The game is changing
There's been a lot of talk lately about the impending extinction of print media. Canwest recently cut 560 jobs (although many may have been in TV) and are facing serious financial woes, and similar echoes are being heard throughout the industry.
I was very interested to see that the Georgia Straight recently hired a former Sun columnist, Lloyd Dykk. Seems like the more community-based papers with local content are still going strong.
In theatre, this has big implications for our communications strategies. Shrinking papers means shrinking print media coverage of our shows. The Globe and Mail recently cut their Vancouver theatre listings. And print ads are expensive! (Although hats off to the Georgia Straight for their commitment to supporting arts organizations through sponsorship.)
How can we reach our communities? Some folks are questioning the lifespan of the critic in his/her current form, but it'll be interesting to see the role evolve as the medium of the newspaper shifts. And of course there are other strategies for connecting with people.
Here at Pi, we're exploring many ways to let people know what we're up to, but mostly, we believe that compelling, exciting theatre sells itself. What we do well in the theatre is connect with people, and it's just a question of leveraging that strength. The best way to reach people is and always has been word of mouth. If you like what you see on Vancouver's independent stages, tell someone. Tell everyone! What's going on in this city is too good to keep secret.