Penny Adie writes…

Each week, Two Moors Festival artistic director Penny Adie will be here on the blog, letting you all know just what’s been going on down at Festival HQ in Devon.

Public relations is a most important part of what the Festival – or any arts organisation – has to do. The problem is that it’s an area that has no limits to the amount of work and commitment needed to produce results. As far as the festival is concerned we do our own PR because there is no money in the pot to employ someone. It is therefore achieved in a most haphazard way: in other words when there is a bit of spare time, which only exists at 3am. Not good…

However, it has to be said that it’s rather fun and we’ve learnt a lot – it takes months of banging on doors to achieve press editorial, that Rotary Clubs are jolly good at spreading the word, direct advertising is pretty useless (expensive too); radio interviews are fun and Twitter would be good if only we had the time to do it. We’ve learnt how to write press releases and articles, the latter often working more effectively than the former since you’ve saved the journalist a lot of time and effort. Another positive way of getting the word across is to ring, say, a chairman of a company (if you can bypass the PA) and ask if you can drop in simply to tell him about the Festival. Never mention the word sponsorship! Very often an intended 10-minute chat turns into an hour’s worth with a cup of coffee to boot!

But, of course, nothing will ever beat the tragedy of the dropped piano in 2007 as a PR stunt…


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