7 years ago

Volume 5 Issue 9 - June 2000

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • Jazz
  • Choir
  • Festival
  • Arts
  • Musical
  • Singers
  • Concerts
  • Choral

Dawn Lyons goes BEHIND

Dawn Lyons goes BEHIND THE SCENES Today I am talking with Francine Labelle, who is a free-lance publicist, as well as a broadcaster for CJBC (Radio Canada, CBC's French national network), a iranslatorl proofreader and a singer with Tafelmusik Chamber Choir. Me: Francine, you told me on the phone that your mother doesn 't know what you do. Well, that's two of us. What DOES a publicist do? Francine: Well, I try to get my clients unpaid advertising. A Jot of people think that a publicist buys advertising, that is not what we do. We go after the newspaper columnists, the feature writers, we try to get our clients exposµre on radio and TV shows, that sort of thing. A publicity campaign complements an advertising campaign. Me: So you are delivering a product you don't actually produce? Francine . . Exactly. That's what keeps me awake at nights, there is no guarantee. Say I convince William Littler to write an article about a group I am promoting. Well, even if he agrees, there are many reasons why it may not be printed .. Once we had a show at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and we had a feature article arranged and it was all set to appear in the next day's paper and then a sports broadcaster was shot and died in Ottawa, (I cannot remember the TV station he worked for, for the life of me ... ) It was a terrible tragedy -- but my coverage went down the drain, the arts feature got bumped, and to make matters worse there was a terrible snowstorm and the person coming from Toronto with the media tickets was stranded in the Toronto airport and we had to reprint all the media tickets on the spot in Ottawa. That was an Francine Labelle, publicist unusual case, granted, but always it could-happen. I contract to deliver a product I ·can't control. · Me: How do you get the media to promote your clients? Francine: Well, I always look for an angle -- there are two schools, one is angles, the other one is pushy. I don't like to do that, it makes enemies. · Me: I've heard you are very persistent .. Francine (shrugs): Oh, persistent is OK, but pushy - it works for some people, but pushy is not in me. I like to build relationships. I'm selling, I don't need enemies. Me: Do you screen your clients for quality? Francine (looks prim): I was privileged to work in great places, L 'Opera de Montreal, Place des Arts, the George Weston Recital Hall for LIVENT. My last full time job was as publicist of Roy Thomson Hall, but that was more than 2 years ago .... So, It's not complicated, I did it based on instinct for a lot of years, then I came to realize, hey, maybe I know more than I think I do. as a freelancer .. . (She looks thoughtful) ... I work with people I know - Queen of Puddings Music Theatre, the TSO Musicians while they were on strike - I wouldn't take someone I couldn't believe in, there has to be a potential to generate interest. After all, I can't buy publicity. Me: Queen of Puddings - that's a catchy name. Is that · what you'd call an angle? Francine (laughs): To me, the angles are that it's a world premiere and that it's multimedia. I can target one half music and one half theatre - oh, and I can target dance journalists, too. Also, this show, Sirens/Sirenes, is about Anglophones and Francophones, so maybe I can go to the lifestyle journalists. Or, maybe someone in the cast is a cook. I say to the food editor, this guy's a great tenor, but he's a really fabulous cook, you might want to do a feature on him. Me: I can see that a busy journalist might be really happy to get a good lead. photos by Den Ciul Francine (nods): It's up to me to catch the right journalist at the right time. Sometimes a journalist will say, I don't have time, or I don't have space, so I come back to them later. Sometimes I'm a gopher - a journalist will say 'send me a press kit and all the CD's' - and they never return them -­ and nothing happens. Me: So, what's a good angle? Francine: It depends. You have to know your journalists. For example, you told me about your friend who is a composer, but doesn't know what to charge for her work. If she were my client, I know a journalist, he is not a music writer, but he might be interested in the economic aspect, that she doesn't know how to put a valuation on her . work and he would write from that angle. Another journalist inight be interested in the fact that she is working as a waitress -- I could find a lot of people who might want to write about her without ever dealing with her music! This journalist I know likes bizarre, that one hates children (I would never send him a child prodigy!), another likes to do things way in advance, another says 'call me · back two days before the opening'. You have to know what will appeal and what won't, and the timing is SO important! Me: The artists want media exposure, and the media people need interesting things to present to their public. But how do you get your clients to expose interesting things to the media? Francine: I work directly with the producers and usuall)I with the artists - that's why a lot of people think that being a publicist is glamorous. I pick them up at the airport, I brief them - so that they know what CONTINUES

TORONTO CHILDREN'S CHORUS JEA~ ASHWORTH BARTLE, C.M., O.ONT. ---------·------ TUMN 1 n 1 ANIMALS in CANADA SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2000, 4:00 pm LAWRENCE PARK COMMUNITY CHURCH Our·Training Choirs are sure to delight with an unforgettable afternoon of Canadian songs, stories and fun to warm a cool October day. FOUNDER/MUSIC DIRECTOR ----------- f-:. r SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 2001, 7:30 pm . (_/ GEORGE WESTON RECITAL HALL ePllLDREN HELPING CHILDREN In a gala benefit for Hospital for Sick Children, TCC celebrates life and good healtti with Raminsh's Vestigia. Please join us in support of the children! THERN PASSAGES · SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2000, 3:00 pm METROPOLITAN UNITED CHURCH From imperial rhythms veiled beyond the gates of Russia to luminous harmonies evoking landscapes of modern Finland ... an extraordinary choral feast! ORUS CHRISTMAS . ATURDAY,OECEMBER 16, 2000, 7:30 pm OY THOMSON HALL The halls resound in a glorious tapestry of voices and brass leading you in timeless holiday carols: With 400 TCC choristers and the True North Brass. SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2001, 7:30 pm GEORGE WESTON RECITAL HALL Discover the passion, incomparable strength and insight of the feminine voice in music with works spanning Hildegard von Bingen to Eleanor Daley/ Jr7R EK HOLMAN BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2001, 7:30 pm METROPOLITAN UNiTED CHURCH TCC & Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir offer a spectacular birthday performance for Derek Holman with a medley of works from his own hand! SIC for a SUNDAY AFTERNOON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2001, 4:00 pm METROPOLITAN UNITED CHURCH Bring the entire family for an irresistible journey through cherished Canadian · folksongs, fairytales and legendary lore ... featuring the Training Choirs! THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2001 S~. JAMES' CATHEDRAL A co-production of TCC, Amadeus Choir, Elmer lseler Singers & MacMillan Singers, in conjunction with Chorus America 2001 Conference in Toronto. Call 4i6.932.B666 / TORONTO ARTS COUNCIL ROYAL BANK OF CANADA HEATHCLIFF FOUNDATION ONTARIO ARTS COUNCIL SCOTIABANK HENRY WHITE KINNEAR FOUNDATION MINISTRY OF CITIZENSHIP AND CULTURE TORONTO DOMINION BANK KPMG CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)