As a media news site we get to see a lot of publicity campaigns up close and personal, but the ones which most consistently impress are those for West End theatre shows.
It used to be the case that theatre productions would consider themselves lucky to get a cast member onto a chat show, or to be invited to perform a song on the Royal Variety Performance.
Beyond that they relied on often staid newspaper coverage and sniffy reviews to drive custom.
But over the past decade or so productions – or at least their PR agencies – have grasped the opportunities offered by the internet and, more recently, social media, to promote themselves.
At the less sophisticated end of the spectrum a Twitter account can be used to offer musical tickets as part of a campaign to build up interest and word of mouth.
But publicists are going far beyond giving away freebies.
Last year the sadly defunct Loserville sought to capitalise on the popularity of head songwriter James Bourne by releasing two of the show’s tunes via Soundcloud.
Back in May seenit.co.uk was one of a number of online publications invited to a private performance of Once The Musical where we were encouraged to Tweet, blog, film and photograph the production ahead of a Q&A with the cast.
The result was a great big dollop of live coverage across several social media networks, including this great video:
In a new campaign which kicked off last week, YouTube is being used by the producers of West End hit The Bodyguard to help promote the arrival of singing legend Beverley Knight in the lead role.
Here she is singing Queen Of The Night, and fans are being promised that more tracks will be released over the coming few weeks, helping build momentum until her debut on September 9th.
Forthcoming show From Here To Eternity has also enlisted the web to help build awareness.
In March it offered Facebook and Twitter users the chance to buy tickets 48 hours before they went on general sale, and it’s now released the first in a new run of rehearsal videos, giving a fun insight into preparations for the show:
This kind of content not only helps to convince punters to part with their cash, regular updates also build up anticipation in the weeks before the big night out.
And they offer an easy way for fans to relive moments from a show they loved and, if producers are lucky, get them booking a return trip.