Representatives from the press who have registered with the Fringe also have the option of requesting free press passes to your show. If you receive an email that a member of the press is interested in a ticket, we recommend that you reserve a comp for them immediately on your project page and notify them that you have done so.
This is one of the reasons why staying on top of your email account during Fringe is EXTREMELY important. Keep an eye out for emails from HFF staff—the press will sometimes go through us with requests for photos, interviews and other fun opportunities. So please, remember to check the email you used to set up an HFF account!
We provide press with credentials to ensure they are indeed professionals working in the media and encourage them to come to the festival but we do not pitch individual productions. It is up to you to attract press to your shows. We strongly suggest comping (provide free admission to) all press and providing them with a “press kit” at the door, a collection of articles, resources, and other materials pertaining to your production.
There are many resources on the web and beyond on constructing an effective press kit.
We strongly suggest that all participants in the Fringe draft and submit press releases.
Keys to a good Press Release:
- A catchy title and first sentence
- A clear message in as few words as possible
- A pitch enticing enough to make someone want to see your show (What is unique about your production?)
- The details: time, date, location, ticketing info, and “a part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival!”
- A captivating image to add some visual appeal and break up the monotony of words.
While we don’t provide direct contact information on press, we suggest pursuing the following outlets:
Backstage, LA Times, LA Weekly, Footlights, Discover Hollywood, Variety, EyeSpyLA, Stage and Cinema, ArtsBeatLA, LAist, LA Theatre Review, StageSceneLA, Musicals in LA, Working Author, Culture Spot LA, Culture Vulture, LASplash, Stage Raw, LifeInLA, Park La Brea News, Tolucan Times, LA Examiner, Cinesnatch, BroadwayWorld, EdgeLosAngeles, OnStageLosAngeles, Los Feliz Ledger, Stagehappenings, Reviewplays, CurtainUp, OC Register, Frontiers, KCRW, KPFK, KXLU, NoHoArtsDistrict, NoHo Toluca Lake Patch, Grigware Blogspot, Blog Critics, Daily Bruin, Campus Circle, LA Daily News, Santa Monica Mirror, Huffington Post, Neon Tommy, Jewish Journal, OutWestArts, Entertainment Weekly, Greater Long Beach, OC Weekly, TheaterMania, TheaterTimes, Glendale News Press, Stage Struck Review, Larchmont Buzz, Melpomene Blogs Back, Jesther Entertainment, Shakespeare in LA, Pasadena Star-News, Daily 49er, VC Star, VC Reporter, The Hollywood Reporter, LA Downtown News, Thomas Hampton Reviews, The Front Page Online, Valley Scene Magazine, Gia on the Move, Living Out Loud-LA.
(Hint: a google search will turn up many of the above contacts.)
POSTING YOUR RELEASES ON THE SITE
To provide an easier outlet to press covering the Hollywood Fringe Festival, we have added a website feature to easily post your releases. Follow these simple steps:
- Login to the website
- Navigate to your project’s page
- Click on the “press” tab underneath the title of your project
- Click “Add Press Release”
- Enter an appealing title for your release followed by the body
Make sure to include contact information for your press person.
We will direct press to www.HollywoodFringe.org/press which includes press tools, fringe releases, and all releases submitted by fringe productions.
Note that this does not preclude the need to submit your releases directly to local press.
BEYOND THE PRESS RELEASE
You don’t have to hire a professional publicist to get press to come to your show (though some people find that it helps). It’s really all about finding the right journalists and approaching them in the right way.
You might be tempted to blast your email to everyone who covers the arts in any way. This is not the recommended approach. Do your research and find out who covers your type of production or content. This takes a little extra time but we assure you, it’s worth knowing the right people.
Engaging the press is a more complicated process than simply sending off your press release. First, don’t send the same email (or worse, the same copy of your press release copied into the body of the email) over and over again. Try to strike up a conversation: send an email introducing yourself, pitch your show in a personal and friendly way, and most importantly, offer comps. Follow-ups are great but don’t be a spammer. Nothing is a bigger turnoff for journalists and audiences alike!
You also want to make sure that when you approach press, you are prepared to provide them with the information they may need to write about you and your production. Make it as easy as possible for them to write about you. You should have a production summary, cast and crew listings, relevant biographies (yours, the playwright’s, the director’s, etc), and photographs ready to send to press at their request. These are also the perfect materials to include in your own press kit.
NOT JUST PRESS, NOT JUST PRE-FEST
Don't let your marketing efforts drop off when the festival begins. Start 6-8 weeks before your run and keep pushing people to come until it's over or you've sold out your run.
Remember not to focus so much time and effort pitching your show to the press that you forget to market to potential audience members. In a festival atmosphere, producers and participants from other shows are a great place to start! There are many pre-festival networking opportunities that you can take advantage of, plus you should make sure to schedule some time during the festival to hand out flyers, go to other people's shows, or hang out at Fringe Central.
We publish a Participant Packet every spring with specially-priced promotions from partnering companies, advice about marketing and much more.
You should also check out our upcoming Town Hall & Workshop series, which features a number of events that focus on marketing & press.