i^ooNiPAioyir with ALAN KENNAUGH

So you have captured your first item of newspaper publicity at last. Well, you knew you would if you kept fastening down those reporters, or perhaps you sought out the editor with that choice news item and kept plugging away in this direction. No matter how you accomplished it, the news makes you feel good—makes you feel that something extra has been added to your magicians scrap book

Well, the "Roundabout" is in motion once again to analyse this problem of publicity. Jump on and we will use my remarks made fast month as a starting point. We were, I think, sifting out the problems of publicity and putting them in their right perspective.

Quite a lot of my time has been spent in reading over various forms of magician's publicity—blurbs of various types—good, not so good, and never mind. Into whatever category they fall, one thing stands out a mile as a commonplace phenomenon. That is a complete indifference to the little matter of "copy".

Some magicians are apt to dress their hand-out literature in a most artificial guise, and seem to take a delight in clothing their "copy" with obvious gloating terms. You would be surprised how many work on these lines instead of coming to the point. Now this sort of material is all right on it's face value if one can see a story without much trouble, but the authors take a definite risk. Their padded story may never be read, and thus will never see the light of day in a newspaper paragraph.

Here's the angle. Come straight to the point. Tell the editor what you have to offer and believe me, the newspapers will always use a good story and will be happy to co-operate with the right material. Furthermore, the man in the street who is interested in the news paragraph may read the follow-up. If a magician is described in the columns as being talented enough to work apparent miracles, the public may want to know more about that man. Often rival editors send round to find out how he started in magic and all the usual interesting news. Soon you will be scraping the bottom of the barrel for the odds and ends which go to make a feature.

These features must, of course, have a direct bearing on the news. Most papers devote entire pages to feature work, so never neglect this important aspect of publicity. If you have been fortunate enough to make the grade in the news columns, why not try the follow-up?

Let us now get to the business which deals with approaching an editor. Unless a story is of urgent news value, always play safe and approach your newspaper by letter which should set out in very brief manner (for the editor has little time to read the colour around an object) your idea of the story. "Your" is the operative word in this sentence for the journalist will be mainly interested in his own approach, and after all, he is paid for his skill and experience.

Another way is to visit the editor, but iquite frankly I don't think this is the best course.

The Chinese say that one picture saves ten thousand words, and for the magician in search of publicity, nothing could be more true. When space is difficult for news stories, a picture might make the grade. If your story is sound enough for ¡'lustration, by all means submit a few prints. Here again one must be careful not to detract from the value of an otherwise perfect story by submitting poor and worthless prints.

It may be, as is more often done, that the newspaper will prefer to commission their own photographer for illustration purposes. This is naturally the best course if it can be arranged and could be suggested in your letter.

Continued on Page 124

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