Posted on by Jesse Tanaka



On Thursday, April 16, Laura Murray Public Relations was the proud host of the second instalment of our workshop series, The Arts Agenda. This session focused on a topic that’s on every arts marketer’s mind – how do you craft the perfect media pitch? We were privileged to have an interactive panel discussion with prominent Vancouver journalists – Janet Smith, Arts & Style Editor at The Georgia Straight, Steven Schelling, Editor at, and Monique Polloni, Formerly of CBC Radio-Canada – who shared invaluable tips and tricks for pitching.


The session began with a discussion moderated by LMPR Principal Laura Murray, which covered PR best practices from first impressions to follow ups. The answers provided unparalleled information to consider when pitching and building key relationships with the media. Once this portion of the workshop wrapped up, the floor was opened up to attendees wherein they were invited to ask the esteemed panellists their own questions.


To attend a future Arts Agenda workshop, sign-up for our email newsletter list here.



monique steven

Posted on by sarah

Ask The Expert is a series from Laura Murray Public Relations that calls upon the expertise of arts and marketing specialists to provide insight and wisdom – to all industry professionals that read our blog – on how we can do what we do better. No matter what stage of our career, we are always keen to grow and hone our craft from those in the know.


For this edition of Ask The Expert, we spoke with marketing leaders at Bard on the Beach and The Dance Centre to share their insight and wisdom, honed from years of experience, on determining ticket prices. We posed the question: What are three factors to take into consideration when setting ticket prices for an arts event or performance?


Heather KennedyHeather Kennedy
Director of Marketing & Communications, Bard on the Beach


1. Do the math. Be sure your pricing plan will deliver sufficient revenue to maintain your financial stability. Don’t be tempted to discount to the point where you end up in deficit.


2. Know your audience. Talk to & survey your patrons to find out whether they believe they’re receiving good value. If satisfaction is high, you have more headroom to increase ticket prices.


3. Cover the bases. Can you offer a range of prices that includes a low-end option for price-sensitives and samplers AND a higher price point for those who can afford to enjoy the ‘best seats’? And don’t be shy about setting your upper-end price at or above marketplace levels, if the value is there and you can articulate it to your target audiences.


Heather BrayHeather Bray
Marketing Manager, The Dance Centre


As arts organizations we have artistic and social objectives as well as financial goals which all have to be balanced together when setting ticket prices. Most research indicates that price is a relatively unimportant factor in the average patron’s decision-making process, however it becomes more important as the perception of risk rises, and for some communities price is of course a major issue. Contemporary dance tends to carry a higher perception of risk for many audiences, so we try to price these shows at a level which is competitive but will also enable us to maximize box office revenues.


Discounting for groups such as students or seniors is the classic way of reaching those more price-sensitive audiences and can also be used to encourage certain behaviour, such as passes or subscriptions to encourage frequency and build loyalty, or early bird discounts to persuade more people to book in advance. If you’re going to offer a discount, make it meaningful and supportive of the overall objective of engaging that particular audience.


Once you have an outline pricing strategy, do some box office projections – look at the history of previous shows if possible, how much revenue was earned and what the discount takeup was – and adjust as necessary. Box office targets built on reasonable foundations mean you are much less likely to end up with a big hole in your budget.


Posted on by Julia

The Client:

The Vancouver International Dance Festival celebrates culturally diverse contemporary dance in a 10-day showcase throughout Vancouver. Since 1988, VIDF has presented the local dance community with the opportunity to expand their knowledge of dance through workshops and master classes, as well as provide major cultural exposure to the city of Vancouver. Celebrating their 15th edition this year, VIDF featured some of their most notable artists to date, including Japan’s oldest and largest butoh company Dairakudakan and renowned performer and choreographer Benoït Lachambre‘s company Par B.L.eux.


The Campaign:

The Vancouver International Dance Festival hired LMPR to maintain their high attendance rate, as well as attract a new wave of audience members who were previously unexposed to the festival. Through a thoughtfully crafted media relations plan and online marketing support, LMPR aided in the festivals success by encouraging ticket sales through media coverage and online advertisements, helping to make the festival’s 15th edition one of the most memorable yet.


The Results: 

LMPR publicized the prestige of performers in the VIDF 2015 lineup, as well as focused advertising efforts on a carefully selected demographic of potential festival attendees. The outcome? An abundance of effective coverage and advertisements that catapulted this years festival into the public eye.


Highlights include: The Vancouver Sun, The Georgia Straight, Shaw TV’s go! Westcoast, Novus Community TV, Vancity Buzz, Vancouver Presents!, Miss 604, North Shore News, The Vancouver Observer, and online advertisements.



In Print

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Vancouver SunVancouver Sun

The Georgia Straight


The Georgia Straight


The Georgia Straight





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Vancouver Presents!Vancouver Observer


Miss604.comVancity Buzz









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Digital Advertising


New York Times


The Gaurdian


The Weather Network



Posted on by Julia


Account Manager Hanah Van Borek is one of the newest team members to join LMPR. Bringing with her strong agency experience, excellent communication skills and a creative mind, Hanah looks forward to supporting the arts and culture community of Vancouver while pursing her own love for music. 


Tell us about yourself & how you got into arts marketing.


As is the case for many others in this profession, I had dreams of pursuing a career as an artist (a composer/musician to be exact). While my passion for arts never wavered, my vision for how I would immerse myself in the arts world did. I studied contemporary and electroacoustic composition at SFU, and part of my course requirements included classes in communication and sound, sparking my interest in communication theory and media, and later leading to my complete enrolment in the Communications program.


It’s through this program that I was hired with a prominent PR agency,  which then opened the door to other agency opportunities. While these firms focused on different industries, my mind was always set on returning to the arts, and I now feel I’ve found my dream position at LMPR.



Hanah Van Borek

Kari Heese Photography


Where is the best place you have travelled & why?


A few years ago my partner and I embarked on a backpacking tour of South America – four countries in five weeks! One destination I cherished the most was the small town of La Serena in the desert of the Coquimbo Region in Chile.


By day we travelled across the vast desert, passing vineyards and pisco distilleries, stunning valleys and ancient Incan waterways. By night we drank wine by the sea and stargazed at the observatory from one of the world’s top sites for viewing the southern constellations. The locals told us La Serena had a mystical energy, which we both experienced and that’ s why it continues to stick out in my memory.


What was the first show you remember seeing as a child?


My grade one class went to a see a performance of Magic Flute. It was a kiddy version, with silly costumes and antics to keep us attentive, which I’m not sure was successful, but at least I’m glad to know the school system back then made efforts to include classical music in my education.


If you could grab a coffee with one artist – living or dead – who would it be and why?


Leonardo da Vinci because he was a genius who not only knew about art but everything else in the world too! I’d love to brief him on art and culture in 2015 and hear his reactions. I would also ask him how he found time to pursue so many different disciplines.


What are you most looking forward to in your new role at LMPR?


I’m thrilled to hone my skills and take them to the next level, all the while supporting the arts and culture community of Vancouver. I’m also excited to encounter new amazing organizations and the works they’re producing.


Lighting Round!


Morning person or night owl? Morning person – I go to bed at 10pm.


Drink of choice? Beer – Usually Lagers


Truth or dare? Dare for the adrenaline. Plus I don’t mind looking stupid from time to time.


Favourite book? Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden


Best Movie? Amelie – I love the music and the way each character is presented


Power of Flight or Invisibility?  Flight would be more fun. Invisibility is useful but you’d end up hearing and seeing things you regret.



Posted on by Julia

Superhero Shuts Down Viaduct

X-men spinoff, Deadpool, has taken over Vancouver - shutting down the Georgia Viaduct for filming over a period of two weeks. Starring Vancity native Ryan Reynolds, known for his roles in Green Lantern and The Proposal, the Marvel flick is expected to hire 1,000 people and spend over $37.5 million in the city – making the closure approval a no-brainer for City Officials. Despite complaints from commuters, the viaduct will be closed from April 5-18, with a detailed schedule to be found on the city’s website.


Ryan Reynolds Twitter



Prince Harry Hates on Selfies

In a recent trip to Australia, Prince Harry was caught on film denying a selfie request with a young fan.  Despite doubling back to take a “normal” photograph with the girl, the Prince has received criticism – and support – for his display of hatred towards the cultural phenomenon that is the selfie.




Welcome to British Colombia

Several obvious spelling errors have been circulating the internet following an April 7 event hosted by the Prime Minister of Canada. In the province of British Columbia to announce several major changes to Canada’s Student Loan program, PM Stephen Harper was criticized heavily by the media when it became apparent that their exclusive media passes included multiple typos.


British Columbia Typo



The Sonnet Project Garners Global Attention

Giving Shakespeare’s sonnets a technological twist, the New York Shakespeare Exchange is embarking on The Sonnet Project, a series of short films for each of Shakespeare’s 154 Sonnets. Featuring a single sonnet and a unique New York City backdrop, the project began in 2013 and recently wrapped it’s 100th film. The group is hoping to bring people in touch with Shakespeare through social media while drawing attention to the importance of poetic education in high schools.


William Shakespeare



Pianist dropped from TSO Concerts

Pianist Valentina Lisitsa has been cut out of her performances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in response to hostile tweets against the Ukrainian Government. The controversial cancellations have sparked an outcry of response in support of freedom of speech, claiming that Lisitsa is being wrongfully punished for her personal – yet very public – opinion on the state of Ukrainian affairs.


Valentina Lisitsa



Renegade Productions Beats Eviction

After experiencing shut-down shock earlier in the week, Renegade Productions has been told that it may keep it’s doors open upon the compliance of fire and safety standards. Renting out the former Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company‘s production facility to musicians, visual-artists, and theatre companies in the community, Renegade Productions was given notice of possible eviction upon inspection by the city, to which they were provided no feedback.  With the threat temporarily removed, Renegade can now continue to facilitate art in Vancouver under new architectural accommodations.


Renegade Productions


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In this month’s City Sounds, we were lucky enough to connect with Vancouver based indie pop duo, Rococode. We spoke with Laura Smith via phone to discuss everything from their beginnings to their creative process.


ROCOCODE 2014 by Lynol Lui


LMPR: How did you and Andrew meet?


Laura: We went to college together at Capilano University in North Vancouver. I had a band and then he started playing with me. We did a bunch of tours together, and eventually we were co-writing every song. One day we decided to start a band together, because it is way more fun to collaborate with other people, rather than just being a solo artist.


LMPR: What inspires you to make music?


Laura: Life [laughs]. For me, it’s something that I just feel like I have to do. I mean a lot of things inspire me: personal situations, other peoples situations, things that I have learned from. Right now, I really just want to write songs that other people connect to and that’s what has been inspiring me lately.


LMPR: You recorded parts of your album in a cabin on the Sunshine Coast. Can you tell us more about this creative experience?


Laura: We really lucked out where one of those magical situations just comes together. Our friend Ted [Gowans] wanted to make an album with us and he had always wanted to make an album with his friend Caleb [Shreve], a talented guy from New York who has made a Wu Tang record. Ted’s childhood friend had a spare cabin on the coast – so we just filled up our van with a studio full of gear and set up the studio in the cabin, where we bunkered down for two weeks.




LMPR: Do you find it easier to make music when you’re isolated?


Laura: Definitely a lot easier to focus. It allows you the space and time to dig a little bit deeper.


LMPR: What can we expect from Rococode in the future?


Laura: We are making an album, very slowly. I think it’s good because we are growing, shifting, and changing a lot – as humans and as a band. I’m excited because it’s going to be a lot different than Guns, Sex, and Glory –  that seems like a lifetime ago. In the immediate future, we are playing Canadian Music Week in Toronto and doing a small tour this summer in Alberta.


Stay in the loop about their upcoming performances and projects at