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Topic: When to send school marketing material
Message: Posted by: wizardofsorts (Oct 19, 2003 09:26PM)
I was wondering if anyone knew of a time of year that was better to send marketing material to schools, or a time that was to be avoided.
Visit the Wizard of Sorts at http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Oct 20, 2003 05:50AM)

This is a topic that has been discussed at length in the past two Magic Success Seminars (http://www.magicsuccessseminars.com) and will undoubtedly be discussed at the next one in Florida next month.

The general consensus among the pros who teach the seminar and those attending is that there are three times a year to mail to schools.

The first mailing is done in August/September, timed to arrive any day but the very first day of school. There is too much chaos on that day. Some performers prefer to mail in late August so the principal can look at it before diving into the work of running the school. Others prefer to wait until the second week of school. I don't think it matters. Just get it out.

The next mailing is in January. This can be a simple postcard reminder that you still have open dates for the spring. Many schools do not book their spring school assemblies until after the holidays (or they find that they have extra money from the holiday fund raiser for an additional assembly program), and this mailing often results in spring bookings.

The final mailing is in May/early June. At this time, PTA/PTO committees turn over leadership and pass brochures around. They also begin thinking about the fall assemblies, so it's a good time to get something into their hands.

If you are seriously focused on the school marketplace, check out the last seminar on the topic at http://www.magicsuccessseminars.com
It's on the first weekend in November in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 20, 2003 10:56AM)
Always great stuff my friend. One question to ask you. Who is the best person to target at a school? Who's hands should you be hoping your promo packet and letter gets into the hands of? Also, how is the best way to find out this contact information? Are some methods better then others.

Thanks in advance.
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Oct 20, 2003 12:49PM)

The best person to target is the person who controls the purse strings! Who that is depends upon the individual school. In most cases it will either be

- the Principal
- the PTA or PTO President, or the
- the PTA/PTO Cultural Arts Coodinator

For magicians doing a reading show, your school point of contact might be the reading teacher or librarian.

You can usually get a list of schools (with the Principal's names) off your state education department's website. In New York State I can download the entire file.

I've found that principals change buildings frequently and often the state list is out dated. As a result, when I do a school mailing I usually address it to
"Principal or PTA/PTO President."

My hope is that it will go into the principal's mailbox first, then he or she will put it into the PTA/PTO mailbox if appropiate.

Another way of collecting names and passing out brochures is to attend performing arts showcases. For example, on November 14th I will be showcasing in upstate New York at the DCMO BOCES showcase (see: http://www.dcmoboces.com/dcmospecprog/aie/
for more information)

The two primary strategies I use to reach school contacts are direct mail and showcases and conferences.