Fringe Festival Artist Marketing
FringeArts offers Marketing and PR Support to all artists participating in the Festival, however, artists are strongly encouraged to engage in their own marketing outside of the complimentary services included in participation.
This page offers information about the Fringe Festival Marketing platforms as well as advice for artists on self-promoting.
If you have questions about Marketing for Fringe Festival Artists, please contact Marketing@FringeArts.com.
Philadelphia Fringe Festival Guide
The Philadelphia Fringe Festival Guide is one of the main tools that audiences use to find Fringe Festival performances and plan their schedules.
Over 30,000 guides are distributed annually by FringeArts.
Show Listing in the Fringe Festival Guide
Each registered Fringe Festival presentation receives a listing in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival Guide. Artists submit their show information via the registration platform, Eventotron which will generate their guide listings.
Fringe festival Guide Listings include:
- Show Image
- Artist Name
- Show Description
- Dates, Times, and Locations
- Ticket Prices
- Link to Show Web Page at FringeArts.com
Titles are part of the artistic process. The first allegiance should be to the piece itself. Overall, short, evocative titles tend to work best in the Festival Guide.
Audiences turn to the guide again and again during Festival-time, and the blurb is often the main tool they use to make ticket-buying decisions. So the primary goal in writing a description is to be clear, informative, and interesting.
300 characters is not a lot of space. Use it wisely. The Guide listing will already include the genre, title, times, locations, and ticket price. Focus should be on the main elements that will accurately represent the work and set it apart from the rest. Audiences feel empowered to see a show when they have a better sense of what they can expect, even if it’s the unexpected.
If the piece is largely conceptual, it is helpful to find one concrete idea that an audience can hook onto. The larger themes are what audiences would take away, but it’s unlikely they will be able to digest them in the midst of 200 other show descriptions.
It also doesn’t hurt to mention any awards, brief press quotes, or notable performances, if applicable.
The Fringe Festival Guide image must be a square image 600×600 pixels
The photo used as the Festival Guide image should also be used on other promotional materials in order to be recognizable by potential ticket buyers. Artists should be prepared to have several size options of the same promotional photo.
A great promotional image is the single most important investment to promote a Fringe Festival show. If it’s in the budget, hire a professional photographer. Some photographers offer discounts for artists. If it’s not in the budget, find a friend with a nice camera and ask for their help in exchange for billing in the program. Work with a photographer to come up with eye-catching images. Elements may include a dynamic composition and unusual angles. Promotional images are staged, in locations that evoke the energy of the performance. There should be costume elements, but do not require full staging. These are great for promoting a piece that may not be fully developed.
Fringe Festival Guide Listing Do’s & Don’ts
- Create/Photograph your own guide image! (or work with a local artist/designer)
- Plan your guide listing in advance
- Make sure all of the details are confirmed
For best results, artists should avoid these common Fringe Festival Guide mistakes
- NO TEXT on the guide image, unless the show has a simple logo. There will be descriptive text in the rest of your listing! Text can be added to postcards and posters
- No Headshots
- No stolen images
- No rectangular images, square only
- No company logos, guide image should be specific to the show, not the producer
- No ticket prices, times, or dates in the description text, we add that!
- No cast names in description (unless absolutely confirmed)
- Don’t change your title! If you market your show one way online and another way in print, audiences will be confused!
- DO NOT repeat the show title in the description of the show!
FringeArts.com Show Pages
All Philadelphia Fringe Festival presentations receive a web page with full show information where audiences can purchase tickets. All of these pages are hosted at FringeArts.com.
Artists are responsible for submitting the information that will be used to build their show’s page.
Artist Web Page Info:
- Full Show Description
- Artist/Company Bio
- Web Page Banner Image (Should be same or similar to Print Guide Image)
- Cast/Crew Credits
- Content Warnings/Age Appropriate Range
- Dates, Times, Venue
- Ticket Prices
Though web pages can be far more detailed than the Print Guide Listing, artists should be careful not to add too much text to these pages, as audiences use the website to peruse hundreds of shows, short and to the point is always best.
Artist Marketing Plans
While the guide, website, and FringeArts marketing and publicity efforts will reach tens of thousands of potential audiences, it is highly recommend that artists craft an individual marketing campaign specifically designed to meet audience and revenue goals. In order to have a show stand out, independent artists will have to do some leg work.
An Artists Fringe Festival Marketing Plan may Include:
- Social Media Campaigns
- Email Campaigns
- Radio & print Ads
- Print Materials
Social media is a powerful tool for audience engagement that can create a buzz around a Fringe Festival show. Artists should develop their own social media strategy to promote their show
A social media schedule can look like
- Facebook – 1 post per day
- Twitter – 3 posts per day
- Instagram – 1 post per day/ 3 or more stories per day
FringeArts is committed to re-tweeting, liking, and favoriting any relevant posts in which we are tagged, so be sure to include @FringeArts in your post to reach our 9,600+ followers on Twitter, 15,000+ on Facebook, and 12,500+ on Instagram.
In order to engage with FringeArts, the Fringe Festival, and optimize social media presence artists should
- Create a Facebook Event, add FringeArts as a co-host, link to the ticketing page (note that FringeArts can only co-host an event created by a Page, not a personal Facebook account.)
- Tag FringeArts in all stories, posts, & tweets
- Use hashtags like #FringeFestival2021 #PhillyFringe2021
- Follow accounts of other artists in the festival & repost their posts
- Join Facebook groups related to the show
Artists should launch email invite campaigns to their shows
Personal Emails – Craft a personal invite to the performance and ask you contacts to share around to their networks, always link to the show web page
Mailing List Emails – if an artists has a mailing list of past attendees, bulk invite those audience members to upcoming events. ALWAYS BCC!
Local Newsletters – Philadelphia is home to two special email lists to which artists can post. We suggest signing up for these news letters and send information about performances. Please note that these lists are not moderated by FringeArts.
- Theatre Philadelphia – https://groups.google.com/u/1/g/theatrephiladelphia
- Philadelphia Dance – https://philadelphiadance.org/listserv/
It is always good to have some kind of print promotional material for a show. What this is depends on the budget. Professionally printed postcards and posters are ideal, but a hand printed flier is a cheaper option. Artists have found success sharing some printing materials with each other such as a two sided postcard.
Artists should ask to leave postcards and fliers in local businesses (bars, coffee shops, grocery stores) especially in the immediate area around the venue. Artists should bring marketing materials to the Festival Box Office and Bookstore for FringeArts to display. Hanging posters and flyers on public property is illegal and will result in fines.
FringeArts Press Support
FringeArts is dedicated to promoting the entire Philadelphia Fringe Festival as well as the individual shows within it. With so many shows in the Festival, artists will need to do some work to contact press, with the help of FringeArts. Each Fringe Festival show will have a link to its press release on its web page, but it is helpful to contact members of the press directly.
Artists should pay attention to who has reported on the Philadelphia Fringe Festival in the past, and to press outlets interested in their specific artistic practice. Those writers, plus their editors, are exactly who should be sent a press release. If artists do not know where to send their press release or would like to be connected to a specific outlet directly, ask FringeArts Marketing and Communications Director, Claire Claire@FringeArts.com, for help.
Writing Press Releases
- Provide a headline. The title of the press release should, in just a few words, demonstrate why this show is different than anything else the outlet could choose to write about.
- The first paragraph should contain clear information about dates, times, ticketing, and a one-sentence snapshot of the performance. All salient information is in the first paragraph.
- The press release should always contain a quote for short blurbs. The quote should be from the director, choreographer, lead artist, artistic director, etc.
- Like a resume, the narrative of the press release for a single event should fit evenly onto one page. Adjust formatting to make this happen.
- Include an additional “about” page that contains bios for relevant artists and organizations. Use discretion as to who should be included. For Fringe Festival shows, it is vital that a bio for the Festival be included. It is more likely that a reviewer will see a show as part of their overall Fringe Festival coverage.
- Include a fact sheet that fits on a single page with dates, times, funder information, artist credits, and a blurb that can be used in calendar listings.
Sending Press Releases
- Send emails with personalized introductions
- Do not mass email. Include a short message to each writer/outlet. Make it personal and personable. Pretend they are strangers that a friend said would be interested in the piece.
- Copy and paste the press release into the body of the email. Read through it carefully to make sure that formatting errors didn’t appear in the process.
- Attach the press release as a PDF.