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December Publicity for a Musical Theater Production

Our publicity efforts in December have included promoting the production, “The MeshugaNutcracker!,” a full-length musical comedy that portrays the history and heroes of Chanukah. The show has been entertaining audiences in California and other Western states since 2003, and in 2015 is expected to make its debut in New York City. This month it played at the Marines’ Memorial Theatre in San Francisco and The Heritage Theatre in Campbell.

How to Do Publicity for a Musical

To secure publicity for this well-received musical, we wrote and distributed two press releases –one for calendar listings in newspapers and online, and another written specifically for feature editors, writers, theater critics, and theater bloggers.

The press releases were sent to relevant media contacts in our database, which we regularly update. For this project, we made sure that the database contained all theater and feature writers and reporters at the following media outlets: newspapers, radio, TV, and online. We also made sure that all members of the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle were on the press release distribution list.

After press releases were sent we followed up by email and phone calls with media to discuss publicity angles for this musical with the goal of securing story placement. Angles included a fun alternative to traditional holiday musicals, profiles of actors in the production, and the history of this show and its upcoming New York City debut.

As a result of our efforts, the show was widely featured in Bay Area media with coverage appearing on television, newspapers, online, entertainment calendars, “Top 10” lists, “This Week” columns, reviewer notes, and  theater blogs.

Publicity for a Musical: The MeshugaNutcracker!

Here is a summary of some of the publicity (earned media) that we obtained for The MeshugaNutcracker!

If you missed The MeshugaNutcracker! this year, stay tuned for information about any 2015 performances planned for the Bay Area.

And, as we enter the new year, we look forward to publicizing more entertainment, including publicity for theatrical productions, as well as securing publicity for a variety of businesses, organizations, and associations. We currently provide publicity and social media for businesses in the areas of travel and tourism, economic development, private school education, including Montessori programs, associations, and professional services.


Post by Miriam Schaffer, Account Manager with The Placemaking Group

More publicity information:

October publicity planning

September publicity planning

Three steps to get publicity for your business

7 Responses

  1. Kristine Wheeler

    I absolutely love theater and especially musical productions. This was a great post and one I will surely share with a few of my friends who are pursuing careers in theater and musical theater. As the President of Placemaking Group is a Saint Mary’s professor I am curious if he has ever helped the theater department publicize any of their events or if they have reached out to him for help. I think it would be a good relationship and very accessible!

  2. Tatiana Guzman

    I like the idea of promoting the show as an ‘alternative to traditional holiday musical.’ Everyone is always looking for something new and fun to do and breaking away from routine. This post really shows how publicity angles are the reason why stories get heard. Promoting what is new and innovative really attracts the attention of consumers and it is important to always remember to find out what makes your client, or in this case a show, stand out above the rest.

  3. Alicia Magdaleno

    After spending much of much of my high school summers working for my local theatre house of Sierra Repertory Theatre I have always had a special spot for theatre. Getting to know the actors and the work that truly goes behind every production is worth talking about. I know any press that is generated on behalf of the production not only calls upon the quality of the show but also works in it’s attendance efforts. It was very interesting to hear what a successful PR firm goes through to market such a great show such as this one. Very informative!

  4. Erica Peterson

    Promoting is a very important aspect of increasing revenue for any event or business. Not much publicity is made for musicals, that I have seen so these are great tips for anyone looking to do so. People want to know the details and back stories of the actors so that’s important as well.

  5. Emily Kratz

    I spent my fair share in theater while I was attending high school, however, I never would have thought of publicizing the events in as much detail as the post describes. It seems like common sense after reading it, of course you want your event to reach as many customers as possible and therefore the radio, paper, television, etc. makes sense. For some reason I only imagined promoting a theatrical event through posters and flyers. This post points out the importance of knowing your audience, as well as the event. Simply by reading the title of the play I had no idea it was Jewish based. By promoting this to the audience you capture those who would be interested as well as letting those who may be offended by the religion not attend. Therefore, increases better reviews of the play. Knowing your target market also allows you to narrow down your media coverage, avoiding those that may be a waste of time and money.

  6. Trevor H.

    Wow who knew that so much publicity would bring so much success. I would agree with emily on this that it seems like common sense after reading it, but wow it just shows how effective it can be. I am now wondering what future events will be taking place in the near future. The only other question I have is how many phone calls and emails were brought in?

  7. Grace Hunt

    The timeliness of your press releases appear to be key in grasping the holiday cheer and desire of many to give gifts family members can experience rather than a regular run-of-the-mill store-bought gift. Awareness of the media’s event calendars allow for a perfect storm of advertising opportunities that clearly worked in the production’s best interest. Given all those factors, I am even compelled to see the theater musical! Great example! Thank you for sharing.

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