Upon returning from Spring Break, a sense of urgency had overtaken the Marketing Team for Ragtime. Not only was our time now limited in terms of promoting the show, but also the hype around the show was starting to pick up and put us all into overdrive. However, it wasn’t until I went to see the show myself on the first night of rehearsal in Reynolds Theater that everything finally clicked for me.
As a publicist and marketing director, it’s important to know your product. The past two summers, it had been the shoes produced by the company I had been interning for. But that was different than Ragtime. I could physically hold the shoes in my hands, see the details, and know how to pitch it to the editors of the magazines. In this case, the product, Ragtime, almost felt intangible. I hadn’t had a chance to see what exactly it was that I was pushing so hard all over campus for months. Yes, I knew the cast and crew were working tirelessly on “something”. Still, I found myself wondering what exactly that “something” was. When the opening number ended on Monday night, I not only had chills because of the music, voices, and sheer size of the show, but I also realized what all the hard work my team had been doing the past four months was really for.
The Marketing Team has felt that it was our responsibility to try to get every seat in Reynolds filled and to try to bring out the largest number of Duke students ever to a musical production. To do that, we’ve really had to reinvent what it meant to be a student organization on Duke’s campus promoting an event. I’ve helped do marketing and PR for a number of organizations on campus but never before have I seen such a creative use of Duke’s culture and what it means to be a Duke student used to promote a show. The student-oriented photo shoot ran flawlessly and the taglines and photos are not only eye-catching, but also hysterical. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people have come up to me congratulating the Marketing Team on a job well done or how many of them have said they’ve never seen a show marketed on campus as much as Ragtime has been.
Last post I discussed the importance of having each cast and crewmember on board in terms of spreading the word about Ragtime. The Ragtime Rage Time pinnies and Ragtime t-shirts worn on “Ragtime Swag Time Wednesdays” are effortlessly making their way into the workings of each Duke student’s brains. In addition, we’ve garnered amazing social media connections and hype just this week alone while tabling on the Plaza.
So far, I think everyone has done a fabulous job, and we will see tomorrow if our innovative, albeit shameless, promotion techniques have paid off. The show is fantastic, the people I’ve gotten to know are talented and welcoming, and the experience has been truly marvelous. Getting to share what I felt on Monday night with Duke students and the community will be rewarding and I can’t wait to have them blown away by the show. Break a leg Ragtime!