Publicity in today’s production is an area whose potentials have not been utilized. Lack of efficient publicity is one of the reasons most directors and their production cannot rise beyond their roots. Both the director and publicity have a lot of bearing on the audience, as they hold the power to persuade and influence the general public. This project is an attempt at assessing the various publicity strategies and how this strategies have publicized productions with little financial assets. In doing this, this paper provides an overview on publicity and its importance. This project analyses publicity and the productions of Xhibitz season two and Ugochi Pascaline’s Harmonies of Agonies. The relevant data were obtained via interview and library research. This study concludes that publicity plays a vital role in attracting audiences to productions and therefore should be encouraged by directors, producers and theatre practitioners.
1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Stanton defines publicity as “any promotional communication regarding an organization or its products where the message is not paid for by the organization or the payment been made, is not much by the organization benefiting from it”.(pg.64)
Publicity according to Stanton is any promotional tactics used in reaching out to the audience to enlighten people on a particular new product or services. Stanton states that publicity involves cheaper financial release. This marketing strategy is cheaper than any other strategy.
Artists in the theatre, through their works help to mirror social realities and help bring its people a collective consciousness, leading them towards a better society. Publicity is effective precisely because it feeds upon the real. Berger States that “publicity is not merely an assembly of competing message, it is a language in itself that is always used to make the same general proposal”. (pg.1)
Theatre production is an important way of portraying life situations to the public. Theatre production serves as a place, where audiences go to learn, have fun, unwind and relax. Therefore, getting audience members to come and see a production is very important, because, theatre production, or any production whether film or stage is meant for the audience.
Due to the poor publicity strategies, employed by some theatre practitioners, or managers, audience members do not turn up as they are supposed to. In theatre production, most of these poor publicity techniques like sticking to one pattern of publicity channel, usually emanate from the production management. Management skills in publicity are extremely important to the continuous growth, existence and success of a theatrical production.
Kotler posits that publicity is non personal stimulation of demand for the product or service, but by placing commercially significant news about it in public medium.
Effective and efficient publicity is very crucial to the continued existence or survival of any theatre production. This is because, every production is different and has it uniqueness. A particular production can be a success and the other can be a flub. This is why publicity is needed in every single production. Audience can be pleased with a particular show and displeased with another, and due to this, they might not want to come out again, maybe with the mindset that, it might be a waste of time. Therefore, publicity is one of the most important aspects of theatre production.
Therefore, strategies are the skills and techniques necessary to achieve this effective publicity management in a theatrical production.
1.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Poor publicity management and lack of adequate attention to publicity, has been one of the major reason why many theatrical productions can not move higher than they have. Though there are other problems, but Publicity negligence has constituted the problem militating against the successful and smooth operations of theatre productions. The obstacles in carrying out a definite publicity can be classified into two; human and material. The human obstacles are those associated with the administrative structure of publicity, while material obstacles comprise the financial requirements or needs associated with carrying out publicity.Therefore, this study intends to discuss strategies involved in publicity and the various steps involved, to make publicity in a production a reality in order to guarantee success.
1.2 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This research is designed to examine the various ways, publicity can be executed to realize an effective theatre production.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research is significant because, it will provide guideline to managers or director in theatre practice on publicity issues, and also draw the theatre artist’s attention to the importance of publicity. The finding and recommendations of the study will broaden the understanding of theatre administrators on publicity strategies.
This study will also add to existing knowledge about publicity, its effects and strategies generally on management of theatre in particular.
1.4 THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this research encompasses, and is confined to effective publicity strategies in theatrical productions, especially, as it affected the productions of Xhibitz season two and Ugochi pascaline’s Harmonies of Agonies.
1.5 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This project focuses on publicity strategies for effective production. Attention is paid only to Xhibitz season two and Ugochi Pascaline’s Harmonies of Agonies.
1.6 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
Much has been said about and done about publicity in theatre. However, in this study, I shall approach a detailed description of methods and strategies through which a production’s potential can be utilized. Very useful modern publicity strategies that have not been given adequate attention in the theatre shall be highlighted for proper attention.
Attempt will also extend to find out the importance of “social media” in agreement with the present contemporary world theatre growth or development.
1.7 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The methodology adopted in this project work is primarily based on personal interviews and information gathered from library research, which includes books, journal, internet and magazines related to this topic.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE WORK
This study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one introduces the study and makes an overview of publicity and strategies as an important tool. Chapter two contains review of related literature, Chapter 3 treats exhibit season 2, synopsis of Harmonies of Agonies, phases of strategy implantation. Chapter four contains Strategies in exhibit season two, strategies in Harmonies of Agonies, the role of publicity involved, and audience response to the publicity. Chapter five contains recommendations, suggestions for future strategy, and conclusion.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary defines publicity as: The whole of the methods and materials used in making an enterprise, product and services known to the public with a view to increasing business; the methods and materials used in making some non commercial matter similarly known, the disseminating of advertising or informative matter; the condition of being exposed to the knowledge of the general public, especially through newspaper reports. (807).
Kenneth Andrews defines “strategy as the pattern of decisions in a company that determines and reveals its objective, purpose or goals, produces the principal principles and plan or channel for achieving these goals.
This is a work of theatre such as a stage play musical, or drama produced from a written book or script. These works are protected by common law or statuary copyright, unless in the public domain.