Promoting Your Screening: Harnessing Your Inner Alec Baldwin
If there's one thing to be learnt from Glengarry Glen Ross and 30 Rock, it's that Alec Baldwin would've made an excellent salesman. So, when faced with a question regarding how best to promote, and sell tickets to, your screening it's a sensible rule of thumb to simply ask yourself "what would Alec Baldwin do here?" If, however, you're in the market for more precise help with promoting a screening (yours or a friend's) below are a few suggestions for straightforward things you can do.
1) Make your screening look as appealing as possible
The host should have a profile picture, and the screening should have a title and description (like this one). Tell people why you've created the screening, and why they should book tickets to it - enthusiasm is contagious, like yelling in Will Ferrell movies.
If it looks like a little TLC (tender loving care, not the popular mid-90s R&B trio) went into the screening, the cinema marketing managers tend to be much more inclined to get behind it on social media too.
2) Promote the screening on social media obsessively
Regular social media updates that emphasise the necessity of advanced bookings (i.e. "15 more people need to book before Sunday for The Big Lebowski to play at Clapham Picturehouse") are extraordinarily helpful.
ourscreen will be new to most, and few people are in the habit of booking cinema tickets weeks ahead - so try to communicate advanced booking as essential, and not just as another option. Try including the Twitter and Facebook handles of us, the film's cast & crew, and the cinema in your different posts - it's an easy way to subtly invite relevant people to help you with promoting your screening!
3) Create a Facebook Event for your screening, invite every friend you have
People love Facebook.
4) Email everyone you know, invite them to your screening
Cruel Intentions' thoughts on email are outdated. Once you've booked your ticket to the screening, email everyone you know - family, friends, estranged cousins, colleagues you resent - and encourage them to book a ticket too, and in doing so help you realise your lifelong dream of confirming your cinema screening of, say, Aliens and getting to watch Paxton shout "GAME OVER, MAN" on a giant screen.
5) Think of local organisations and charities that might be interested in your screening
A great way to access large numbers of people who are likely to be interested in your screening, is to invite local charities and organisations along to it - any whose purposes are relevant to the film that you're hoping to play at the cinema. Whether that's the local newspaper for a showing of His Girl Friday or a zombie-survivor support group for The Evil Dead, it's definitely worth letting them know about what you've got planned!