Ideas to promote a charity comedy night

14 replies
A man walks into a bar...

I am helping out a cause close to my heart, they are putting on a comedy show and buffet dinner, as a fundraiser. Now, this is going to be classy affair, great comic, nice location and decent food, not a 3rd rate comic at the high school gym.

I know my strengths, and have implemented my usual arsenal of offline and online marketing to promote the event. Tickets are $40 and population here is 80,000.

I am not so good at the off the wall or unusual techniques to really put the icing on the cake and generate buzz.

With 4 weeks to go to show time and a budget of $1000 what would be some ideas to send this thing over the top?
#charity #comedy #ideas #night #promote
  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    radio and cable tv Public Service Announcements
    tweets from local news people (maybe too late to develop the relationships with them so they will do, but you never know.)
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  • Profile picture of the author Climb Online
    The social media is in full force, and getting some TV & radio exposure. The tweets from the local news celebrities is a good one, thanks.
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    "It is your choice of message that targets the customer, not your choice of media. There are rare exceptions, of course. But not many."
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    flyers in the bars and restaurants the where the target market is likely to hangout
    bulletin boards in grocery stores
    popular local blogs and radio/TV station websites
    local print media - I mean local papers and micro-local newsletters
    area comedy clubs
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  • Fire up the blog on the fundraiser site, or start a blog, and post every day about the show.

    Talk about the comedian, what they have done, any TV or movies they have been in.

    Talk about how the show was planned, what other comedians will appear, how things are coming along, how excited the town is, how much money has been, or will be, raised.

    Tell them this will be the biggest thing in town in 20 years.

    Talk about local celebs that will be at the show (local weather person, DJs, politicians, etc).

    Have postcards made up and hand them out to everyone between now and the show. On the card have the blog or website URL so they can get all the info.

    Keep updating the blog and social media every day.

    Reach out to local press and suggest a story about the show for their paper, blog, TV show, radio show, podcast. Make yourself available for interviews.

    Promote the heck out of the comedian as if you were their press agent.

    Get ahold of their head shot and send it to everyone and their brother.

    See if the comedian has a personal attachment to the fundraiser, like these famous comedians do for animal rights:

    Wags to Riches 2013 – “Comedy to the Rescue” - Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor

    Talk up the comedian's personal connection (if any).

    See if the comedian or their publisher will donate any of their CDs, books, etc. for auctions, drawings or giveaways. If they won't, see if a local bookstore will.

    Promote the show to blogs related to the cause, like this:
    Wags to Riches Comedy Benefit June 29th!

    Ask local clubs, meetings, meetups, networking events and association if you can stand and talk about the fundraiser (could be before or after their meeting). Arrive early and leave a postcard at every chair or place setting.

    Send a press release to local companies and ask them to put the story in their company newsletter, blog or employee portal. Can they include you in their email newsletter? Make sure all stories or mentions link back to your blog.

    See if the cause (or charity) organization has an email list of local donors. Ask them to send an email shot on your behalf.
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    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    If the comedian has a website ask to put a story about the event and you may get more people. Run ads on Gumtree, Craigslist and similar sites.
    Advertise on Facebook ...maybe create a special page or simply pump your own and spread the word.
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    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Website / Blog for more info.

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  • Profile picture of the author alexinfox
    Setting up a Facebook event and inviting friends and asking them to invite friends of friends is always one way to get the word around. If the charity has a Facebook or Twitter page you could use that to advertise and explain what will be happening on the night along with any other details. Using your local radio station is always a good idea if you are able to, you will reach many with the use of local radio stations.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Circulate a few short youtube videos of the comic going around town making fun of it (not in an insulting way but you know, pokes at the things we all laugh at we know are stupid). Have him meet the Mayor and poke fun. And make sure you mention that due to popular demand, you may need to add a second show. Is there a local morning show the comic can be on?
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  • Profile picture of the author abelamorales
    I agree with misterme, I would have some type of YouTube video of this comedian and advertise it on Facebook. I would also get in contact with some of the big hitters on Twitter and have them promote this cause to their followers.

    Lastly, you can also offer some type of prize to the person that refers people that purchase tickets. Maybe something like a $200 tablet or something like that.

    Lastly, I would purchase some bandit signs and post it in high traffic areas around town. Trust me they work!
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    • Profile picture of the author Climb Online
      Thanks all for the great ideas...Lot's of them have been implemented, because, hey I am a great marketer

      couple ideas suggested that I will get rolling. Keep em coming please.
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      "It is your choice of message that targets the customer, not your choice of media. There are rare exceptions, of course. But not many."
      - Roy H. Williams

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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    Give free tickets to the radio stations to give away as gifts.

    As many as you can spare, to as many stations who will accept them.

    The DJ's will create the buzz for you. Specially if it is really a top
    rated comedian.

    Hope that helps some.
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    Selling Ain't for Sissies
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    • Profile picture of the author Climb Online
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      Circulate a few short youtube videos of the comic going around town making fun of it (not in an insulting way but you know, pokes at the things we all laugh at we know are stupid). Have him meet the Mayor and poke fun. And make sure you mention that due to popular demand, you may need to add a second show. Is there a local morning show the comic can be on?

      Our town does not have a morning show, however, I will reach out to the closest one.

      Originally Posted by abelamorales View Post

      Let us know which method works best!
      Will do!

      Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

      Give free tickets to the radio stations to give away as gifts.

      As many as you can spare, to as many stations who will accept them.

      The DJ's will create the buzz for you. Specially if it is really a top
      rated comedian.
      That's a good one thanks.
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      "It is your choice of message that targets the customer, not your choice of media. There are rare exceptions, of course. But not many."
      - Roy H. Williams

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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    Who is the charity?

    Do they have a list of people who have been big supporters, volunteers
    or contributors in the past.

    Contact these people and get THEM on board with promoting it.

    This letter might give you ideas...
    Copywriting: 41%+ Response From This Headline Secret

    Give them some easy way they can promote the event (a funny
    email they can send...a site with a funny video on it selling tickets
    etc etc).


    If you come up with a sexy exciting way to promote this event
    you can send press releases to all your local media (TV, radio,
    newspapers).

    Radio may be effective if you can get one or more of your
    really funny comedians to appear repeatedly on air telling
    jokes.

    Talk back radio shows are always looking for entertaining
    guests.

    Here's some info on writing a press release...
    Copywriting: 6 Rules To Creating A Killer Press Release
    Copywriting: Press Release Template

    I hope something there helps.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author davidreese
    You need to leverage people involved in the event.

    Most people coming to a local event are from the friends, family and supporter circle. The more you can get them to talk about, promote and push the event the more people that will show up.

    The more people in a show - the bigger the audience.

    Make sure everyone directly involved has a small stack of business or postcards that can handout.

    Do videos of people prepping for it or talking about it.

    You want to do a build of enthusiasm and excitement.

    I would focus on the "one night only" and "not to be repeated angle".

    If you can network with other groups perhaps you can do a cross promotion. They can advertise at your event if you advertise at their event.

    If you can find one or two super social people they can often bring a huge crowd.

    I had one acting student that could fill an 50 to 80 seat house on his own.

    Meetup, Eventbrite and other services are good. Use more than one.

    You can't over promote it. Most of your sales will be in the last three days.
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    David Alger
    Thumbtack Bugle We Get the Word Out

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