because you want your friends to be able to invite more people. Make sure to include all the information about your event, such as the date, time, venue, price.
  • Update your status. Post a status from the organization’s page so that it will reach your audience. Make sure to use hash tags and provide a link to the event page.

Twitter:

  • Create a hash tag. This is a great way to spread awareness of your production. If you hash tag something, make sure it is clever, short and simple. If it is catchy enough, other people will start to use it as well. Make sure to not make the hash tag seem like an after thought. You want to incorporate it smoothly into your tweet.
  • Update twitter. Do not just tweet once and then never do it again. Update twitter when you have new progressions to share about the production. Be creative. You can update about things happening behind the scenes or a milestone that you have hit with ticket sales. The possibilities are endless!

Instagram:

  • Post pictures. Create an Instagram for your organization and update it regularly. Post pictures of what is going on behind the scenes and how your production is coming along.
  • Create a hash tag. It is also great to create a hash tag on Instagram as well. This will allow people to become familiar with your hash tag and maybe even use it to help promote your production. It is a fun way to reach a broader audience and see who is liking your pictures.

These are just a few tips to help promote your production on social media. Remember to be creative and to not post too much on any of these sites. You do not want to bombard your audience with information but just let them know of your upcoming production and the progress it is making.

For more social media tips, click the links below:

Twitter Tips

Facebook Tips

Instagram Tips

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Ballerinas are Outraged by Free People Advertisement

Free People’s recent clothing ad has left professional dancers dumbfounded and outraged. In the ad, the model is filmed wearing Free People clothing and pointe shoes. A voice-over narration is playing in the background as she talks about her love for movement and especially, her love for classical ballet.

What caused professionally trained dancers to get so upset over this advertisement was the lack of training the model seemed to have. They felt that Free People only chose this model because she had the “look” they wanted but they disregarded her technique.

Some people commented on the advertisement on YouTube saying:

“Free People, please fire your casting director ASAP. This was painful to watch and offensive to anyone who has taken more than one dance class in their life.”

“If you’re a dancer, then it hurt to watch this.”

“That was so awful. Really bad call for Free People, there are plenty of great ballet dancers out there that would of fit this part.”

There are so many people in the world who do not understand how much hard work goes into ballet. Not anyone can put on a pair of pointe shoes and expect to get good results. A lot of strength and training is involved in learning ballet and that is why professional dancers are so upset with this ad.

After the backlash caused by the advertisement, Free People made a step in the right direction. They decided to re-launch their FP movement line and partner with a well-known photographer Oliver Endahl. His fine art project is known as Ballet Zaida.

From now on, professional dancers will be modeling clothing for the FP movement line. Here are a few sneak peak pictures:

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To read more about the re-launch of the FP movement line, click here.