Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Two weeks away!

So cyber friends, where to begin?

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Fall is amazingly upon us, and it seems impossible to me that our awards ceremony is less than two weeks away!

I just returned from 5 days in the deep deep south- ..:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. I was working on a music event with my family and stayed on an amazing old cotton plantation literally in the middle of no where sleeping in a restored shack. The event was a lot of fun, and I got to meet and work with some amazing musicians and experience some southern hospitality. (Can you say GRITS! Love'em) But I have to say that while I was at a beautiful event and location, 5 days was far too long away from home. I missed New York in a very real way. When I leave NYC I am constantly reminded of how much I love my home, my city and the work that I do here.

Plus, with the awards upon us, I was especially eager to get home and back to work here. As company manager, I've been working on a lot of the moving parts of the awards ceremony, from the day of timeline, recruiting and coordinating our volunteer crew, assisting with venue logistics, scheduling the many meetings that occur during this busy time, to working on a daily basis with Shay, Nick and Jason, the Exec directors who are beyond amazing.

There is something that is so rewarding about working in the Off Off Broadway sector, that I have yet to find elsewhere. Maybe it's the fact that everyone is sooo passionate, or maybe its because we all know how hard it is and we try to make it easier for each other, or maybe it's the great wide unknown of, this could be our last show, so lets go for broke and throw ourselves fully and totally without question into whatever we are doing. It seems that our collective spirit of independent/Off Off Broadway theatre is never ending, that there a generosity that is unending. I don't know where we all find the time, the heart and the energy to keep going. To work a full day and then rehearse a full night, to stay up until 4am doing press releases or poster, to build, paint, hang lights and sew costumes long after everyone else has gone home, and after the show closes, there isn't always a paycheck, a glowing review or the promise of an extension. Yet somehow we all wake up and continue to do what we do, out of love, out of passion, out of generosity of spirit.

It is this reason that I work so hard for the It Awards, to have that moment, that gathering in one room, a buzz with ideas, and energy, and spirit and celebrate each other and our work. I am in awe every year as I watch our events grow in size, while our collective community gets smaller, as we all get to know each other.

Whether you are a nominee, a lover of theatre, a volunteer or just there to show your support, I so look forward to seeing you at the Awards ceremony.


Company Manager

PS. If you'd like to be a part of the Awards Ceremony, please drop me a line.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

PR in the OOBR world

Hello from the IT Awards publicist, Katie Rosin/Kampfire Films PR. Since it is my job to raise awareness of the IT Awards to the media, as well as the fabulous OOB shows I represent, I thought I would give you some pointers on what a Publicist can and can not do for your productions.

First the definition of publicity:
1. extensive mention in the news media or by word of mouth or other means of communication.
2. public notice so gained.
3. the measures, process, or business of securing public notice.
4. information, articles, or advertisements issued to secure public notice or attention.
5. the state of being public, or open to general observation or knowledge.
(publicity. ( n.d.). Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved August 31, 2007, from website: )

As you can see this is not defined as "putting butts in seats" (PBIS) nor does it have a direct correlation to PBIS.

A publicists job is to raise the awareness of your production to the media and in turn your potential audiences. I feel it takes calculate and integrated efforts of PR, Marketing (which includes posters/postcards/e-blasts/flyers...and advertising), and Audience Building in order to PBIS. The later I will discuss in a future blog.

Here are some components of PR that a publicist can do for you:

1. Press Release: Include the Who, What, Where, When and Why of your production
2. Feature Idea: Create (with the help of all involved Artistic Staff through the cast) story ideas to pitch to the appropriate media
3. Review Requests: Ask critics to come and see your show and review for their outlet

But the publicist cannot wait around for the news to present opportunities. They must also try to create their own news. Examples of this include:

* Arrange a speech or talk
* Make an analysis or prediction
* Issue a report
* Take a stand on a controversial subject
* Announce an appointment
* Invent then present an award
* Issue a commendation

The advantages of publicity are low cost, and credibility (particularly if the publicity is aired in between news stories like on evening TV news casts). New technologies such as weblogs, web cameras, web affiliates, and convergence (phone-camera posting of pictures and videos to websites) are changing the cost-structure. The disadvantages are lack of control over how your releases will be used, and frustration over the low percentage of releases that are taken up by the media. (Publicity. (2007, July 15). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:24, August 31, 2007, from

Additionally, it is the job of everyone in the production to think about PR. It is NOT their job to contact the media (too often I'm picking up pieces when this happens). Should someone involved in the production have a great idea, a great press contact, or be involved with something press worthy they should immediately contact their publicist and discuss it with them. I find these are the best leads for the publicist.

Keep these ideas in mind when deciding if and who to hire as a publicist on your production. Please feel free to contact me with questions on this subject.

See you on the 24th!

Katie Rosin