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Leverage Your PR Without Breaking Your Budget

Type:

Studio Owner Article

Category:

Success with Marketing and Sales

Knowing what public relations is will make a BIG difference to your bottom line. It is the relationship your school has with the outside world. That includes everyone-friends, relatives, customers, future prospects, competitors and employees (if you have them). While the relationship you create with the public can have a profound effect on your business, all these people will not immediately make a purchasing decision or change their minds by seeing something only once. It takes a consistent and recurring message.

PR is one of the important parts of your marketing campaign. Your local publications like newspapers, magazines, and television and radio programs are all a great source of helping you communicate an important message or accomplishment.

PR however is different from advertising. PR informs the public about news and events and does not sell. You provide tidbits of information that you hope editors or journalist will see and use for their stories. However not everything you send in will be published. That should not deter you from sending them information on a regular basis.

Keep promotional offers away from editors. They don't like it and will ignore you when you do have real news to report.

Here are some other key points to remember:

1.     Publications have strict editorial deadlines and space limitation. They often develop their stories over the course of several months.

2.     Publications have to report important news which may sometimes move other stories aside

3.     Be sure your publicity has a clear angle of interest to the publications readers. The editor will probably ignore it if that's missing.

4.     Be respectful of the editors timing requirements. Timing is vital or as they say everything! Submitting your press release on a Monday for an event you will be holding on the coming weekend will probably be ignored

5.     Determine how best to position yourself. This includes how you want the audience to perceive you and how you wish to distinguish yourself from your competitors. Does the public view you the same way you view yourself?

6.     Organize and prioritize your messages. Make a list of events, promotions and news worthy messages you want to promote throughout the year.

7.     Ask yourself is your message news worthy? The media will only write or use material about something that is part of a large local topic or interest with broad appeal.

8.     Create your stories media list, distribution strategy and more. Be proactive on how you will get the word out

9.     Get the word out to editors and journalist that you are available and willing to help with stories and topics in the dance field.

Ok now the question is, what is news worthy? Here are some ideas for dance schools:

1.     Any and all performances and shows

2.     Special anniversaries your business is celebrating. To make it more interesting announce that in celebration you will be giving away some special prize for anyone who stops by on a certain day

3.     Competition results.  If you won a special award or x number of top scores send it out. Mention names of students who live in the area of the publication and you will almost always have a great chance that they will print the results> Make it more about the students than about the school.

4.     Special events held at your school like master classes, a day of free dance classes and any fundraisers you are doing. Position it as a way to better serve the community.

5.     Student's special achievements. If some of your students get into a summer program, will appear in a show or will be featured in a production outside of your school. The key again here is that you are promoting the dancer who happens to be your student!

Author

Angela D'Valda Sirico

Angela D'Valda Sirico

Originally from England, Angela spent her early years in Hong Kong where she studied with Carol Bateman. She continued her training at Arts Educational Trust in England. After moving to New York City she continued her studies with Martha Graham and Matt Mattox. She appeared with the Matt Mattox Company and toured with the first Disney On Parade working with Disney and N.B.C. Contracted to the Teatro National of Buenos Aires she performed for one year and spent an additional year as a featured soloist at the Teatro Maipo, Argentina. Travelling to Madrid, Spain she worked for Spanish television in a weekly variety show Tarde Para Todos and from there decided to form her own Dance Company. With the Company she choreographed and performed throughout Spain in theatres, and on television. Angela met her husband Steve while working together on a television special The Valerie Peters Show filmed in Tampa, Florida. In 1979 they formed the Adagio act DValda & Sirico appearing in theatres, clubs and on television shows such as David Letterman, Star Search and the Jerry Lewis Telethon. In 1982 they were contracted to Europe and appeared in a variety of shows in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Italy before going to London, England where they appeared as Guest Artists for Wayne Sleep (formerly of the Royal Ballet) in his show Dash at the Dominium Theatre. Angela and Steve have owned and directed their dance studio in Fairfield, CT. for the past twenty two years and in 2005 added music and vocal classes to their curriculum. Angela served as chairperson for the tri state panel of the Royal Academy of Dancing and is Co-author of a Partner syllabus currently used for teacher training by Dance Educators of America. She continues to adjudicate and teach for major dance organizations and choreographs for theatre, television and conventions and was commissioned by Boston Ballet 11 to choreograph the highly acclaimed Brother Can You Spare A Dime? DValda & Sirico are currently in production choreographing the opening to the National Speakers Association convention on Broadway at the Marriott Marquis for August of 2008. Angela is co-owner of Dance Teacher Web designed as an online resource for teachers worldwide.

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