Marketing and Publicity Guide

What is Marketing and Publicity?

In a nutshell, both marketing and publicity are the tools used to promote your event to audiences.

Marketing is usually associated with the choices you make around images, copy/text and the key messages you use to describe your event. Marketing also describes the various channels you might utilise to advertise to audiences such as a website, social media, eNewsletters, newspaper/radio/billboard or TV advertising – or distribution such as flyers or posters – amongst many other ways in which you directly communicate with your audiences about your event.

Publicity refers to obtaining free media coverage for your event, and can include newspapers, magazines, television, radio or digital & social media. By sending a media release and following up you can actively encourage journalists and editors to interview, review, write editorial or simply create a listing about your event.

There is further information about both marketing and publicity in this guide below.
To assist your event with cutting through the media and gaining the maximum amount of exposure possible, Midsumma Festival has put together the following resource for all registered events. Read on for information on how to communicate, market and publicise your event.

With such a diverse range of events housed within Midsumma Festival, some information below in this document may not apply to your event, but we recommend you read through and see what can help you make the most of your Midsumma Festival registration.

All events in the Midsumma Festival Program must carry the Midsumma Festival logo on all marketing and promotional collateral. The Midsumma Festival branding guide will be available to download through the Midsumma website from September 2017.

The Midsumma Festival team are here to help! So if you have questions about promoting your event call 03 9296 6600 or [email protected].
 

The Basics

What Do I Get For My Registration?

Printed Program Guide: Midsumma produces a printed program guide each year containing a listing for each event. The guide varies in size each year depending on the amount of events registered but there are at least 35,000 of them printed each year which are distributed around Melbourne, Victoria and some interstate outlets. The guide is also available to view or download from midsumma.org.au. You will get to see your listing prior to printing the guide near the end of August, and we will go to print shortly thereafter. This is your best possible tool for ticket sales so please provide striking copy and image for the guide at the time of registration.

Online Listing: each event is provided with its own event page on midsumma.org.au. At the most basic level, you will have your key image and promotional description plus any other ticketing or venue details required. If you have video, extra photos, a printed program or anything else you would like to add to your event page, please speak to one of the Midsumma Team and we will endeavor to help you get it onto the website.

Media Release: your media release will also be available to Media from midsumma.org.au. Please send it to [email protected] in by 1 November. There are further details in this guide on writing your media release.

Carnival Roving Rights: access to 'Roving Rights' at NO COST at Midsumma Carnival. Normally priced at $2000 for non-registered groups, you may arrange to hand out collateral or carry signage to promote your event for a couple of hours at Midsumma Carnival, which usually attracts a crowd of approximately 100,000 attendees.

Midsumma Logo: the Midsumma Marketing & Publicity team will primarily be promoting the festival as a whole and cannot run the campaigns for individual shows. We will be pushing the overarching festival brand and brandmark/logo everywhere possible, so if the Midsumma logo is included on your promotional material too, you are more likely to be recognised more easily as part of the festival.

Social Media: while there will always be limitations to what we can do for individual events, if you have an idea for a great social media or eNews item about your event, make sure you ask! Simply email your ideas to [email protected].

Discounted Advertising: registered events are also afforded discounted advertising rates with Star Observer and JOY 94.9. Prices are yet to be determined for 2018.

 

What Do I Need to 'Sell' My Event?

Most Basic Requirements
  1. An eye-catching promotional image.
  2. A short and long version of your event description which clearly outlines your event in an engaging way.
  3. A compelling and succinct media release.
  4. An understanding of who will want to come to your event and why.
  5. A strategy around how you will reach your audience including:
        • website inclusion: Midsumma Festival website and your own
        • program guide listing
        • social media strategy
        • e-communications (emails)
        • blogs, online listings
        • flyers and or posters either printed or just in electronic form
        • any advertising you might be able to afford!
     
    Secondary Requirements

  6. Video material if possible – 30 seconds to 90 seconds for a promotional preview of you event or you might create something a few minutes long if you have interviews with the Director or someone else on the event who might be of interest to audiences.
  7. Secondary images or production shots – to support your key marketing shot. Try not to adjust your key shot once the campaign starts so people get familiar with the image representing the event.
  8. Advocates – people who know about you or your show to talk you up!
  9. A timeline and well-researched plan!
 

Event Image

A promotional image is really one of the most important elements of your marketing campaign.

Here are a few things you might want to consider when choosing your image:
Use a professional photographer.
Composition: there are a few basic rules of photography to keep in mind when taking your photo such as the rule of thirds, cropping, framing, etc. Have a read of 10 Top Photography Composition Rules for more information if you are shooting the image yourself.
Representational Image: does the image represent your event and your vision for the event?
High Resolution: make sure your photo is high resolution. It will need to be 300 DPI (dots per inch) to be used in print media.
Portrait + Landscape: do you have a portrait and landscape version of your image? Media will want you to supply both.
Not too busy: avoid overlaying logos, text or rainbow filters to your image. Often your image will be reproduced at small-scale and overlaying additional elements can create an overly-busy image. Similarly, use a colourful image but make sure it's not too busy as detail may be lost when reduced down to a small-scale image.
Hero shot: choose a hero shot and use it across all of your artwork: posters, flyers, advertisements, etc. This helps people become familiar with your show.

The images you need to supply when you register your event are:
Image 1: 800 x 475px JPEG or TIFF 300dpi CMYK | Image 2: 1000 x 480px JPEG 72dpi RGB | Image 3: 700 x 700px JPEG 72dpi RGB | Image 4: high res original JPEG, EPS or TIFF

 

Event Description: Narrative

Your event will be listed in the Official Festival Program Guide and on midsumma.org.au. Your event 'promotional copy' (event description) is an important component to make your event stand out from the crowd.
 
Positioning
This is where you describe what you are presenting to the public. It is the key messaging used to communicate WHAT your event is and WHY your audience should buy a ticket. In deciding your positioning, you should consider the following:
The key elements of the event: cast, venue, themes, story, dates, conditions of entry etc. For example, La Mama will be transformed into a Kit Kat Club, featuring stunning performances by drag queens Bianca Del Rio and Peppermint.
The aims and objectives of the event: Does your event have an end outcome for the attendee?
e.g. You will leave the Beautiful Women exhibition with a new appreciation of beauty, that is more than skin-deep.

Special interest area: does your event highlight awareness for a cause or explore a certain theme? e.g. STATUS is aimed at educating about HIV stigma.
Experience offered: can you boost people's experience, such as "drinks on arrival", or "book signing with author" etc.
Unique elements: mention elements that only your event offers. e.g. "For only 15 audience members at a time" or "Melbourne premiere screening.

By asking yourself these questions you will be able to keep your communication concise, your key messaging consistent and hopefully your event will be more attractive to potential attendees.

Other things to consider about your event positioning

Price
  • Is the ticket price right for your target audience?
  • Is the ticket price right for your venue?
  • Is there value for money at your price point?
  • Is there an appropriate range of ticket options? (eg. concession, group, family)
  • Do you need to alter price points to encourage attendance at particular sessions? (eg. Cheap Tuesdays)
  • Are there additional costs the attendees will need to consider? (eg. parking, beverages, meals)
 
Convenience
Making your event easier to attend:
Ticket distribution – ensure you promote midsumma.org.au as the main point of sale to ensure uniformity across the entire Festival program.
Are the dates and times appropriate for the target audience?
Is your venue easy to get to?
Public transport information will be included in your Festival guide listing.
 
Target Audience
In order to ensure your marketing and publicity campaign has the best impact; you need to be aware of your event's target audience. Your target audience is the demographic most likely to attend your event. Think about their behaviour (e.g. enjoy attending cultural activities), demographic (e.g. lesbians who live in and around Melbourne, aged 30+) and where do they go to hear about upcoming events (e.g. local radio stations such as JOY 94.9 and Triple RRR). Identify the best mediums to reach members of your audience and tailor your communications to suit them!
 
When communicating with your audience, aim to appeal, differentiate and spark interest.
 
Event title
You can call your event whatever you like. We recommend you keep length to a few words rather than unwieldy long titles. While it might seem clever at the time, it can compromise where your event is ultimately listed (website and social media character limits for instance).
 
Please note that you can't use "Midsumma" in the title of your event (only events produced by Midsumma may use this). However, we do encourage you to use the words 'As part of Midsumma Festival' as well as the Midsumma logo on your own promotional material.
 
Event tagline
This is one line of text to sum up the tone and premise of your event, e.g. "T Dance: Melbourne's ultimate queer outdoor dance party". Or it can be a media quote, if you have one, for example: "Queer comedy genius! ****" - Rolling Stone.
 
Event promotional copy
You will need to provide two versions of the event copy, one for the Official Festival Program Guide (380 characters max, approx 50 - 70 words) and a slightly longer version for the website (200 - 300 words).
 
What makes good copy?
Think simple and clear. It's important to remember that although your show might hold a complex message or be super-edgy, the primary purpose of your event copy is to get the audiences to your show.
Cause some intrigue, but try not to confuse your audiences and turn them off buying a ticket.
Check past programs: the best advice is to check out Midsumma Program Guides from previous years and see what resonates with you.
Avoid slang, unless you only want people who are familiar with that slang to attend.
Get feedback: show your copy to someone else first. It's best to get feedback from family or friends who you think might enjoy the event, but who are not already too familiar with the content. Do they know what to expect to experience at your event from what they have read?
It's a free Program Guide, available to all. That includes children and young people so even if your event is pitched as Adult Only, your copy should not be.
 
Proofing your copy
Once you have handed your copy over to Midsumma, you will be given only one opportunity to check/proof the copy (in designed format) before it is sent out to the printers of the program guide. During the proofing period, Midsumma may send a list of requests to ensure the event listing fits into the printed guide and has no spelling or grammar mistakes. Midsumma Festival reserves the right to amend your event copy to suit the layout of the guide, although we will attempt to get your approval if possible.
 

General Marketing & Publicity Timeline Guide

It's important to have a well thought out plan and to stick to it. What do you need done by when?

We have created a draft timeline for you, have a think about what your event requires and expand upon the below. Each event is different though, so this should only be used as a guide and doesn't take into account long-lead publications for media releases.

28 July – finalise your promo image, event description and venue in time to register your event with Midsumma Festival 2018
End August – your event listing will be included in the Program Guide which goes to print in August – be prepared!
Start September– collate all biographies of the team for Media and finalise all key information that might not have been included at registration
Start November – finalise media release and supply to Midsumma Marketing Team for launch (15 November)
November/December (6 weeks out) - tickets on sale, brief media, stakeholders and advocates
Start December (5 weeks out) - direct mail out, upload free event listings, cross promote through other networks, slow build social media campaign.
Start January (2 weeks out) - social media really kicks off, send email specifically about the show to your networks, print distribution around town, advocates activate word of mouth
Start January (2 weeks out) - media coverage, social media continues, advertising commences.
Mid-January (1 week out) - media coverage, email reminder, get production shots taken, if required
During the event – share reviews, media coverage, share stories and audience responses on social media.

What Do I Get For My Registration?

Printed Program Guide: Midsumma produces a printed program guide each year containing a listing for each event. The guide varies in size each year depending on the amount of events registered but there are at least 35,000 of them printed each year which are distributed around Melbourne, Victoria and some interstate outlets. The guide is also available to view or download from midsumma.org.au. You will get to see your listing prior to printing the guide near the end of August, and we will go to print shortly thereafter. This is your best possible tool for ticket sales so please provide striking copy and image for the guide at the time of registration.

Online Listing: each event is provided with its own event page on midsumma.org.au. At the most basic level, you will have your key image and promotional description plus any other ticketing or venue details required. If you have video, extra photos, a printed program or anything else you would like to add to your event page, please speak to one of the Midsumma Team and we will endeavor to help you get it onto the website.

Media Release: your media release will also be available to Media from midsumma.org.au. Please send it to [email protected] in by 1 November. There are further details in this guide on writing your media release.

Carnival Roving Rights: access to 'Roving Rights' at NO COST at Midsumma Carnival. Normally priced at $2000 for non-registered groups, you may arrange to hand out collateral or carry signage to promote your event for a couple of hours at Midsumma Carnival, which usually attracts a crowd of approximately 100,000 attendees.

Midsumma Logo: the Midsumma Marketing & Publicity team will primarily be promoting the festival as a whole and cannot run the campaigns for individual shows. We will be pushing the overarching festival brand and brandmark/logo everywhere possible, so if the Midsumma logo is included on your promotional material too, you are more likely to be recognised more easily as part of the festival.

Social Media: while there will always be limitations to what we can do for individual events, if you have an idea for a great social media or eNews item about your event, make sure you ask! Simply email your ideas to [email protected].

Discounted Advertising: registered events are also afforded discounted advertising rates with Star Observer and JOY 94.9. Prices are yet to be determined for 2018.

 

What Do I Need to 'Sell' My Event?

Most Basic Requirements
  1. An eye-catching promotional image.
  2. A short and long version of your event description which clearly outlines your event in an engaging way.
  3. A compelling and succinct media release.
  4. An understanding of who will want to come to your event and why.
  5. A strategy around how you will reach your audience including:
        • website inclusion: Midsumma Festival website and your own
        • program guide listing
        • social media strategy
        • e-communications (emails)
        • blogs, online listings
        • flyers and or posters either printed or just in electronic form
        • any advertising you might be able to afford!
     
    Secondary Requirements

  6. Video material if possible – 30 seconds to 90 seconds for a promotional preview of you event or you might create something a few minutes long if you have interviews with the Director or someone else on the event who might be of interest to audiences.
  7. Secondary images or production shots – to support your key marketing shot. Try not to adjust your key shot once the campaign starts so people get familiar with the image representing the event.
  8. Advocates – people who know about you or your show to talk you up!
  9. A timeline and well-researched plan!
 

Event Image

A promotional image is really one of the most important elements of your marketing campaign.

Here are a few things you might want to consider when choosing your image:
Use a professional photographer.
Composition: there are a few basic rules of photography to keep in mind when taking your photo such as the rule of thirds, cropping, framing, etc. Have a read of 10 Top Photography Composition Rules for more information if you are shooting the image yourself.
Representational Image: does the image represent your event and your vision for the event?
High Resolution: make sure your photo is high resolution. It will need to be 300 DPI (dots per inch) to be used in print media.
Portrait + Landscape: do you have a portrait and landscape version of your image? Media will want you to supply both.
Not too busy: avoid overlaying logos, text or rainbow filters to your image. Often your image will be reproduced at small-scale and overlaying additional elements can create an overly-busy image. Similarly, use a colourful image but make sure it's not too busy as detail may be lost when reduced down to a small-scale image.
Hero shot: choose a hero shot and use it across all of your artwork: posters, flyers, advertisements, etc. This helps people become familiar with your show.

The images you need to supply when you register your event are:
Image 1: 800 x 475px JPEG or TIFF 300dpi CMYK | Image 2: 1000 x 480px JPEG 72dpi RGB | Image 3: 700 x 700px JPEG 72dpi RGB | Image 4: high res original JPEG, EPS or TIFF

 

Event Description: Narrative

Your event will be listed in the Official Festival Program Guide and on midsumma.org.au. Your event 'promotional copy' (event description) is an important component to make your event stand out from the crowd.
 
Positioning
This is where you describe what you are presenting to the public. It is the key messaging used to communicate WHAT your event is and WHY your audience should buy a ticket. In deciding your positioning, you should consider the following:
The key elements of the event: cast, venue, themes, story, dates, conditions of entry etc. For example, La Mama will be transformed into a Kit Kat Club, featuring stunning performances by drag queens Bianca Del Rio and Peppermint.
The aims and objectives of the event: Does your event have an end outcome for the attendee?
e.g. You will leave the Beautiful Women exhibition with a new appreciation of beauty, that is more than skin-deep.

Special interest area: does your event highlight awareness for a cause or explore a certain theme? e.g. STATUS is aimed at educating about HIV stigma.
Experience offered: can you boost people's experience, such as "drinks on arrival", or "book signing with author" etc.
Unique elements: mention elements that only your event offers. e.g. "For only 15 audience members at a time" or "Melbourne premiere screening.

By asking yourself these questions you will be able to keep your communication concise, your key messaging consistent and hopefully your event will be more attractive to potential attendees.

Other things to consider about your event positioning

Price
  • Is the ticket price right for your target audience?
  • Is the ticket price right for your venue?
  • Is there value for money at your price point?
  • Is there an appropriate range of ticket options? (eg. concession, group, family)
  • Do you need to alter price points to encourage attendance at particular sessions? (eg. Cheap Tuesdays)
  • Are there additional costs the attendees will need to consider? (eg. parking, beverages, meals)
 
Convenience
Making your event easier to attend:
Ticket distribution – ensure you promote midsumma.org.au as the main point of sale to ensure uniformity across the entire Festival program.
Are the dates and times appropriate for the target audience?
Is your venue easy to get to?
Public transport information will be included in your Festival guide listing.
 
Target Audience
In order to ensure your marketing and publicity campaign has the best impact; you need to be aware of your event's target audience. Your target audience is the demographic most likely to attend your event. Think about their behaviour (e.g. enjoy attending cultural activities), demographic (e.g. lesbians who live in and around Melbourne, aged 30+) and where do they go to hear about upcoming events (e.g. local radio stations such as JOY 94.9 and Triple RRR). Identify the best mediums to reach members of your audience and tailor your communications to suit them!
 
When communicating with your audience, aim to appeal, differentiate and spark interest.
 
Event title
You can call your event whatever you like. We recommend you keep length to a few words rather than unwieldy long titles. While it might seem clever at the time, it can compromise where your event is ultimately listed (website and social media character limits for instance).
 
Please note that you can't use "Midsumma" in the title of your event (only events produced by Midsumma may use this). However, we do encourage you to use the words 'As part of Midsumma Festival' as well as the Midsumma logo on your own promotional material.
 
Event tagline
This is one line of text to sum up the tone and premise of your event, e.g. "T Dance: Melbourne's ultimate queer outdoor dance party". Or it can be a media quote, if you have one, for example: "Queer comedy genius! ****" - Rolling Stone.
 
Event promotional copy
You will need to provide two versions of the event copy, one for the Official Festival Program Guide (380 characters max, approx 50 - 70 words) and a slightly longer version for the website (200 - 300 words).
 
What makes good copy?
Think simple and clear. It's important to remember that although your show might hold a complex message or be super-edgy, the primary purpose of your event copy is to get the audiences to your show.
Cause some intrigue, but try not to confuse your audiences and turn them off buying a ticket.
Check past programs: the best advice is to check out Midsumma Program Guides from previous years and see what resonates with you.
Avoid slang, unless you only want people who are familiar with that slang to attend.
Get feedback: show your copy to someone else first. It's best to get feedback from family or friends who you think might enjoy the event, but who are not already too familiar with the content. Do they know what to expect to experience at your event from what they have read?
It's a free Program Guide, available to all. That includes children and young people so even if your event is pitched as Adult Only, your copy should not be.
 
Proofing your copy
Once you have handed your copy over to Midsumma, you will be given only one opportunity to check/proof the copy (in designed format) before it is sent out to the printers of the program guide. During the proofing period, Midsumma may send a list of requests to ensure the event listing fits into the printed guide and has no spelling or grammar mistakes. Midsumma Festival reserves the right to amend your event copy to suit the layout of the guide, although we will attempt to get your approval if possible.
 

General Marketing & Publicity Timeline Guide

It's important to have a well thought out plan and to stick to it. What do you need done by when?

We have created a draft timeline for you, have a think about what your event requires and expand upon the below. Each event is different though, so this should only be used as a guide and doesn't take into account long-lead publications for media releases.

28 July – finalise your promo image, event description and venue in time to register your event with Midsumma Festival 2018
End August – your event listing will be included in the Program Guide which goes to print in August – be prepared!
Start September– collate all biographies of the team for Media and finalise all key information that might not have been included at registration
Start November – finalise media release and supply to Midsumma Marketing Team for launch (15 November)
November/December (6 weeks out) - tickets on sale, brief media, stakeholders and advocates
Start December (5 weeks out) - direct mail out, upload free event listings, cross promote through other networks, slow build social media campaign.
Start January (2 weeks out) - social media really kicks off, send email specifically about the show to your networks, print distribution around town, advocates activate word of mouth
Start January (2 weeks out) - media coverage, social media continues, advertising commences.
Mid-January (1 week out) - media coverage, email reminder, get production shots taken, if required
During the event – share reviews, media coverage, share stories and audience responses on social media.
 

Marketing

Introduction

When promoting your event consider the following channels:
  • flyers, posters and other printed materials
  • advertising in print, on radio, online listings, public or outdoor displays, blogs, TV or cinema commercials
  • social media, e-communications
  • cross-promotional activities with other individuals or organisations.

It is important to develop a plan or strategy across your marketing campaign as well as an individual strategy for each marketing channel: social media, e-communications, paid advertising, etc.

Target Audiences

Consider who your target markets are, both your primary and secondary audiences.
  • Where do your target markets live?
  • Where do your target markets work?
  • What age are your target markets?
  • What interests do your target markets have?
  • What media do your target markets engage with?
  • What sort of values do your target markets hold?
  • What is your target market's likely income level/ discretionary spending?

Now that you have ascertained who you are trying to reach, how do you reach them? Before you try, make sure your language and the setup of the event matches the people you want to attend. For example, if you are looking for a playful, student crowd who live in the Melbourne CBD, don't put on an event in the outer suburbs with expensive tickets, serious language and no access to public transport. Consider your audience across all elements of the event.

Video Material

Video can be a key asset to advertise your event, if it is of good quality. Watching a 30 second promo clip can quickly engage you in someone's work – it is worthwhile thinking about putting something together.

If you do decide to, keep these things in mind:
  • Keep it snappy, 30 seconds is a good amount of time for a promo video
  • Make sure the footage is reasonable quality, that it's in focus, etc.
  • If you use sound, make sure it's audible/ decipherable
  • Make sure the credits include the key information about the event: title, date, times, location, ticketing info.
  • Be creative, this is a piece of art in itself so go wild as long as the end result still represents your event.

 

Printed Collateral

Designing flyers and brochures requires a professional designer. It's an important part of your marketing campaign and requires specific skills.

You may want to design these things for electronic distribution or for printing. If you do decide to print them, make sure you have a distribution strategy – how are you going to get them out into the world? Is this a worthwhile investment or will they end up in landfill?

Read arTour's Tips on What to include in your print collateral.

 

Social Media

Social media is the most cost effective way to promote your event.

Please use #midsumma whenever possible in your social media promotions.
Here are some tips to maximise your success on the following platforms:

There are quite a number of social media platforms but here are a few hints which apply across the board:
• Don't spam – bombarding people with information will result in people tuning out of your posts.
• Do engage with other groups, conversations or organisations, sharing or commenting on their posts.
• Research when is the best time of day to post.
• Follow the response/engagement of each post and start to analyse what content gathers more traction.
• Assemble collateral that you are going to post in advance, have a folder of photos you can draw from.
• Plan and schedule some posts as well as creating spontaneous content. To schedule posts you can use TweetDesk, Facebook Publishing Tools, Hootsuite or Buffer.

For image sizes across social media platforms, see the Cheat Sheet.

 
#Hashtags
DO's
Always use #midsumma
Create your own simple, unique hashtag (check that no-one else is using it first!)
Keep hashtags consistent across your platforms
Use trending, relevant hashtags and learn how accounts are engaging with them
DONT's
#Don'tMakeThemTooLong
Don't go overboard, clutter is not cute
Avoid acronyms that people may be unsure of

 

Facebook
Facebook is great for raising awareness, creating events and engaging with video, pictorial and written content.
Create a 'facebook event' that can be shared with others. Events are a great way to reach, engage and communicate with attendees.
A Picture tells a thousand words. Utilise bold, colourful promotional images to grab attention.
Size photos correctly. See the Cheat Sheet.
Post links directly to ticketing page. Your audience will only be a click away from more information and a click away from purchasing.
Offer giveaways or incentives. Ask your audience to engage by liking and sharing for a chance to win tickets.
Tag us! Type @Midsumma Festival to tag the Midsumma Festival Facebook page in your post.

There are a number of ways to utilise paid advertisements on Facebook. Further information can be found at Facebook.

Here are a few other handy hints:
Limit your posts: it's not recommended that you post more than 2-3 updates per day.
Post about stories, find a way of asking for people's support without spamming them with "buy tickets" updates.
Tag others, as long as you have permission, tag other organisations and people you are working with.
Videos and pictures are often the most effective content, sometimes coupled with text.
Use Apps: think about creating content through apps such as Canva which are simple graphic design tools.
Videos: if you are using video content, upload it directly to Facebook rather than linking to YouTube.
Avoid Links: be careful of links in posts, use them sparingly as these posts don't always gather as much traction.
 
Your social messages should be entertaining first, helpful second, and promotional last. If in doubt about how often to do a ticketing reminder post, use the 7:2:1 rule: for every ten pieces of content (excluding replies):
7 should be non-promotional and either helpful or entertaining to your fans,
2 can be vaguely promotional, and
1 can be a blatant plug.
 
Twitter
Twitter is a medium specialising in short, punchy messages and is often about social and political engagement.
• Keep it short!
Tweets between 120 and 130 characters have the highest interaction.
• Include promotional images.
Make sure you have event information in your images so you're not restricted by the character limit.
• Use #midsumma instead of @midsumma.
By using #midsumma, your tweet will not only reach your followers, but also everyone else interested in the festival.
 
Here are a few other handy hints:
140 characters or less
Maximum of 6-10 tweets per day
Use # hashtags
 
Instagram
Instagram is a pictorial platform where you can be creative.
• Let your creativity run free!
Instagram is a wonderful platform to show a preview of your event through photography and design.
• Build anticipation.
Post some behind-the-scenes photos or a sneak peak of what your event has to offer.
• Include a link in your page's bio.
Instagram doesn't allow links when captioning your images so make sure you send followers to your bio for ticketing enquiries and more information.
• Encourage liking, tagging & sharing.
Engage your audience and their followers with incentives.
 
Here are a few other handy hints:
No need to worry about professional photos, take some on your phone just make sure they are interesting and in focus.
Play around with filters
Use # hashtags
 
Snapchat
Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to capture videos and pictures that self-destruct after a few seconds. You can send content to your friends or add them to stories where they'll be viewed for a short amount of time and then vanish forever.
 
LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the social media networking site for professionals. More than just a jobhunting platform, it's a great way of connecting with arts professionals and fellow performers and of finding out about development opportunities. It also hosts groups with message boards for professionals in just about every industry which are useful for networking and advice. Because of its professional aim, the tone of voice on LinkedIn is more formal than other networks: if you're unsure, a good rule of thumb is not to say anything you wouldn't say in a job interview.
 
YouTube
YouTube channels are quickly becoming the next big thing. They are purely for video content, particularly low-fi material created on mobile phones, IPads, etc.
If you think it's appropriate and are able to create video content, set up a YouTube channel.
 
Vimeo
Vimeo is another free video hosting service and the closest competitor to YouTube.
Although it's not an official distinction, Vimeo tends to attract high-quality video content by creators posting short films and animations, where YouTube is popular for amateur mobile content.
 
Google+
Google+ is a social network that builds off of your Google Account and is useful if you have a website. It helps boost your ranking on Google searches. It is also useful if you have lots of blog content (there are thousands of communities discussing every topic under the sun), or lots of high-quality images from your event. G+ uses hashtags, but tags are generated with a ‘+’ rather than a ‘@’, so if you wanted to tag the Midsumma page you would use +Midsumma. At first, it seems about the same as Facebook or Twitter, importing contacts and assigning them to circles — Google+'s version of lists. After that, you can add curated circles for your particular interests, entertainment, news, sports, etc.
 
See also: Google+ Communities: A Beginner's Guide.
 

Advertising

You can advertise through social media, street press, newspapers, magazines, radio, etc. If you are thinking about advertising somewhere make sure it's a place that your audience will find you so that it is a good investment. Sometimes, placing an advertisement will increase the chances of a publication writing about your event.
 
For all advertising (except radio) you will need to provide a fully-designed advert ready to be inserted into the publication. The publication will provide you with dimensions, and we recommend asking a professional designer to create your advert for you.
 

E-communications

E-communications usually refers to emails sent to a database or networks. You can set up your own e-communications templates in programs such as MailChimp but if you are not planning to keep communicating regularly with the same 'list' of people as it grows, you might be better off seeing if other organisations can email their databases on your behalf – see Cross Promotional Activities below.
 
Here are a few handy hints when creating your electronic communications:
Make sure that you have permission to send the email to the recipient. Have they subscribed to your e-news?
Use images, never just blocks of text.
Make sure it looks professional and polished.
Keep the language clear and concise.
Break up text by using headings.
 
Read arTour's Email Marketing.

Cross-promotion

Cross promotional activities are often the most under utilised marketing technique but can be the most effective. This refers to an activity where someone promotes your event and you offer them a benefit in return. You could:
Offer their subscribers free tickets to your event.
Do a shout out on social media for one another.
Set up a two for one ticket offer.
Hand out flyers to the other person's event at your event.
The opportunities are limitless and it is entirely up the parties involved.
 
Just keep these things in mind:
Make sure the exchange is beneficial to both parties.
Identify a theme or some common ground between the events or organisations to use as an angle to promote it to the other's audience.
Ensure that the other organisation's audience is an expansion of yours and is likely to attend your event.
Don't let it be too much work for either party.
 
Build advocates! These organisations can be your advocates. Individuals can be your advocates. You want people to speak loudly and proudly about your event.

Online Listings

Online listings are websites where you can submit your event to be listed for free.
Here are a few that we know of:

Your Website

If you can, it's always good to have a simple, easy to maintain website for your organisation.
Here are a few handy hints:
Make sure the website is mobile and desktop friendly.
Make sure the website is easy to navigate.
Include pictures.
Use the font and colour palette you are including across all of your other marketing collateral.

Introduction

When promoting your event consider the following channels:
  • flyers, posters and other printed materials
  • advertising in print, on radio, online listings, public or outdoor displays, blogs, TV or cinema commercials
  • social media, e-communications
  • cross-promotional activities with other individuals or organisations.

It is important to develop a plan or strategy across your marketing campaign as well as an individual strategy for each marketing channel: social media, e-communications, paid advertising, etc.

Target Audiences

Consider who your target markets are, both your primary and secondary audiences.
  • Where do your target markets live?
  • Where do your target markets work?
  • What age are your target markets?
  • What interests do your target markets have?
  • What media do your target markets engage with?
  • What sort of values do your target markets hold?
  • What is your target market's likely income level/ discretionary spending?

Now that you have ascertained who you are trying to reach, how do you reach them? Before you try, make sure your language and the setup of the event matches the people you want to attend. For example, if you are looking for a playful, student crowd who live in the Melbourne CBD, don't put on an event in the outer suburbs with expensive tickets, serious language and no access to public transport. Consider your audience across all elements of the event.

Video Material

Video can be a key asset to advertise your event, if it is of good quality. Watching a 30 second promo clip can quickly engage you in someone's work – it is worthwhile thinking about putting something together.

If you do decide to, keep these things in mind:
  • Keep it snappy, 30 seconds is a good amount of time for a promo video
  • Make sure the footage is reasonable quality, that it's in focus, etc.
  • If you use sound, make sure it's audible/ decipherable
  • Make sure the credits include the key information about the event: title, date, times, location, ticketing info.
  • Be creative, this is a piece of art in itself so go wild as long as the end result still represents your event.

 

Printed Collateral

Designing flyers, brochures, flyers requires a professional designer. It's an important part of your marketing campaign and requires specific skills.

You may want to design these things for electronic distribution or for printing. If you do decide to print them, make sure you have a distribution strategy – how are you going to get them out into the world? Is this a worthwhile investment or will they end up in landfill?

Read arTour's Tips on What to include in your print collateral.

 

Social Media

Social media is the most cost effective way to promote your event.

Please use #midsumma whenever possible in your social media promotions.
Here are some tips to maximise your success on the following platforms:

There are quite a number of social media platforms but here are a few hints which apply across the board:
• Don't spam – bombarding people with information will result in people tuning out of your posts.
• Do engage with other groups, conversations or organisations, sharing or commenting on their posts.
• Research when is the best time of day to post.
• Follow the response/engagement of each post and start to analyse what content gathers more traction.
• Assemble collateral that you are going to post in advance, have a folder of photos you can draw from.
• Plan and schedule some posts as well as creating spontaneous content. To schedule posts you can use TweetDesk, Facebook Publishing Tools, Hootsuite or Buffer.

For image sizes across social media platforms, see the Cheat Sheet.

 
#Hashtags
DO's
Always use #midsumma
Create your own simple, unique hashtag (check that no-one else is using it first!)
Keep hashtags consistent across your platforms
Use trending, relevant hashtags and learn how accounts are engaging with them
DONT's
#Don'tMakeThemTooLong
Don't go overboard, clutter is not cute
Avoid acronyms that people may be unsure of

 

Facebook
Facebook is great for raising awareness, creating events and engaging with video, pictorial and written content.
Create a 'facebook event' that can be shared with others. Events are a great way to reach, engage and communicate with attendees.
A Picture tells a thousand words. Utilise bold, colourful promotional images to grab attention.
Size photos correctly. See the Cheat Sheet.
Post links directly to ticketing page. Your audience will only be a click away from more information and a click away from purchasing.
Offer giveaways or incentives. Ask your audience to engage by liking and sharing for a chance to win tickets.
Tag us! Type @Midsumma Festival to tag the Midsumma Festival Facebook page in your post.

There are a number of ways to utilise paid advertisements on Facebook. Further information can be found at Facebook.

Here are a few other handy hints:
Limit your posts: it's not recommended that you post more than 2-3 updates per day.
Post about stories, find a way of asking for people's support without spamming them with "buy tickets" updates.
Tag others, as long as you have permission, tag other organisations and people you are working with.
Videos and pictures are often the most effective content, sometimes coupled with text.
Use Apps: think about creating content through apps such as Canva which are simple graphic design tools.
Videos: if you are using video content, upload it directly to Facebook rather than linking to YouTube.
Avoid Links: be careful of links in posts, use them sparingly as these posts don't always gather as much traction.
 
Your social messages should be entertaining first, helpful second, and promotional last. If in doubt about how often to do a ticketing reminder post, use the 7:2:1 rule: for every ten pieces of content (excluding replies):
7 should be non-promotional and either helpful or entertaining to your fans,
2 can be vaguely promotional, and
1 can be a blatant plug.
 
Twitter
Twitter is a medium specialising in short, punchy messages and is often about social and political engagement.
• Keep it short!
Tweets between 120 and 130 characters have the highest interaction.
• Include promotional images.
Make sure you have event information in your images so you're not restricted by the character limit.
• Use #midsumma instead of @midsumma.
By using #midsumma, your tweet will not only reach your followers, but also everyone else interested in the festival.
 
Here are a few other handy hints:
140 characters or less
Maximum of 6-10 tweets per day
Use # hashtags
 
Instagram
Instagram is a pictorial platform where you can be creative.
• Let your creativity run free!
Instagram is a wonderful platform to show a preview of your event through photography and design.
• Build anticipation.
Post some behind-the-scenes photos or a sneak peak of what your event has to offer.
• Include a link in your page's bio.
Instagram doesn't allow links when captioning your images so make sure you send followers to your bio for ticketing enquiries and more information.
• Encourage liking, tagging & sharing.
Engage your audience and their followers with incentives.
 
Here are a few other handy hints:
No need to worry about professional photos, take some on your phone just make sure they are interesting and in focus.
Play around with filters
Use # hashtags
 
Snapchat
Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to capture videos and pictures that self-destruct after a few seconds. You can send content to your friends or add them to stories where they'll be viewed for a short amount of time and then vanish forever.
 
LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the social media networking site for professionals. More than just a jobhunting platform, it's a great way of connecting with arts professionals and fellow performers and of finding out about development opportunities. It also hosts groups with message boards for professionals in just about every industry which are useful for networking and advice. Because of its professional aim, the tone of voice on LinkedIn is more formal than other networks: if you're unsure, a good rule of thumb is not to say anything you wouldn't say in a job interview.
 
YouTube
YouTube channels are quickly becoming the next big thing. They are purely for video content, particularly low-fi material created on mobile phones, IPads, etc.
If you think it's appropriate and are able to create video content, set up a YouTube channel.
 
Vimeo
Vimeo is another free video hosting service and the closest competitor to YouTube.
Although it's not an official distinction, Vimeo tends to attract high-quality video content by creators posting short films and animations, where YouTube is popular for amateur mobile content.
 
Google+
Google+ is a social network that builds off of your Google Account and is useful if you have a website. It helps boost your ranking on Google searches. It is also useful if you have lots of blog content (there are thousands of communities discussing every topic under the sun), or lots of high-quality images from your event. G+ uses hashtags, but tags are generated with a ‘+’ rather than a ‘@’, so if you wanted to tag the Midsumma page you would use +Midsumma. At first, it seems about the same as Facebook or Twitter, importing contacts and assigning them to circles — Google+'s version of lists. After that, you can add curated circles for your particular interests, entertainment, news, sports, etc.
 
See also: Google+ Communities: A Beginner's Guide.
 

Advertising

You can advertise through social media, street press, newspapers, magazines, radio, etc. If you are thinking about advertising somewhere make sure it's a place that your audience will find you so that it is a good investment. Sometimes, placing an advertisement will increase the chances of a publication writing about your event.
 
For all advertising (except radio) you will need to provide a fully-designed advert ready to be inserted into the publication. The publication will provide you with dimensions, and we recommend asking a professional designer to create your advert for you.
 

E-communications

E-communications usually refers to emails sent to a database or networks. You can set up your own e-communications templates in programs such as MailChimp but if you are not planning to keep communicating regularly with the same 'list' of people as it grows, you might be better off seeing if other organisations can email their databases on your behalf – see Cross Promotional Activities below.
 
Here are a few handy hints when creating your electronic communications:
Make sure that you have permission to send the email to the recipient. Have they subscribed to your e-news?
Use images, never just blocks of text.
Make sure it looks professional and polished.
Keep the language clear and concise.
Break up text by using headings.
 
Read arTour's Email Marketing.
 

Cross-promotion

Cross promotional activities are often the most under utilised marketing technique but can be the most effective. This refers to an activity where someone promotes your event and you offer them a benefit in return. You could:
Offer their subscribers free tickets to your event.
Do a shout out on social media for one another.
Set up a two for one ticket offer.
Hand out flyers to the other person's event at your event.
The opportunities are limitless and it is entirely up the parties involved.
 
Just keep these things in mind:
Make sure the exchange is beneficial to both parties.
Identify a theme or some common ground between the events or organisations to use as an angle to promote it to the other's audience.
Ensure that the other organisation's audience is an expansion of yours and is likely to attend your event.
Don't let it be too much work for either party.
 
Build advocates! These organisations can be your advocates. Individuals can be your advocates. You want people to speak loudly and proudly about your event.
 

Online Listings

Online listings are websites where you can submit your event to be listed for free.
Here are a few that we know of:
 

Your Website

If you can, it's always good to have a simple, easy to maintain website for your organisation.
Here are a few handy hints:
Make sure the website is mobile and desktop friendly.
Make sure the website is easy to navigate.
Include pictures.
Use the font and colour palette you are including across all of your other marketing collateral.
 

Publicity

Where possible, it is normally best to employ a professional publicist, unless of course you have those skills and contact lists yourself. A publicist will circulate your media release to their contacts, liaise directly with the media, advocate for editorial and other publicity opportunities, invite media to VIP events, organise reviews and track all publicity released about the event.

Midsumma also collect all event media releases to put onto the website (midsumma.org.au) and will guide media enquiries to this area.

The Hook

Why are people going to come to your event? What is the draw card? Is it the team? Is it a follow-on from a very successful previous piece? Is it in an unusual location? Is it a unique art form (such as interactive theatre)? Is it an Australian Premiere? Think of the thing that makes your project unique. Once you feel you have your 'hook' ideas down, you are ready to write your media release.
 

Your Media Release

All event producers are invited and encouraged to write a media release for inclusion in the Midsumma Media Pack available on midsumma.org.au, a link to which will also be sent to Midsumma Festival's extensive network of relevant mainstream and queer media in Melbourne, Victoria and nationally. Ensure you send your media release to [email protected] and include any further details you think might be helpful in an accompanying email. The more the Midsumma team know about your event, the more they can react if opportunities arise via the media.

A media release is a one-page document circulated to seek interviews, reviews and articles about your event. Your media release will outline the 'who, what, where, how and why' of your event. If you have a publicist for your event, they may write your media release for you. If not, here are some handy hints:

Use clear language.
It should be a maximum of one page.
Include the promotional image for your event.
Format the document so you can see the event title, dates, times and location at a glance.
Make sure that the first paragraph presents the hook, why should people choose to come to the event?
Include any relevant booking links.
Send it out preferably within four weeks of the opening of your event. Don't send it too early as you risk being forgotten about.
Follow up! Circulate it to the media and touch base with them after a few days. If you've contacted a journalist twice but have received no reply, don't keep pestering them. You won't always get a response as journalists receive hundreds of media releases each week.

Follow the Midsumma Media Release Template and/or read arTour's Writing a Media Release – How to get your message out there.

 

Timelines

Most publications will need at least two weeks notice so make sure you send your media releases out early – between two and four weeks. This will allow you time to follow-up. Remember every media outlet will have different deadlines and lead times. Sending your media release too early can lead to it being forgotten and not included. Keep in mind that some queer publications are monthly, with deadlines almost four weeks out from publication.
 

Images

Your images need to eye-catching in order to maximize publicity. Make sure your images are interesting, colourful but not too busy. Images provided to media should not have anything overlaid on them - media won't publish images with promotional text, titles, image credits or logos. Consider using a single image consistently across your marketing campaign so that people will associate the image with your event, but you might have additional images available for media to use. The team at Midsumma Festival are available to provide feedback and guidance on your event image.
 

Interviews

If you're lucky enough to gain an interview, take your media release to the interview and ensure you have all the information on hand for reference. It is also important for the interviewer to have a copy of the media release.

Know your audience before the interview. Research the station/publication/website so you know what the audience is and what they will want to hear.

Don't assume that the interviewer knows anything about your show, be ready to go in and explain everything!

Giveaways might assist in securing an interview. Inform the interviewer that you have tickets you can make available for a giveaway. Most media outlets will have procedures that govern how they manage giveaways.

Talking to Media on Social Media

You can contact journalists by social media, but remember that you want to encourage them to review or write about your show as opposed to pestering them to the point that they are put off doing that, so consider the following points:
 
Do your research
Don't just contact every journalist you can find to invite them to come and see your show. Find out the interests and specialisms of each individual critic. Make a wish list of which reviewers you would like to come and see your show and find out their twitter handles so you can interact.
 
Think before you tweet
Journalists will expect to be contacted about coming to see your show, but in order for them take up the offer you need to make sure that what you tell them is engaging and relevant. Things like updates on rehearsals, award nominations and details of your event dates are informative and helpful.
 
Pick your timing
As well as considering what you post to journalists on social media it's important to work out when and how often to message them too. Try not to overdo it: you want their attention but you also don't want to irritate anyone. Try and tweet them at landmark moments, for example when you first register the show and a reminder of dates of your press night if you're having one. If time is running out and you really want to get them to review you can tweet them with a gentle 'last chance' message.
 
Respect privacy
Consider whether the journalist is likely to prefer a private/direct message or a public post (or if they would want to be contacted on social media at all). All journalists use social media differently, so before contacting a journalist online, check their profile to see how they interact with the public on social media.

The Hook

Why are people going to come to your event? What is the draw card? Is it the team? Is it a follow-on from a very successful previous piece? Is it in an unusual location? Is it a unique art form (such as interactive theatre)? Is it an Australian Premiere? Think of the thing that makes your project unique. Once you feel you have your 'hook' ideas down, you are ready to write your media release.
 

Your Media Release

All event producers are invited and encouraged to write a media release for inclusion in the Midsumma Media Pack available on midsumma.org.au, a link to which will also be sent to Midsumma Festival's extensive network of relevant mainstream and queer media in Melbourne, Victoria and nationally. Ensure you send your media release to [email protected] and include any further details you think might be helpful in an accompanying email. The more the Midsumma team know about your event, the more they can react if opportunities arise via the media.

A media release is a one-page document circulated to seek interviews, reviews and articles about your event. Your media release will outline the 'who, what, where, how and why' of your event. If you have a publicist for your event, they may write your media release for you. If not, here are some handy hints:

Use clear language.
It should be a maximum of one page.
Include the promotional image for your event.
Format the document so you can see the event title, dates, times and location at a glance.
Make sure that the first paragraph presents the hook, why should people choose to come to the event?
Include any relevant booking links.
Send it out preferably within four weeks of the opening of your event. Don't send it too early as you risk being forgotten about.
Follow up! Circulate it to the media and touch base with them after a few days. If you've contacted a journalist twice but have received no reply, don't keep pestering them. You won't always get a response as journalists receive hundreds of media releases each week.

Follow the Midsumma Media Release Template and/or read arTour's Writing a Media Release – How to get your message out there.

 

Timelines

Most publications will need at least two weeks notice so make sure you send your media releases out early – between two and four weeks. This will allow you time to follow-up. Remember every media outlet will have different deadlines and lead times. Sending your media release too early can lead to it being forgotten and not included. Keep in mind that some queer publications are monthly, with deadlines almost four weeks out from publication.
 

Images

Your images need to eye-catching in order to maximize publicity. Make sure your images are interesting, colourful but not too busy. Images provided to media should not have anything overlaid on them - media won't publish images with promotional text, titles, image credits or logos. Consider using a single image consistently across your marketing campaign so that people will associate the image with your event, but you might have additional images available for media to use. The team at Midsumma Festival are available to provide feedback and guidance on your event image.
 

Interviews

If you're lucky enough to gain an interview, take your media release to the interview and ensure you have all the information on hand for reference. It is also important for the interviewer to have a copy of the media release.

Know your audience before the interview. Research the station/publication/website so you know what the audience is and what they will want to hear.

Don't assume that the interviewer knows anything about your show, be ready to go in and explain everything!

Giveaways might assist in securing an interview. Inform the interviewer that you have tickets you can make available for a giveaway. Most media outlets will have procedures that govern how they manage giveaways.

 

Talking to Media on Social Media

You can contact journalists by social media, but remember that you want to encourage them to review or write about your show as opposed to pestering them to the point that they are put off doing that, so consider the following points:
 
Do your research
Don't just contact every journalist you can find to invite them to come and see your show. Find out the interests and specialisms of each individual critic. Make a wish list of which reviewers you would like to come and see your show and find out their twitter handles so you can interact.
 
Think before you tweet
Journalists will expect to be contacted about coming to see your show, but in order for them take up the offer you need to make sure that what you tell them is engaging and relevant. Things like updates on rehearsals, award nominations and details of your event dates are informative and helpful.
 
Pick your timing
As well as considering what you post to journalists on social media it's important to work out when and how often to message them too. Try not to overdo it: you want their attention but you also don't want to irritate anyone. Try and tweet them at landmark moments, for example when you first register the show and a reminder of dates of your press night if you're having one. If time is running out and you really want to get them to review you can tweet them with a gentle 'last chance' message.
 
Respect privacy
Consider whether the journalist is likely to prefer a private/direct message or a public post (or if they would want to be contacted on social media at all). All journalists use social media differently, so before contacting a journalist online, check their profile to see how they interact with the public on social media.