Promoting your show at Fringe is unbelievably hard work, and can sometimes feel like a thankless Sisyphean task. The annual Meet The Media event, organised by Fringe Central, is a chance for you to pitch your piece directly to journalists, critics and reviewers.
If you’ve never experienced the chaos that is Meet The Media, it can be quite overwhelming. You’re going to have to queue for a long time, just for a quick two or three minutes with your chosen journo.
So, how do you make the most of your time, and what common mistakes should you avoid? Here’s our list of dos and don’ts for Meet The Media.
- DON’T try to convince us that your show is good. That might sound like the daftest advice you’ve ever heard, but really: we know you think it’s good. You wouldn’t be here otherwise. What we want to know is why your show is interesting, different, or – best of all – somehow unique. After all, being brutally frank, we’re just as interested in reviewing a 1-star show as we are in reviewing a 5-star masterpiece.
- DO your research. Many of the people we speak to at Meet The Media don’t know anything at all about The Wee Review. Spend a few minutes getting some basic information about each of the publications you’re likely to speak to. If you understand the publication’s specific “angle”, you can tweak your pitch accordingly. Hint: The Wee Review is a Scottish website, and we’re here all year round.
- DON’T give us a press pack that weighs more than you do. Sure, your press pack looks great and is dripping with goodness, but the chances of us having a chance to read through all of it is very slim. We’re busy.
- DO give us a small, postcard sized flyer or similar. Something small with all the relevant details and a few interesting pieces of information to act as an aide-memoire is perfect.
- DON’T be offended if we make notes. We see representatives from dozens of shows during the five hours we’re sat at our desk. We are listening while we’re writing, we promise!
- DO be prepared for a long wait. The queues for each represented publication literally stretch out the door. Bring water.
- DON’T be antagonistic. We love theatre, and comedy, and dance, and music and everything Fringe, just as much as you do. We know how hard it is, too. We’re on your side: if we can help, we will.
- DO keep it concise. When you finally get to sit down, remember all the time you spent queuing, and realise that there are people behind you in the queue who are still waiting. Rehearse your pitch, and have it ready to go.
- DON’T provide comp tickets. It’s a nice gesture, but we’re an accredited Fringe review site. If we decide to review your show, our reviewers will get tickets through the official channels.
- DO tweet us! Whether you’re tweeting from the line waiting to go in, or you drop us a quick hello after you’ve spoken to us, it’s always nice to hear from you.
And finally, the most bitter pill of all:
- DON’T be upset or offended if we don’t review you. In all honesty, we probably won’t. In an ideal world, we’d review literally everything in the Fringe programme, but we’re a small team and there’s a limit to the number of shows we can get to. If we don’t get to you this year, we’re sorry. It’s nothing personal. Come back to Meet The Media next year and give us a friendly wrist-slap.