They’ve ignored my press release!
Whether you are bringing a show to a Fringe festival or simply trying to get media coverage for a show at any time of the year, these tips are for you.
There could be a number of reasons why your press has been not responded to by potential reviewing publications.
Some of these are outside of your control, others may be down to you.
Reasons why you haven’t been replied to could be:
– your sending email address has been identified as a spam address (because you’ve been mass sending out emails)
Your action: resend it from a different email address, perhaps make a new email address just for the fringe festival
– you’ve sent from a hotmail address (or smilar) which makes you look amateurish and studenty (I don’t mean to say that there is anything wrong with student work – it is more a pragmatic view of the snobbery of some people in the press – try to get a personal email address such as my company.com, though gmail is gaining in credibility as it has a lot of functionality associated with it)
Your action: resend from a more credible looking email address
– the publication doesn’t reply to any press releases, not even an acknowledgement
Your action: Try again by email, though you might telephone to see if it has been received, or write to an admin contact
– you attached too many images, which led to a long download time
Your action: resend with just one key image and don’t just bolt on a small, unreadable flyer or poster
– the image you sent was in a weird format (e.g. A tiff file, or a gif animation that couldn’t be read)
Your action: resend in jpeg format
– the image you sent was too large. We often receive files that are several megabytes huge and these are not acceptable
Your action: get the image below 200kb and offer a link to a press image page on your web site where larger , higher quality images can be found if needed
– you embedded an unplayable video image or link
Your action: Be sure any videos are just available via a web link
– you didn’t provide an easily readable listing of your show: title, venue, dates, times Nd a direct contact number and email (it is sup rising how many shows make you Wade through the press release for this)
Your action: ensure there is a clear, summary listing of your show’s essential details
– the press release has been sent via a PR company, isn’t personalized, and looks like it has simply been mass mailed in a few minutes
Your action: address the email or press release to a named recipient if possible
– your press release is full of hyperbole and cliches, such as “unique” and “amazing”
Your action: don’t over promise and try to use some specific words and phrases to describe your show
– your press release was messily designed and not easy to read
your action: don’t use too many words (250 max, ideally less) with an image; if there is a news story around the show, separate that off clearly from the specific show details and request to review; spell and grammar check it and be sensitive to the language and idiom of the country or region you are performing in
Your action: redesign, recheck, cut down, reword and resend
– don’t present the show as new if it isn’t; some companies retile shows in order to eligible for certain awards; you will get found out, often at the press release stage
Your action: be truthful and accurate, reword and resend
– your show has been confused with another or a same or similar title
Your action: check the Programme and see if there isn’t another “Hamlet” or also a company with a smiler name to you and prepare to resend and clarify
– there was nothing in your press release that stood out. Your press releases bland, descriptive of your show but lacks enthusiasm and hasn’t identified something about it that stands out in its genre
Your action: write a sentence or two that answers this question: what is new and different about this show that would make a reviewer want to come and review it? For example: “This is a new translation of this play, directed by Ellie Smith (nominated for a Total Theatre Award in 2009 for “XYZ”)’ and is a UK premiere.”
– your press release was all hype and not enough information
Your action: Rewrite and resend with a clear description of your show.
– your press release attempted to be funny and fell flat with the readers of it
Your action: Get a few people to read it and be open to honest feedback. Is there something irritating or even offensive in wha you have written? Rewrite and resend
These are just a few ideas to help you get a response from your press release.
It is never too late.