There's no one-size-fits-all, but here are some general approaches as recommended by past performers - plus some specific opportunities.
There's a lot to take in - but it's worth it.
What works in one situation may not be appropriate in another. The advice here is specifically geared for Fringe TheatreFest where a lot of shows are vying for attention.
Read the comments in orange. They're the words of performers who found out what worked.
"If I'd read the publicity document more carefully earlier I'd have had a much better idea of what to do!"
In the build up, respond to posts on the Fringe TheatreFest social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). If you don't have social media accounts think seriously about investing the time - otherwise you're missing out on connecting with significant potential audiences.
During the festival, make yourself conspicuous. See shows, introduce yourself to the volunteers, go to the Taster Sessions - whether to watch or participate. Be part and parcel of the festival and people will want to see your work.
"The key for us was talking it up with anyone who'd listen and and just putting ourselves out there. Completely out of the comfort zone for both of us."
Stick to the same striking image for posters, leaflets, website, social media and press releases.
Remember there are around 70 different shows joggling for attention. Don't go for the kind of subtle approach that may work in a venue brochure or for a stand-alone event. Reinforce a succinct and straightforward message at every opportunity.
Don't be shy, don't be self-effacing, don't expect your reputation to precede you. Do think of yourself as on duty, on show, for the whole of the extended weekend.
Performing is just one aspect of your job when it comes to Fringe - attracting people to your show is a major task; it's time-consuming and exhausting and has to be done - and it can be rewarding in all sorts of surprising ways!
"I also got into costume etc 30 mins before the show and went on walkabout outside the venue."
Potential punters want to know about you – your experience, what makes you tick. They’re looking for more than the hard sell. Do make it worthwhile for someone to visit your page in terms of additional information but don't bombard them with an overload of words. Use images and video where you can.
Remember, this is the page which they will visit to buy tickets if you’re appearing in a Ticketed Venue, so make it count.
Send us copy, images and video-links and we will add them to your page - you can't do so yourself.
"I kicked myself when I saw what other companies had done on their webpages."
"Social media was our biggest promotional tool - we posted photos on Instagram, which cross-posted to Facebook and Twitter. In them we mentioned the fringe and pointed people to our website, which had a link to our show page."
For both papers the quality of the image will be the deciding factor. It must be photographic. A graphic image - however beautiful - won't get used. It must be high res, strong contrast and dynamic. Copy needs to be short and punchy - two paragraphs max. And an anecdote often plays better than a description of the show. Over to you!
In previous years, target audiences have included young mums, bed & breakfast guests, nursing staff, the comedy crowd and so on. You then need to think about - and research - how to reach out to these groups in North Devon. The internet is a useful tool. Mount a campaign via social media, email, snailmail, phone or pigeon-post – whichever is most appropriate. Best to make contact at least 4 weeks in advance (ie middle to end of May).
"I contacted a North Devon book club and a singles' group on Twitter. The singles' group didn't reply, but the book club seemed really enthusiastic, chatted a bit and RTed it to their members."
"The taster sessions were brilliant. Good way to gain and show support, mingling was good for fringe camaraderie! "
"I know from previous years that sending posters ahead of time is the best thing I can do because it gives you the most pre festival visibility."
"We flyered venues and the Gazebo and also local coffee shops and hairdressers - they were very welcoming and engaged. We only brought 250 with us - I would suggest about 500 for the full festival.
"We should have used flyers. When there are so many people on the streets actively looking for shows to attend and so many shows for them to choose from, flyers would have been invaluable."
"Most effective were Taster sessions and generally engaging with fellow performers. We did Thursday and Friday Taster sessions, saw other people's shows as much as possible, tweeted about them, chatted on the street, after shows, when leafleting, in the bar, etc"
"Word of mouth is crucial. The vast majority of all my publicity efforts go into getting an audience for the first show, because if it goes well and audience members are talking about your show, most of the work is being done for you."