Cirque du Soleil OVO at the Times Union Center

For the first time since 2006, Cirque du Soleil was heading back to the Capital Region. The company’s 25th Cirque du Soleil live production, OVO, was taking the Times Union Center stage in late January through early February 2020.

With the show featuring an exciting community of insects, love and acrobats, the company looked to create a buzz through media relations to target Capital Region families and people of all ages.

Cirque du Soleil outlined a lofty goal of 6,000 tickets sold, a goal that Baker Public Relations would help to more than double. Our team understood that in order to gain press attention and inform the public of the performance dates, we had to ramp up excitement with a strategic approach.

Baker Public Relations conducted a kickoff meeting with Cirque du Soleil to review a timeline of events. This allowed our team to develop a Market Overview Document, detailing targeted geographical areas, key media, cross promotion and outside-the-box ideas. Our team then dove into reviewing documents provided by the client such as a detailed Show Manual, Interview Angle Document, and Fact Sheets.

To begin strategic planning, our team developed a timeline for rollout of pitches, interview coordination, and media event dates. This aligned with the development of a specific media list. Baker Public Relations took media contact building a step further by developing a blogger and social media influencer list. This allowed Cirque du Soleil OVO to target the mom blogger demographic. Such bloggers included Saratoga Mama and Capital District Moms.

When it came time to announce the tour dates, we drafted and distributed a press release. From there, our team secured and coordinated phone interviews with Saratoga Today, Daily Gazette and Spotlight Newspaper. Baker Public Relations also drafted an article and coordinated publishing in the Times Union Centertainment Magazine.

To continue to build buzz leading up to the show, Baker Public Relations coordinated an Albany.com Ticket Giveaway and Homepage Takeover, allowing one person to receive 4 front-row tickets to attend with family or friends.

By this point of the media relations campaign, Baker Public Relations and Cirque du Soleil noticed a significant increase in ticket sales. This led to our team drafting and distributing an “additional seating opening due to a high demand” press release.

This brought us to the two-week mark leading up to the show. Baker Public Relations pitched, scheduled and attended a radio appearance on the Breakfast Club with Sean and Andrea for B95.5. With a large following also on social media, we took advantage of the opportunity for photos, which the station posted. Within the post, comments came in about how listeners were going to purchase tickets.

The week of opening night, our team drafted and distributed an Open Media Rehearsal media advisory, informing outlets that crews could attend a day of rehearsal for coverage purposes. This led to our team strategically hosting four television crews alongside three print photographers and/or reporters for the following: walk through of the costume closet, behind-the-scenes tour, multiple open rehearsals, and artist interviews. Media outlets included, but were not limited to: Albany Times Union, Albany Business Review, News Channel 13, Spectrum News, CBS6 – WRGB, and News10 – ABC.

Additionally, our team coordinated a behind-the-scenes video shoot with Two Buttons Deep, allowing personality Taylor Rao to get a one-on-one makeup tutorial and try out on the performance trampoline.

Furthermore, we coordinated and invited key media, reviewers, and bloggers to attend and share content regarding their attendance on opening night. In total, our team invited approximately 100 influential members of the community, and about 60 people attended. Important reviewers included: Tresca Weinsten, who published a rave review in Times Union Newspaper, Tamani Wooley from Spectrum News, Jim Gilbert from Nippertown, who shared an array of photographs, and Karen Tararache from WNYT, among others.

Lastly, we invited bloggers and influencers to a Behind-The-Scenes Tour after the show. Those included Saratoga Mama, Our Robins Nest, Hannah Rae Fit and Capital District Moms. The tour encouraged bloggers to share their experiences on their websites and social media platforms to boost engagement and overall ticket sales.

Due to the strategically placed and timed-out media coverage, Cirque du Soleil OVO met its goal of increasing ticket sales. By the end of the contracted period, Baker Public Relation’s efforts had accumulated more than 13 thousand tickets sold.

Overall, Baker Public Relations solidified over 25 pieces of media coverage in outlets such as News Channel 13, CBS6 – WRGB, Albany Times Union, Albany Business Review, The Daily Gazette, Capital District Moms, Saratoga Mama, Two Buttons Deep, and more.

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