"We can choose to not let circumstances, no matter what they are, peel away the core of our humanity."-David Harrell, actor and disabilities advocate. David has a solo play, A Little Potato and Hard to Peel in reference to his journey of being born without a right hand, and I had the honor of promoting it for the All for One Theatre Festival (dedicated to presenting solo shows) in the fall of 2013 in New York City.
The obvious angle would have been to market the show as a play about a disability; however, I think a bit against-the-grain, and decided not to go with that route, directly. Yes, David does share his life with the audience, including some of his challenges and accomplishments in reference to having one hand, yet it’s about a deeper message, still. David made a decision years ago to not be defined by his disability, and I selected this as my main angle when pitching to members of the press, and found it extremely effective.
The key to pitching and securing press coverage is proposing a concept that is unique and relatable. Sometimes, the obvious angles are not the most suitable; journalists, bloggers, radio hosts, and media outlets are swamped with countless of pitches a day, if yours is completely different than the rest, chances are they will want to find out more information about the project.
In an earlier article I wrote that I like to contact media outlets in reference to where my clients reside. David is a perfect example, as he lives in Queens, NY; I thought it would be ideal to reach out to The Queens Tribune. I did, and they provided us with a beautiful “Artist Spotlight,” which highlighted both the show and festival. As the production’s run took place in the West Village, this particular press mention expanded our reach, and created awareness to an entirely new network of potential audience members.
David’s conviction to share his story to educate others, and generate awareness, inspired and motivated every single step of my promotional campaign. Thank you David for sharing with the world that circumstances do not have to define or limit us, and that having a disability/limitation does not change who we are. These are profound messages that can be applied to EVERYTHING in life, including theater and public relations.
For more information on David Harrell and A Little Potato and Hard to Peel please visit: http://www.davidharrellonline.com/, and for more information on the All For One Festival, please check out: http://www.allforonetheater.org/
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