Press Articles Explained

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Marketing, Publicity

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is covered by press from all over the world.  Publications, big and small, journalists both employed and self-employed, flock to Scotland to report on anything and everything!

 

Here at The Arts Business we have already talked you through how to write the Perfect Edinburgh Fringe Press Release, but now it’s time you really understand the ins and outs of the articles their looking to print.

 

1.       Features

What is it?

These are the large pieces you often see in publications.  It could be all about you: ‘New feminist comedian breaks the comedy circuit’ or about a group of people doing something similar: ‘New feminist comedians who are breaking the comedy circuit’.  These often include quotes and interviews with the performers.

How do I get one?

Write a pitch: What makes your show distinct? What are its special qualities that aren’t in anyone else’s shows? Does it discuss any current affair topics? Find your unique selling point and pitch the f**k out of it! 

 

2.       News

What is it?

Simply something worthy of being a headline!  It is pretty tricky to get a fringe show in the news as not only do you have to contend with the rest of your fringe fellows but you will also have to battle the rest of the world! 

How do I get one?

You seriously need to have something deemed reportable, but remember, even though it’s difficult to remember at the moment, not everything in the news is doom and gloom, if it’s a slow or bleak news day they’ll be looking for that piece which will lift spirits.

 
3.       Diary

What is it?

A story that isn’t quite newsworthy enough to be news and isn’t quite long enough to be a feature, frequently associated with gossip columns.  Short and juicy titbits worth a short mention! 

How do I get one?

It’s not really something you can plan!  It’s more if you happen upon: an interesting anecdote during your run!  Maybe a celebrity saw your show, maybe a streaker with ‘BREXIT SUX’ scrawled across their chest took to the stage!  Any cheeky morsel you believe will make readable gossip!

 

4.       Newsletters

What is it?

Chances are every receiving house in Edinburgh will have an email and mailing list which they send a weekly or monthly newsletter to their followers.  This is an easy and free way for you to get the news of your show out to potentially thousands of customers.

How do I get one?

Firstly, check out if it is tailored to your kind of show promotion by joining the mailing list yourself and checking out the information you receive.  You can also simply ask the venue if this is something they do and if you can be on it.  The earlier you ask the more likely this is to be an option.

 

5.       Reviews

What is it?

When someone comes to judge your show!  Remember there is no guarantee the reviewers response will be positive so it could be good or bad press for your show.  Having said that, don’t obsess about reviews!  They are not the be all and end all.

How do I get one?

Check out our Fringe Press Release article to grab the press’ attention and remember to pick reviewers who are interested in your genre of work!  You wouldn’t want a children’s theatre reviewer to see your very adult naked cabaret and they probably won’t be too keen on hearing from you either.

 

6.       Podcasts

What is it?

The modern radio programmes, these vary from clip shows of full sessions to tailor made, specific broadcasts for certain target audiences.  They even have some which run especially during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

How do I get one?

Find the right one for your show!  There are podcasts out for anything and everything so you are bound to come across one that meets your exact category!  For example, if you’re doing a show on Harry Potter, why not try getting a slot on ‘The Mugglecast’

 

7.       Bloggers

What is it?

Basically: online newspapers, often more personal and easy for individuals to set up and talk about their interests!  Fun Fact: they were originally called Web Logs which eventually was shortened to blog.

How do I get one?

As you would a podcast.  Be sure to do your research on audience number and reach to clarify that they are definitely for you.  If they only have four followers on facebook and have been going for 2 years then it probably isn’t worth your time.

 

8.       Sharable Online Content

What is it?

Simply the posts, tweets, grams, messages, videos, gifs, photos and content you share across your social media platforms when they are shared by someone else.

How do I get one?

Try tagging the people you want to share your content in your posts, if the content is special enough they may just share you, but at the very least they should notice you.  But, don’t be a spammer!  Nobody likes a spammer!  Using topical and appropriate hashtags can help to!

 

So, go out and get in the paper so you and your followers can: READ ALL ABOUT IT!

Check In With Your Mental Health

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Festival, Health

With the first week of the Fringe drawing to a close it’s important to remember to look after yourself.

 

Like many creatives I have had my fair share of struggles with mental health problems and I know the stresses both emotional and physical that the festival can put on you.  I once ran away from the venue I was production managing and hid behind a tree so that I could no longer see it just to get a break.

 

In recent years people are talking more openly about mental health both in their shows and in content they put out to the public.  This means slowly the walls that create the stigma around mental health are tumbling down.

 

So, before a complete mental breakdown ensues here are some things that have helped me cope over the years:

 

  • Take some time just for you – you want something that is going to switch your brain off, stop those millions of thoughts from rushing round your head, quit working through those to do lists.  Whether its for 10 minutes or a few hours just take some time out.  Here are some suggestions:

o   Take a bath or shower

o   Just sit still with a cup of tea or coffee

o   Watch some Netflix or catch up telly

o   Listen to a podcast

o   Do some mindfulness activities

o   Mediate or sit and do some deep breathing

o   Take yourself for a meal

o   Read a book

o   Play a game

o   See a show that your interested in

 

  • Self care – it can be easy to neglect yourself over the fringe and like the queer eye boys say this is the most important thing you can do!  If you can’t care for yourself then you can’t be 100% in your arts business

o   Clean your digs or do some laundry

o   Get some sleep

o   Do some exercise – Have a walk, do some yoga, go for a run, something you enjoy

o   Detox for a day – cut out the alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine for a day.  Even consider culling your social media time, even if it’s just for an hour.

o   Healthy eating – so much easier said than done especially when you’re surrounded by millions of amazing food stands.  My aim is generally just to go for one healthy-ish meal a day and it makes me feel like I’m trying.

o   Attempt to keep some vague sense of a routine – it can be easy to want to burn the candle at both ends all day everyday because of FOMO but it’s almost impossible to maintain for an entire month so see if you can spend a few days going to bed and getting up at a similar time.

 

  • Talk it out if your feeling low

o   Text your friends

o   Call your family

o   Chat to a trained professional. Whether this is through an app online or asking advise at the Fringe society talking to someone detached from your situation is one of the most constructive things I’ve done.

o   Another company – someone who is in the same boat, coping with the same things as you who will understand your gripes!

 

  • Some other things to try:

o   Write it down – something that helps me to make my thoughts a little clearer which helps me to articulate them a little better when I talk to people about it

o   Make lists and work your way through small achievable tasks, after all, there is nothing better than crossing something you’ve completed off a list!

o   Take some perspective – you are at the Fringe Festival working on something you love, you’ve already done something amazing so don’t get down on yourself, try challenging those negative thoughts and be proud of the small achievements

o   Do something scary – face your fear, whether it’s going in a lift, climbing to the top of Arthur’s seat, taking yourself to dinner alone, try pushing yourself to doing something which makes you feel anxious.  You may just realise it wasn’t so bad after all.

o   Don’t be afraid to try medication, get an appointment from a drop-in service and see what your options are.  Take it from someone who has tried every kind of medication under the sun – you will find one that suits you

o   Herbal remedies – it is amazing how soothing a camomile tea can be

o   Try something new – axe throwing, rage room, escape room, site specific show, there is no better place to try something new than at the Edinburgh Fringe

o   Try to find a way to have fun – see a movie, meet up with friends, make plans and stick to them even if you don’t really feel like it, it may just cheer you up

o   Learn more about mental health problems

 

There’s no quick fix but if one thing on this list helps even one person this festival then I’ve done something to help!

 

Don’t just run yourself to empty, try to find a balance this Fringe.

To Flyer or not to Flyer

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Marketing, Promotion

That is the question

 

Yes, it’s tiring, emotionally draining, time consuming, environmentally unfriendly and you’ll probably get soaked to the bone due to the terrible and completely unpredictable nature of Scottish weather, but yes! To Flyer is always the answer!

 

The Arts Business have complied all the reasons you should flyer, the where’s, the when’s, the who’s, the what’s and the how’s all of which will make your flyering the most effective and enjoyable it can be.

 

1.       Be Human – build up report, have a chat, some human interaction and conversation goes a long way.  You want to show off your personality, see if it matches.  If you’ve got some great banter with your flyeree chances are they will take a shot at your show.

 

2.       Never Flyer Alone – Always have a partner! Flyering can be exhausting and the constant rejection can really get to you so have someone in the trenches with you, someone who is going through the same thing, someone to rant to, someone who will be your comrade!

 

3.       Rope in the Family – no one is more on board with your show than blood relatives who will rave about you to unsuspecting flyerees! Chances are they are coming to see your show anyway and with crazy low budgets who doesn’t love a bit of free and passionate labour.

 

4.       Schedule Times – Protocol usually dictates that you should flyer in the two hours a day before your show as this will be the most effective time to draw in the punters.  Don’t over flyer: you have to keep up your flyer enthusiasm for the entire festival so better to have short but constructive bursts.

 

5.       Have Breaks – very few of us are resilient enough to flyer for 2 hours straight so start 15 minutes earlier and have that cheeky tea break in the middle where you can try to chat about anything but flyering!

 

6.       Mix it up – An entire month promoting the same thing day in day out can be boring so why not trade flyers with a company you know and trust for a day, they flyer you, you flyer them, it adds a little variety to what can otherwise become a tedious activity.

 

7.       Location, Location, Location – obviously the Royal Mile but you are guaranteed a load of competition so other areas to think about are Princes Street Gardens, Bristo Square, George Square and The Mound, especially the paved area by galleries where the Half Price Hut sits. This is filled to the brim with undecided audience members just looking for your suggestion.

 

8.       The Royal Mile – you have loads of competition here so make sure you stand out.  Another cheeky tip is to have a wander up and down in the morning and check out the pop-up stage performers for that day.  Any with a similar genre to you? Chances are those crowds who stop will also be interested in you and your show!

 

 

9.       Flyer at your Venue – basically the only place you don’t have to ask permission to flyer so get up and down their box office queue, find shows that are like yours and flyer at the beginning or end of your show! Take advantage of your space, chances are you’re paying enough for it.

 

10.   Flyer entries and exits – do your research into similar shows and ask if you can flyer either the start or end of their shows, maybe even ask them to leave flyers on chairs inside.  Remember in queues there are bound to be paying customers just looking for their next show and if it’s a similar genre to yours chances are the audience will be interested.

 

11.   Find your Audience – Take the gamble out of flyering by finding out where your Target Audience hang out.  Are you a magic show for kids? Try mummy and me clubs or creches.  LGBTQ+ Comic? Look into the gay bars and clubs of the city.

 

12.   Have a Gimmick – something that makes you stand out in the crowds, wear your costume, create a photo opportunity, carry around that puppet, give out free condoms: draw attention to you!  Think outside the box and have fun with it.

 

13.   To hire or not to hire – street teams can be pricey, but they are also time saving.  Their pros are that they know the distribution channels and the city better than you do but remember they don’t know your show as well as you and your crew!  Just do your research and figure out if the money for time trade-off is worth it.

 

14.   5 second performance – think of it like a micro show, hook them in with a fun 5 seconds, then make a plan for the next 5, then the next 5 and the next.  Reel them in and keep them hooked!  If they like you then they will most probably like to see your show.  And don’t be afraid to practice before you flyer!

 

15.   Don’t force it – sure offer a flyer out but don’t force it into their hands, let the flyeree take it from you.  If they show genuine interest in you they are way more likely to come and see you, remember one flyer gently given is better than 10 thrust into uncaring hands.  It’s more environmentally friendly to!

 

16.   Nail your Exit Line – Don’t let the goodbye be awkward, like a farewell after a one night stand it is better to be confident not weird.  So, come up with a killer one liner which will make them remember you when they’re looking for they’re next show to see.

 

17.   Stay Positive – I know this is easier said than done but at the end of the day flyering makes up a big part of everyone company’s fringe experience so you may as well have fun with it.  Remember, we’re all in the same boat so turn that frown upside-down and don’t let the haters bring you down!

 

 

Don’t worry about flyering! Be Happy!

 

 

Have you got any flyering tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments so we can add them in!

Set SMART Edinburgh Fringe Objectives

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Business Skills, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Start Ups

All businesses in the creative industries need objectives.  These are, simply stated, stuff your business wants to achieve.

 

They’re generally pretty straightforward especially considering most artistic organisations have existing mission statements, visions and values in place to adhere to.

 

But when coming up with your objectives it’s important to think SMART:

 

Specific If you are too vague in your statements no one will know where to start.  Most of Edinburgh have the same objective to ‘Sell more tickets’, so instead think ‘Sell a minimum of 10 tickets per day’.  This makes your goals both clearer and more achievable.
Measurable You have to find some way to measure your outcomes so that you know if you have achieved them for example ‘Increase daily website views by 10%’ is a measurable goal whereas ‘improve website’ is not.
Agreeable Make sure everyone who is associated with the objective knows about it and supports it.  It is especially important at the fringe to keep everyone on the same page and ensure your team is on board with all decisions.  It improves team morale when the whole company is beating to the rhythm of the same drum.
Realistic Don’t be over ambitious.  If you are a first time, one-woman musician in a 10-seat venue you probably aren’t going to set a goal of an international stadium tour within a year.  It’s great to dream big but set achievable aims which motivate you to continue and make you feel great about your accomplishments.
Timely Set a time frame for your objectives otherwise they won’t be deemed as ‘urgent’ and will slip by the wayside.  If your objective is ‘Get 200 social media followers before the end of the festival’ your company has a common goal and will get to work on it straight away.

 

 

Once these are in place it is much easy to develop strategies!  Basically, once you know where you want to go, it is much easier to plan the route.

 

Share your objectives in the comments below!

Spread the Word of Mouth

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Marketing, Social Media

The best way to sell out your Fringe Show still via word of mouth.

 

Up until recently Word of Mouth was entirely organic, like people sharing show ideas with friends down the pub.  I once overheard someone raving about a Korean Adaption of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ which remains one of the best pieces of theatre I have ever seen!

But when the internet began to take over the world, marketers realised they could begin to encourage the generation Word of Mouth themselves. 

How?

Social Media of course!

So here are 10 pieces of advice to help you spread the word!

1.       Make your show the best possible experience – people want to talk about experiences good or bad.  Obviously, we’re looking to spread the positive but remember: no publicity is bad publicity (Unless you’re Harvey Weinstein)

2.       Ask people to post – Most companies are doing this now so if you’re not buck up!  It’s the norm.  At the end of the show simply ask your audience to give you a social media shout out if they enjoyed it!  Afterall, if you don’t ask you don’t get!

3.       Share the fun – people love sharing jokes, gifs and interesting content they can relate to so don’t always keep it serious! Don’t just spam people with your flyer.  Think outside the box and share the bants!

4.       Don’t be afraid of gimmicks – or as I would like to think of it: Instagramable Promos!  So, give out those condoms covered in your show branding!  Share those cheeky pin badges!  Your audience loves a freebie and you’ll get a bit of free advertising!

5.       Think interactive posts – Hitler’s Tasters do some awesome tweets requesting people to reply gifs with how they’re feeling.  It gets all the action! So think quizzes, polls, puzzles, questions, challenges, competitions, ticket offers, whatever will get people to interact!

6.       Do your hashtag research – what’s trending, what’s hot, what are people searching for.  The Edinburgh Fringe always create hashtags that get a lot of action so use #edfringe #edfringe2019 #MakeYourFringe and find some that suit your show and genre!

7.       Go Live – Whether your streaming the backstage gossip and grabbing audience at the end of your show to get their opinion live on video or sharing hilarities throughout your day on stories, audiences love these ‘DVD extras’.

8.       Never be missed – stick your social media branding on everything! Flyers, Posters, T-Shirts, Websites, Reviews, toilet doors with a sharpie! Make sure the public can’t miss you!

9.       Real Life Interactions – shocking, I know, but not everything needs to take place online!  Think about those photos taken at the end of escape rooms with hashtags and branding all over them!  Take this idea and make your own experience when you flyer out on the mile!

10.   Make Friends – are you an all-female acapella group?  You know you probably have a similar audience and similar interests to other female acapella groups so use your posts to tag companies like you.

 

Viral Marketing can make sure your show ‘gets around’.  Plus, all of it improves your credibility in the eyes of the algorithms of social and circulates the word!

 

Have you had some awesome social campaigns that have spread the word! We want to know! Tell us in the comments!

Props and Costume Solutions in Edinburgh

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Budget, Business Skills, Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Spilt coffee down your only white shirt?

Halfway through the run and your only costume getting stanky?

Broken that priceless antique lamp which is central to your show? 

Have no idea where to go to replace it and don’t wanna spend all your petty cash in one go?

And no time in your day to travel too far from the City Centre?  

Don’t panic!  Here’s a list of the places you should hit up for all your props and costume needs!

 

W. Armstrong & Son

The Best Vintage Shop in Edinburgh, nay the world!  For all your costume needs!  Find everything through the decades and specialist costumes as well.  As I’m sure you can imagine it gets pretty rammed during the Fringe and they go through stock incredibly fast, but don’t worry.  They have 3 different stores around town so if you can’t find what you’re looking for in one simply hit up the others.  The real vintage stuff can be expensive but there’s plenty of faux vintage to.  The main problem with costume shopping here is that your personal budget is bound to take a serious hit to.

81-83 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HJ – 0131 220 5557

14 Teviot Pl, Edinburgh EH1 2QZ – 0131 226 4634

64-66 Clerk St, Edinburgh EH8 9JB – 0131 667 3056

 

Nicholson Street, Clerk Street, South Clerk Street Charity Shops

There are so many charity/thrift shops on the walk from South Bridge out towards Cameron Toll you could easily while away an afternoon perusing them.  Despite being in the centre of town they are all reasonably cheap and cheerful and fantastic places to look for both costume and props.

 

Stockbridge Charity Shops

Slightly further out of town (although not hugely, I’m a firm believer that to walk anywhere in Edinburgh only takes a maximum of 20 minutes) a more bespoke range of thrift shops can be found on Stockbridge High Street.  Although they can be a little more expensive than others, they tend to have a more diverse stock due to the fact that they are a little out of the way.

 

Primark

If your based in the UK then you will know Primark only too well!  The Target of the UK, it’s by far the cheapest place to buy basics or fashion clothes in Edinburgh.  They have a pretty great range including womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, accessories, shoes and a home section.  So, if you’re just looking for a couple of spare t shirts to make it through the run this is your place! You could always get some t-shirt transfer paper from the nearest Poundland and iron on your show details!  Or write it on in Sharpie.

91 – 93 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2ER

 

Unicorn Antiques

Looking for specific antique items, look no further than Unicorn Antiques in New Town.  It’s crammed full with so much stock that on sunny days (or at least in dry weather) it spills out onto the streets so it’s impossible to miss.

65 Dundas St, Edinburgh EH3 6RS

 

Ali’s Cave

A treasure trove of anything and everything you could ever ask for in New Town! Never a more random selection of items have you ever seen in one place, but they are almost guaranteed to have anything you could possibly need for your show along with a load you never knew you needed!

139-145 Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EH3 9AD

 

Poundsavers

It may look like a tacky souvenir shop from the outside, but inside you will find an enormous supply anything and everything from homewares to collectables at rock bottom prices and just round the corner from Assembly Gardens and Teviot Square.

37-41 Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9BE

 

Edinburgh Bargain Stores

Similar to Ali’s Cave but based in Old Town.  It has the added bonus of having Party Zone, the costume shop, and Edinburgh Fabrics, a great haberdashery, just next door.

5-9 St Patrick Square, Edinburgh EH8 9EZ

 

Theatre Stuff

A specialist props and costume hire house down in Leith, a little further to travel but generally they will have exactly what you need or at least know where you can find it.  Worth giving them a ring or dropping them an email before making the journey down to the shore.

22 West Harbour Road, Edinburgh, EH5 1PN – 07734 693534 – Visit their Facebook page

 

The Lyceum and The Traverse

The two major producing houses in the city the Lyceum is Edinburgh’s REP Theatre and the Traverse specialises in new writing shows.  They’re tech teams obviously tend to be super busy in the fringe but they do have excellent props stores in City and are generally more than willing to support fellow artists, especially in an emergency, so drop them a phonecall or an email if you are really struggling to find what you need!

Royal Lyceum Theatre, 30b Grindlay Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AX – Administration Department: 0131 248 4800 / info@lyceum.org.uk

Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh EH1 2ED – Administration Department: 0131 228 3223.

 

Amazon Prime

Yes, prime will work! Either get it delivered to your digs or have a chat to the box office at your venue and ask if they can accept a parcel for you.  They are always in so probably a better shout than leaving one of your team at home waiting in for the delivery whilst everyone else is out having fun.  Unfortunately Edinburgh is yet to be on Prime Now so you will have to wait 24 hours rather than 2, but maybe next year!

www.amazon.co.uk

 

Ask your venue

A lot of venues around Edinburgh are in crazy old buildings filled with unfathomable amounts of weird and wonderful items.  I once worked in a café in which we found an elephant foot made into a chair in the basement!  I know it’s a longshot if you’re looking for something specific but if there is a small chance they have something you need it beats having to traipse around the city looking for it!

 

Ask other companies

Is there a show on at the Fringe similar to yours who you could potentially borrow props from?  Maybe even in your venue?  Just ask if you can borrow them.  The worst thing that could happen is they say no.  The best?  They agree to lend it you!  Just be sure to reward their kindness with some co-promotion through your social networks or a round at the bar!

 

So, save your budget by shopping smart! 

 

Remember the fringe philosophy: BEG, BORROW AND STEAL!

 

Tried all of these options and still looking?  Get in touch!  We’d love to help!

Welcome to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Business Skills, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Marketing

Welcome to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019.

 Welcome to the largest Arts Festival in the world.

Welcome to the Jungle!

With thousands of companies and tens of thousands of performances it is difficult to understand what works.  How do you stand out from the crowd?

Well, NEVER FEAR! The Arts Business is here!

All this month we will be exploring different types of shows and how to sell them out, from flyering to Facebook, PR to TwitteR and ideas to Instagram.

Ready to make 2019 the best Edinburgh Fringe Festival yet?

Join us for the Ride as we embark on our first co-production: A Little R and R, with Show Up Productions.

 

We’d love to include you in our articles, so let us know if you have any unique marketing or business techniques you’re using to promote your show at: info@theartsbusiness.com or in the comments below!

After all! What is art without a little collaboration!

So get in touch! We can’t wait!