From The Rock

How to maintain relevance throughout your entire performance season

By | March 04, 2020

For public relations professionals, campaigns for product launches typically have a similar routine leading up to their release date. We work to build consumer excitement with a goal of achieving impressive sales at the launch, but afterward, we quickly wrap up and move on to another campaign. Season-long campaigns, whether they’re for a network television series, a basketball franchise or a professional orchestra, present challenges beyond a premiere date. The announcement of a full season may garner a lot of hype and attention at the beginning. But it gets tougher once events are underway, especially for those in the performing arts, to maintain relevance in the news and keep viewers interested in coming back. As PR professionals, it’s up to us to keep our clients present year-round, and there are several ways to do so.

Determine that compelling angle.

Single-ticket sale slumps are common by mid-season and through the finale show. These months are when strategic PR efforts are the most crucial. Every production an organization presents is special. If not, it wouldn’t be included in a season lineup. It’s our job as professionals to inform potential audiences of that.

If it’s a theatrical production, showcase something different from the previous show. Maybe it’s a period piece that requires intricate costumes and set design, or maybe the subject matter aligns with current events that audiences are passionate about. Finding that special angle for your next show will remind people that every show you present is unique, and audiences will be more inclined to check out what you have next in store.

Highlight other efforts of the organization.

Most organizations have other programs beyond their primary purpose or mission. Several of them invest in the community through charitable giving, educational outreach or other public events. People today, especially Gen Z and millennials, prefer to support organizations and brands that are entrenched in the community and make a positive impact on the world. If they see your organization participating in such efforts, they’re more likely to support your organization and purchase tickets to your next ticketed event. Learning about the impact you make will leave a lasting impression on audiences and align your goodwill with the work you present on stage.

Educate your audience.

Unlike a professional sports team, performing arts organizations face a tougher challenge to drive audiences to the next ticket-buying event. Audiences may not be familiar with the program you’re presenting. Ticket buys should not be exclusive to only those who’ve heard of the play you’re producing, the composer whose symphony you’re playing or the ballet you’re dancing. Leverage tools like social media and media relations to educate potential ticket buyers. Share video snippets of a rehearsal or post fun facts about a guest performer. Educating your followers will keep them more engaged with your upcoming program. Once they familiarize themselves with the content, the more likely they will feel connected and compelled to witness it live.