- Hanging out at the Shipyards Night Market tonight in North Van with members of the Legally Blonde cast from @TUTSVancouver., 11 hours ago
- RT @JohannaMWard: Learning the bend&snap from #legallyblonde @TUTSVancouver for @goVanTVShow ! What a way to start a Friday!! http://t.co/Yfu3Wf1nRm, 17 hours ago
- RT @VPL: Music lovers, this is yr summer. Free CBC concerts go into Aug http://t.co/okfJmSvrLk & pop-up pianos everywhere http://t.co/I0VNHYFlqL, Jul 24
- Today on the LMPR blog, we’re sharing the first post in a brand-new series, ‘Ask The Expert’. http://t.co/JO2I8DXKQy, Jul 24
- Great timing! Check out 'Ask The Expert' on our blog http://t.co/dhCa6StyUF MT @PicaticBC: Got any PR tips to share with #events organizers?, Jul 23
- Our newest blog series ‘Ask The Expert’ shares advice from @GraemeMcranor @MikeUsinger & @stuartderdeyn http://t.co/Zak8iFBKe3, Jul 23
Communications Coordinator Shona Wercholuk is the newest member of the LMPR team. With a background in arts administration, public relations, and a passion for Vancouver’s independent music scene, she looks forward to sharing the news and stories of our diverse clientele.
Tell us about yourself & how you got into arts marketing.
I’ve always loved writing, and knew I wanted a career that was heavily involved in the craft but also knew I didn’t want to be a novelist. Due to this love I got a Bachelors degree in English from UBC and then immediately started working at Arts Umbrella. The arts have always been a hobby of mine, but it wasn’t until my work at Arts Umbrella that a passion to work in the arts really flourished.
I also soon realized that I really enjoyed working with people and began a search for a career that could combine all three of these interests. I recently completed SFU’s Public Relations Certificate program, which aligned me with the right tools to get started in public relations. I was then lucky enough to find a career that combined my love for the arts and public relations.
Where is the best place you have travelled & why?
This is a really tough one! Because of my dad’s job, I have travelled a lot; I was fortunate enough to grow up all over the world as a result of that. As a child, I spent most of my upbringing in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and the city will always be very near and dear to my heart.
I would have to say our family trip to Austria was my absolute favourite though. We went in December, a time of year I love, and the country was absolute breathtaking. It was the epitome of Christmas- and full of authentic markets with the most wonderful handmade trinkets. It was a place and a feeling I will never forget.
What was the first show you remember seeing as a child?
Shania Twain. I was 8 years old and we were living in Australia at the time. I remember feeling very proud I was seeing a Canadian perform in a different country.
If you could grab a coffee with one artist – living or dead – who would it be and why?
After reading some of the Bronte sisters works, I developed a fascination for them, but particularly with Emily. There’s very little published information about her, so I would really love to pick her brain. Although she was said to be very shy, so who knows how much she would say.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role at LMPR?
There’s so much! I’m really excited to be working with some seasoned professionals as it allows for a great learning experience. I’m also excited about all of the amazing clients I’m able to work with and help market in new and creative ways. But the most exciting thing for me has to be the fact that everyday I am able to explore my creativity in some way.
Morning person or night owl? Night Owl
Drink of choice? A cold glass of bubbly
Truth or dare? Truth
Favourite book? The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
Best Movie? The Little Mermaid (I can’t help it!)
Power of Flight or Invisibility? Invisibility
Ask The Expert is a new 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 were fortunate to connect with three highly respected arts & entertainment journalists – whom we have the pleasure of working with on an almost daily basis – and whose compelling copy regularly appears on the pages of The Georgia Straight, The Province, and Metro News. We posed the question: “How can a publicist better anticipate the needs of a journalist? What can we do to make your job easier?”
In return, we were granted with golden nuggets of information – applicable tips that every publicist, no matter how seasoned, should keep top-of-mind at the start, middle, and close of every successful media relations campaign.
The Georgia Straight
“All a publicist needs to do to make me happy is let me know that they are top of things when I first make contact.
My favourite publicists are the ones that are quick to respond when I ask if an artist is available for an interview, and who then promptly gets busy setting up the interview.
With some publicists, I have to send two or three “Did you get this” emails before I finally get a response. Some don’t respond at all, which is funny considered they have often sent out a blanket “Do you want to interview this band…..” email in the first place.
So, long story short, get back to me when I contact you, and then please get me an answer as to whether or not you can help me do my job.”
“Know my beat. I get so many shotgunned pitches that aren’t even close to what I regularly cover. Some of them aren’t even sure what media organization I’m currently working for, though I’ve worked for a bunch so I understand the confusion.
It’s important to learn the writer’s name (seems obvious, I know – but “Dear Arts Reporter” isn’t the best intro), and the types of stories he/she covers.
Personalize your pitches. Give me a hook. Don’t just tell me – sell me. Also, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to follow up on a pitch. It’s much easier for a journo to ignore an email than a phone call. Very few PR people are keen to pick up a phone. Probably because very few journos are keen to pick up the phone. Regardless, a well-organized, interesting pitch (with easy access to images and other media) makes my job that much easier. But don’t get the idea that my job is easy. Because it’s totally not. (*eats doughnut*)”
“Aside from the obvious – correct information presented very clearly in terms of date, time, venue, address (so often forgotten) and ticket/info prices and contacts – the most key thing in today’s digital media world is timing. With multi-platform coverage and across the board staff reductions, reporters need more lead time for the sort of slow build stories such as previews, features and reviews. Turning around breaking news on the spot on multiple platforms is top priority, so coming in too late can mean getting no coverage or very little as the space and staff is taken already. Be on top of publication deadlines, seasonal previews and so forth or risk getting bumped for a priority news story/video/broadcast.”
Lorin Maazel and Elaine Stritch Pass
The arts world lost two of its finest as Lorin Maazel and Elaine Stritch passed away this week.
Lorin Mazel’s musical career spanned over 75 years as a conductor, composer and mentor, serving with the Radio Symphony of Berlin, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, and the New York Philharmonic among others.
Elaine Stritch’s almost equally long career spanned well over a half-century beginning in the New York theatre scene in the 1940’s. She was known for her frank, loud comedy style and most recently lent her talents to modern audiences in the NBC sitcom, 30 Rock for which she received an Emmy in 2008.
Iconic Vancouver Photographer Fred Herzog Honoured with Stamp
Fred Herzog is one of seven photographers whose work has been developed into a new stamp in Canada Post’s second issue of a five-year series. The series is to celebrate the work of Canadian photographers over the last 150 years, so it is no surprise that Herzog’s iconic work has been selected. The chosen image is of four children playing outside of a convenience store populated with advertisements on West 5th Avenue.
Tupac Musical Bombs
The ambitious musical, Holler If Ya Hear Me, based on late rapper Tupac Shakur failed to connect hip-hop and live theatre audiences and announced that it’s final performance would take place on July 20th. Despite ticket prices being one on the lowest on Broadway, it fell victim to unforgiving audiences and mixed reviews after only 38 performances.
Vancouver Chamber Choir in Deep Water, Literally
This Saturday afternoon (July 19) the Vancouver Chamber Choir is set to entirely engross themselves in their rendition of Narvaez Bay: Tidal Predictions for 2012. The unique performance is set to take place aboard the Deadhead, a boat turned into a floating sculpture that is currently in Heritage Harbour near the Vancouver Maritime Museum.
Polaris Prize Announces Short List
The Polaris Music Prize announced its shortlist of the top ten Canadian albums this week, including Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett, Timber Timbre, Basia Bulat, and Tanya Tagaq.
The prize began in 2006 in response to awards that are often sales based, instead basing itself strictly on artistic merit, chosen by an independent jury of journalists, DJs, and music bloggers across Canada. The winner will be announced at the annual gala on September 22nd.
For nearly 75 years, Theatre Under the Stars has brought soaring works of song & dance to the crown jewel of Vancouver – Stanley Park. So much more than just a night at the theatre, TUTS interweaves a kaleidoscope of elements – setting, scenery, concessions, and quality art – into a fun, encompassing experience that is much greater than the sum of its parts.
Laura Murray Public Relations was hired to provide a full-scale marketing and communications campaign for their 2014 presentations of Shrek: The Musical and Legally Blonde: The Musical.
In addition to publicity, promotions, advertising, social media, and consulting, LMPR provided a multi-platform digital advertising campaign to drive awareness and sales.
The online marketing campaign used a variety of tools to reach potential audiences at various stages in the purchase process.
A search campaign delivered sponsored Google results to local individuals searching for entertainment options and to international audiences researching visits to Vancouver:
On Facebook, campaigns ran in the newsfeed of Lower Mainland individuals who had expressed interests in musicals, theatre, Disney films, outdoor cinema, and similar activities – or who had attended TUTS in past seasons:
Using the Google Display Network, various sized banner ads reached desktop, laptop, and mobile users on a network of more than 30,000 websites. The ads were served to individuals whose browsing history indicated an interest in the performing arts- or who had previously visited the TUTS website:
On YouTube, a 0:15 commercial ran before the videos of individuals who expressed an interest in musical theatre or previously visited the TUTS website:
Theatre Under the Star’s 2014 Season opened last night (July 15) with Shrek: The Musical and continues with tonight’s opening of Legally Blonde: The Musical. The productions alternate evenings until August 23.
For tickets & info, visits tuts.ca.
On today’s stages, there’s no shortage of thoughtful and creative works from talented dance artists and creators – original choreographies that pull you in through the sheer magnificence of the movements. With risk-takers all around us, it’s rare to find a work that truly goes against the grain; we often see inventive choreography, but it’s a rare thing to witness original movement, or moreover an unusual intention behind the movement.
The Body In Question, constituting of the two solo works At Once and News, is performed by Toronto Dance Theatre’s Christopher House and choreographed – or perhaps composed by iconic Choreographer Deborah Hay. This is one work that truly achieves the elusive status as unquestionably “original”. As seen at the Firehall Arts Centre last Tuesday evening as part of Dancing on the Edge, The Body In Question manages to be intelligent and communicative while at the same time, mesmerizing.
House first learned this work in Findhorn, Scotland in 2009 where he was a part of the Solo Performance Commissioning Project along with 19 other dancers. Here, House received personalized guidance from Hay on this work, along with strict directions to rehearse these solos everyday for three months without an audience once back on Canadian soil. The result is a masterpiece all his own.
With many hidden concepts alive in this work – among them the juxtaposition between joy and sorrow and the release of movement the moment it leaves the body – it is preferable to analyze this piece on a surface level as a reaction to what you see before you.
While two distinct solos, they both shared very similar characteristics. Executing the movement, House was very much ‘of the moment’, aware of each twist of the arm or flick of the foot as it was happening, as opposed to having a pre-determined intention before the fact. Indecipherable chanting and singing added a blissful dimension to an otherwise silent performance, and awareness from House for the audience and the environment led to some playful moments with the curtains, the stairway, and a squeaky spot on the floor he came across by chance.
Dress shoes added to an otherwise casual outfit in At Once, and a playful kilt in News added an additional layer of intrigue; perhaps the kilt was selected as a nod to the country in which he first learned this work, then again maybe it was an arbitrary selection in an attempt to keep us guessing.
With one more showing, The Body In Question is an original, captivating work that dance devotees throughout the city certainly won’t want to miss.
Vancouver Dances on the Edge
The 26th annual Dancing on the Edge Festival hit stages across Vancouver this Thursday. The festival celebrates the very best in contemporary dance across Canada featuring over 70 performers for the 10 day event.
Lottery Winner Donates to Arts
Tennessee Powerball winner, Roy Cockrum plans to donate the majority of his $259 million winnings to the performing arts. Prior to his good fortune, Cockrum spent 20 years working in the arts as an actor and stage manager for theatre and TV productions.
Google Acquires Songza
The ever expanding tech giant, Google acquired the popular music streaming service Songza this week. Google continues its rapid expansion into the music industry, which recently launched Google Play Music into the Canadian market.
Hurricane Arthur Forces Cancellation
Hurricane Arthur has forced promoters of the Stan Rogers Folk Music Festival in Canso, Nova Scotia, to cancel for the first time in 17 years. Despite the huge financial blow associated with cancellation costs, the festival has received a huge outpouring of support from the musical community, with donations rolling in from across North America, and patrons offering to donate their tickets rather than accepting a refund.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra Tailgates
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra held a hugely successful tailgate party this week as part of the Luminato arts festival. The unlikely combination of burgers, beer, and a Shostakovich concert was just one of the organizations latest bold moves to widen its audience with a fresh young crowd.