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Ringling Bros. Elephants Walking to Staples Center in Los Angeles [CC] www.ericschwartzman.com
Live entertainment marketing and public relations, the impact of the digital revolution on ticket sales and tips on beating the scalpers to good seats with Andy Perez, former west coast public relations chief for Feld Entertainment, producers of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice, Disney Live and Supercross. 
 
Prior to that he managed the Feld Entertainment account at Miller Pear Public Relations in Chicago.  Currently, he is working as an independent public relations practitioner, handling PR or Star Wars in Concert and others.
 
01:24 – Using integrated communications campaigns to put butts in seats for live entertainment events in a down economy, branding, the precarious shift from a business where the majority of ticket sales were made in advance, to one where most ticket sales are now walk-up, and adjusting public relations campaigns to drive ticket sales during, instead before, the local dates.
 
03:54 – Defining a live show for marketing, public relations and advertising and the most common errors live entertainment producers make when purchasing ad time to promote touring arena produ tions.
 
05:57 – Competing for the attention of a value-oriented, family audience, the single biggest challenge associated with launching a new live show of any kind and Star Wars in Concert, an arena show that debuted earlier this year in Anaheim.
 
07:36 – Planning and organizing pre-publicity opportunities to promote live arena touring shows, and what live entertainment producers and promoters and really competing against when they launch new tours.
 
09:54 – P.T. Barnum as a public relations pioneer, the Ringling Brothers circus parade as a built in PR stunt and working with local agencies like the police force as a way of getting the word out that the circus is in town.
 
12:38 – Creating advance ground tours to raise awareness and generate word-of-mouth prior to a run in any given city.
 
13:21 – Zing Zang Zoom’s publicity junket at the Magic Castle, at which mainstream media and mom bloggers interviewed the show’s zingmaster Alex Ramon, the show’s director Shanda Sawyer (who I represented) and illusionist Jim Steinmeyer.
 
16:21 – How a blogger relations campaign used promo codes and special offers to sell 10,000 tickets online.
 
18:41 – Focusing a blogger relations campaign geographically, so that local blog coverage drives local ticket sales.
 
20:23 – The unique challenges of selling tickets to live family entertainment events on the west coast of the US versus the middle or eastern US, and the second biggest competitor that promoters of large scale arena performances face.
 
23:03 – The impact of the digital revolution on the category live entertainment as a whole, based on the mounting success of agent Tony Selznick (a friend and client) of McDonald Selznick Associates, which represents stage directors, choreographers and dancers.
 
23:40 – Is live entertainment impervious to being undercut by the Internet?
 
24:10 – Xanadu’s online Tony Award PR campaign, which used a fictitious press agent to create word-of-mount on the Net.
 
25:23 – Why do live entertainment producers have no photo policies, when photos taken and shared by audience members increase awareness that that show is currently in town?
 
27:03 – How live entertainment marketers can use YouTube to collect third-party endorsements from consumers.
 
28:26 – The advantages and disadvantages of working with Ticketmaster, which is currently being acquired by LiveNation, and online ticket sales versus phone ticket sales.
 
31:51 – Does StubHub present a considerable challenge to Ticketmaster/LiveNation?
 
33:15 – Why and how search engine optimization has created an opportunity for ticket scalpers to exacerbate the wedge between live entertainment producers and their ticket buying publics.
 
35:55 – How to beat the scalpers at their own game and get the best seats to any live entertainment event.
 
38:28 – Buying tickets online versus via phone, and adjusting your ticket buying strategy to the size of the venue where the live entertainment show will run.
 
40:55 -- End
 
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Eric Schwartzman (@ericschwartzman) is an independent new media and social media communications consultant, the creator of the top-rated New Media and Social Media Boot Camp, which has been attended by more than a thousand public relations and marketing executives from the private, public, government and nonprofit sectors. In addition to advising clients on best practices for online newsroom design, deployment and management, Schwartzman offers a portfolio of social media training courses to accelerate the acquisition of social media communication skills, as well as social media strategy and campaign support.  Schwartzman is also the founder of online newsroom software as a service provider iPressroom.
 
This episode was recorded on Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) in 2009.
 
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