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Secondary Research

Discuss About The Strategies Attracting A Television Audience.

The theatre company UPSTAGE is organizing a new and somewhat controversial hit play in New York and London. Being the publicity manager for the theatre company, I have been hired along with a new artistic director to rebuild the reputation of the company as previous productions during the last year were highly disappointing.

However, the public has been highly disappointed because of the poor productions of previous years and only a few would prefer to attend the play as they suppose it to be highly likely to be disappointing. Therefore, we are intending to prepare a PR plan to attract as much patrons as possible.

The email database of 2000 patrons is available, who will be convinced to attend the play as well as local university theatre students will also be informed as it is supposed that they are likely to attend the play.    

The play is going to be organized in London and New York due to which, it is expected that more viewers will be attracted. In addition to it, the controversy of the play is supposed to attract the theatre students to a greater extent. Similarly, the world premiere of play Ferguson began in October last year, whose tickets were sold at $40 and $25 during previews that could be purchased by visiting the website of the company. The play attracted the attention of viewers due to the controversial component of the play (BWW News Desk, 2017). When UPSTAGE had organized a play in Australia, it received huge appreciation and majority of audiences were youth and middle-aged people. The play has been internationally praised and supposes to do well in New York and London as well.   

In order to explore the issues as well as to generate sufficient information for the construction of a questionnaire, the qualitative research in the form of focus group will be suitable. Through it, the opinion and attitudes of the people will be informed (Philbrick et al., 2010).

The quantitative research in the form of random sampling telephonic survey from 2000 patrons available whose email database is available, will enable the PR team to determine the attitudes of the target public towards the company as well as the contemporary theatre. The baseline data provided through telephonic surveys will provide us with the ability to measure target public attitudinal changes which will be brought after the execution of the plan (Dadisman, 2018).      

  • The image of UPSTAGE has been tarnished in the eyes of viewers as majority of patrons perceive it as producing disappointing plays because of the reason they either have attended previous plays or heard about the not so good production in the previous years.
  • There are very few patrons who wish to attend the new production by the company as they believe it to be possibly disappointing as previous shows. This mentality of the viewers will need to be changed by the relevant PR tactics.
  • There are high hopes that local university theatre students will attend the play because of their interests in controversial issues within the play(Prince, 2018).
  • Along with it, the reception of the play in New York and London is also expected to increase the number of viewers.  

Primary-Qualitative

In order to execute the PR plan, following objectives will be taken into consideration;

  • The target will be to convince at least 75% of the 2000 patrons from the mailing list available that the new production will be distinct and better from the previous year’s disappointing productions. In order to achieve the objective, random sampling telephonic surveys will be taken into consideration at least seven days before the opening of the play(Davies, 2015).
  • Next target would be to convince at least 15% of the patrons from the mailing list to attend the opening night of the play along with further 15% to attend all the other performances in the next two weeks of the play. The achievement dates of the target would be to line up with the performance dates of the play. The objective of the plan will be measured by the responses of the viewers on the opening night of the play as well as the sale of the tickets.  
  • To inform at least 80% of the local university theatre students regarding the controversial hit play as well as the season dates. This objective will be achieved through random sampling online surveys as well as through media analysis before seven days of the opening night of the play(Walker-Kuhne, 2018).    

Which target public?

In order to achieve the objectives, 2000 patrons have been considered which were available on the email database. The males and females of the age group between 18 to 45 years of age residing in the city in the student residences or inner suburbs along with those who work in the New York as well as London will be targeted (Versus, 2018). In addition, theatre students from inner city universities of age group between 17 to 25 years residing in the city in student residences or the inner suburbs will be targeted.

How do they view themselves?

The majority of local crowd of New York and London are concerned towards safety, education, healthcare, environment, recreation, economic stability and such others. These people are progressive thinkers and theatre students prefer to attend such plays and contemporary theatre productions (Larson, 2011).   

What do they think about the issues?

The target public seeks to stand out from their contemporaries due to which, they are more inclined towards doing different things instead of enjoying restaurants, café, and bars. They have begun to believe that after a series of disappointing plays, UPSTAGE is going to organize a new and controversial play in London and New York (The State of Queensland , 2017). Furthermore, the target public seems to be in search of new and unique shows, plays, and artistic and cultural activities. The theatre students consider themselves as experts in theatre craft due to which they might consider the company as producing boring plays which might not be of their interests.    

What is their reading and comprehension level?

As the interests in play develop with knowledge and artistic awareness, the majority of target public will be highly educated whether they might be local public or university students (AddThis Academy, 2015).    

What style of content and communication?

As the mail list of the patrons provided to us has voluntarily signed up for being included in the lists, they will read the mails sent to them carefully. However, irrelevant or unnecessary information will not be entertained by the target public as majority of them are internet savvy and prefer essential information that too sharply presented. Furthermore, the target public is usually from urban areas and suburbs, urban and sophisticated communication will be highly preferred.  The theatre students show their interest in plays and theatres and pay attention to the relevant information presented in a unique manner (Corbett, 2016). As involved in theatres, they respond well to the visual representations and prefer to be involved in theatre related activities.

Primary-Quantitative

What is in their self-interest?

As target public is interested in theatre plays, they would prefer to be updated with the latest plays, music and arts. They would prefer to support cultural institutions being a part of the group of sophisticated youth of the place. Following the Maslow’s Hierarchical needs, the public will prefer to feel connected with such theatrical acts in order to maintain their status and respect in the society as these theatrical acts and art symbolizes sophisticated society (Public Relations Sydney, 2018).   

The aim of the PR team would be to change the existing attitudes of the public towards the production of UPSTAGE. To achieve the purpose, the persuasive strategy would be to change the existing attitude of the public interested in attending such plays through demonstrating the patrons about their self-interest. We will tell them about the specific merits being offered to them in the form of play that they will be able to enjoy the latest trends in theatre from New York and London along with the outstanding local art and performances (Seyzeriat, 2011). In addition, such a cultural institution will be appealing for their status and respect in the society as well as their need to be associated with the social groups they prefer to be associated with.

In order to convince theatre students as well as to increase the number of viewers, the persuasive strategy would be to change the attitudes of the theatre students and to develop latent beliefs. For this, we will demonstrate them it would be their self-interest to attend the play as the play surrounds about the controversial issues and will exhibit their unique perspective appreciation for performing arts. In addition, their support to the play as well as to theatre, would be appealing to their need of status and respect as well as their need to be observed as experts in dramas and plays.  

Patrons

  • UPSTAGE has changed its team of people and specifically, the new artistic director for the company having experience in advanced theatres in New York. She produces progressive plays and brings interesting productions for the local viewers.
  • The play she directed previously in Australia gained popularity among the youth and sophisticated society.
  • It had been become the talk of the town because of its liberal theme and is supposed to gain similar popularity here in London and New York.

Theatre Students

  • The reception of UPSTAGE in New York and London will provide the opportunity to work with new and emerging artists that will provide unique cultural experiences to the public interested in theatre and plays.
  • As the play has gained a lot of attention in Australia, the controversial and political inclination of the play along with its liberal theme is highly supposed to draw the attention in New York and London.

In order to capture the hearts and minds of the audiences, effective PR tactics will require to be adopted. Taking into consideration, the interests and preferences of the patrons, it has been revealed that they would prefer to read concise information and would avoid reading unnecessary information and would like to have communication in a sophisticated manner. Exhibiting creativity and sophistication, we would send stylish postcards for the purpose of inviting the patrons (Johnson, 2018). The postcards will contain only the key messages along with special invitation to them on the opening night of the play. In addition to it, to enhance the publicity of the play, the PR team will also consider media release to a reliable publication which would be a suitable back-up tactic to grab the attention of as much public as possible.

Problem Statement

In order to attract the attention of theatre students, the PR team would inform them about the subject and components of the play and what they could learn by attending the play (Forbes Agency Council, 2016). The PR team will send invitations to the theatre students by directly contacting them in the universities. The back-up tactic in this sequence would be to provide them will the student concessions so that the ones who could not afford to attend the play could be able to come and enjoy the show. Thus for:

Patrons  

  • Invitation through stylish postcards having concise information
  • Back-up would be media release

 Theatre students

  • Invitation through stylish postcards having subject related information
  • Back-up would be student concession(Mayes, 2014)

October'2018

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Media Release

Prep

Distribute

Evaluate

Invitation Cards

Prep

Distribute

Evaluate

Event

Prep

Set Up

Evaluate

Survey

Prep

Conduct

Collect Answer

Patrons

Through random sampling telephonic surveys as well as focus groups, the PR team will become able to measure the amount of success achieved in meeting the objectives. In this sequence, the target would be to achieve at least 85% of what has been planned with one week. The result will inform about the number of patrons get to know about the play as well as number of patrons convinced to attend the play. With the utilization of telephonic survey and focus group, PR team will be able to figure out the level of accomplishment of the persuasive objective of convincing 75% patrons out of the mailing list within one week before the play.

Theatre Students

Through personal interviews with the theatre students, the PR team will become able to get informed about the amount of success achieved in meeting the objectives of convincing at least 80% of the local university theatre students within last week before the opening of play. The PR team would aim to achieve 75% of the persuasive objective, the success of which will be measured by conducting interviews with the students. The results will indicate the number of students gets to know about the content of the play and the interest developed among them to attend the show.  

References

AddThis Academy (2015) How to Find and Engage Your Target Audience [online]. Available from: https://www.addthis.com/academy/how-to-find-and-engage-your-target-audience/ [Accessed 23 May 2018].

BWW News Desk (2017) Controversial New Play FERGUSON to Make World Premiere in NYC This Fall [online]. Available from: https://www.broadwayworld.com/off-off-broadway/article/Controversial-New-Play-FERGUSON-to-Make-World-Premiere-in-NYC-This-Fall-20170913 [Accessed 22 May 2018].

Corbett, C. (2016) 3 Essentials for Creating an Effective PR Campaign [online]. Available from: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/279397 [Accessed 23 May 2018].

Dadisman, C. (2018) Know Your Audience. International Center for Journalists.

Davies, P., 2015. Five ways to attract new arts audiences [online]. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/culture-professionals-network/2015/oct/13/five-ways-attract-new-arts-audiences-manchester-camerata [Accessed 23 May 2018].

Forbes Agency Council (2016) Eight Unique PR Tactics That Are Sure To Grab Your Audience's Attention [online]. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2016/05/13/eight-unique-pr-tactics-that-are-sure-to-grab-your-audiences-attention/#4d15ae2820c1 [Accessed 23 May 2018].

Johnson, K.S. (2018) Examples of Strategies Vs. Tactics in Public Relations [online]. Available from: https://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/examples-strategies-vs-tactics-public-relations-21216.html [Accessed 23 May 2018].

Larson, K. (2011) Pricing Strategies To Attract Audiences And Keep Them Coming Back For More [online]. Available from: https://namp.americansforthearts.org/2011/09/14/pricing-strategies-to-attract-audiences-and-keep-them-coming-back-for-more [Accessed 23 May 2018].

Mayes, T. (2014) Promotions: strategies for attracting a television audience [online]. Available from: https://www.scad.edu/blog/promotions-strategies-attracting-television-audience [Accessed 23 May 2018].

Philbrick, J.H., Smith, F.R. & Bart, B. (2010) Using Web Surveys To Determine Audience Characteristics And Product Preferences. American Journal of Business Education, 3(4), pp.1-6.

Prince, K. (2018) 5 Ways to Increase Engagement With Your Target Audience [online]. Available from: https://www.jeffbullas.com/55-ways-to-increase-engagement-with-your-target-audience/ [Accessed 23 May 2018].

Public Relations Sydney (2018) How to create a PR strategy [online]. Available from: https://publicrelationssydney.com.au/how-to-create-a-pr-strategy/ [Accessed 23 May 2018].

Seyzeriat, B. (2011) How To Attract New Audiences. University of Gothenburg.

The State of Queensland  (2017) Public relations tools and activities [online]. Available from: https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/marketing-sales/marketing-promotion/pr/tools-activities [Accessed 23 May 2018].

Versus (2018) London vs New York: 59 facts in comparison [online]. Available from: https://versus.com/en/london-vs-new-york [Accessed 22 May 2018].

Walker-Kuhne, D. (2018) Attracting Diverse Audiences [online]. Available from: https://namp.americansforthearts.org/sites/default/files/documents/practical-lessons/lesson_6.pdf [Accessed 23 May 2018].

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