PR and Marketing is all about creativity – the process of developing a communications strategy may always be the same (in terms of situation analysis, overall goals, setting objectives per audience, activities, messages and timescales, etc.) but the ideas generated are what will set you apart and get you coverage. They will be determined by all sorts of factors which will be different for every production. Here are some tried and tested ideas:
Contact and establish relationships with your local media (newspapers, magazines, tv and radio) and on-line bloggers, to encourage regular coverage – from the very first rehearsal or meeting until the production itself. You can also contact your local churches and ask them to put similar information in their parish newsletters. Set up a Facebook page, post articles and photos and Tweet to help engage a wider audience.
As rehearsals progress, look for angles for stories that you can contact the press with – it might be about a cast member, an animal you’re using, costumes – anything newsworthy or fun!
Ask cast members to promote your publicity materials through their businesses. If one is a doctor , for example, ask them to display a poster in their room or surgery, or if a dentist – it could go on the ceiling above the dental chair!
Take key scenes or an abridged version of your Passion Play on the road to schools or churches in your local area.
Make it easy for local newspapers to run a story on your play. Build relationships and have images ready!
Make your own Facebook page and Twitter feed with up to date information. Contact the Passion Trust for a page dedicated to your Passion Play on their website.
Use your costumes to spread the word through the streets. Hand out fliers or stage the ‘feeding of the five thousand’ with donated sandwiches or snacks in your local community. See how the Bible Society fed the 5,000 in the lead-up to the Brighton Passion.