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Profile of mike_york
I am currently working on a publicity stunt for my new illusion show.

I was wondering how/what is the best way on getting radio and news stations to come to your publicity engagement.

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Profile of thiago
You should probably hire an agent for this, they have all the contacts and here in Brazil they charge you 20%, on the avarage. It saves you a lot of work and is not expensive.
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Profile of mike_york
Any recommendations on agents?

Chad Sanborn
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Profile of Chad Sanborn
Aha! The age old question of using an agent and how to choose them. Well, I would suggest using one who is local to your area and has a good reputation. Ask some other local performers about their agents. (If they have them) The GOLDEN RULE about agents seems to be lost to magicians. And that is that THE AGENT WORKS FOR YOU! You do not work for the agent. Remember that.

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Profile of Carron
couldn't have said it better myself chad!
Stuart Cumberland
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Profile of Stuart Cumberland
Actually, you don't need an agent to get press.

Sure, they help and have contacts, but you can still do it alone.

The best way will take you a bit of time. But it will give you good results.

Simply call up all of the major and minor media in television, radio and newspaper and ask them for the name of the city desk editor/entertainment editor.

I can pretty much assure you, you *will not* get in first call, and you don't want to. Just be nice and friendly to whomever answers the phone and get the name and number.

Also ask for the correct FAX number. This is important as many media have several specialized numbers. If you fax accidently to sports, they WILL NOT be nice and carry it to the correct department. They'll drop you into the wastebasket.

Send them a media release in 3rd person. Don't send them an "I'm performing" send them a "Joe Smith, local knuckle busting magician..."

If you're doing an outdoor stunt that's visual, send them a "Camera Op". This will allow the media to send a cameraman, but they may skip the reporter. You can expect a harried camera guy to show up, say "are you da guy?" and pose you. He'll be in a rush because he has 698 other photo ops he's got to do.

You can get a nice photo in the paper with a small caption. Or big, if a slow news day.

Do these things work all the time? No. But you can get some good press if you work at it. And don't let anyone tell you it's hard. It isn't. It just takes time and patience and the right angle.

There's also an expression that says "pray for a slow news day". I did a nationwide Canada media blitz and didn't get a *single* bite. Why? Because it went out the morning of September 11th. (I'm not trying to be funny or morbid. Just that your "big" event can get overshadowed in an instant. So don't get down about it).

Best of luck.


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Stuart Cumberland
James Peters
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Romford, UK
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Profile of James Peters

As Blair said, you can do it yourself. One of the keys to getting the medias attention is to fax them a ... <drum roll> ... Press Release!

And the key to getting attention paid to it is to follow a few basic guidelines.

1. Get the grammar and spelling checked.

2. Make sure it reads easily.

3. Put some good content into it which explains what's happening.

4. It should be written in the third person (as Blair said above!)

Good luck!

Jay Alexander
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Profile of Jay Alexander
One of the greatest bits of advice I have ever heard came from Paul Nathan in San Francisco. He called the paper and asked what publicist do they recommend. Hired the publicist and it got the reporter to the show.
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Profile of nickster101
I call newspapers, colleges, radio stations, repeatedly. over and over again. They get so many calls a day. If they hear the same name over and over they will contact you. TRUST ME!
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Profile of Houdinibleeding
Great advise guys!
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Profile of procyonrising
Actually, a press release is not the best way to go.

No offense to anyone who's posted here, but I've got tons of publicity without press releases. Here's why:

1. You probably don't have the talent to write a newsworthy press release. It takes skill to write these things. If you didn't go to school to learn the craft of news writing, you'll probably stink at it.

2. No respectable newspaper would rely on press releases for stories. Only story ideas.

3. Writing press releases takes time. Time you don't have as a full-time performer.

There's an exception here: press releases do work well in smaller towns and communities where the local media have no chance of winning awards for their reporting. Major city news agencies, like the ones I work with in Boston and NY, get so many friggin' news releases, they just toss them all in the trash.

I recommend a simple phone call.

However, I must apologize; To offer more information here would be crossing the bounds of sensibility. My post here is intended only to dispute the effectiveness of press releases. If you really want to talk about it, e-mail me privately.
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