Reading Marshal Kirkpatrick’s post Does Good Tech Need PR? and evaluating our current PR needs at Wayside Theatre, I’m reminded of an incident with my daughter when she was about 5 years old. My theatre company at the time was performing a raucous production of Two Gentleman of Verona which she loved. On show nights I’d take her up to the theatre and she’d watch the actors warm up and then after delivering the curtain speech, I’d walk her home, usually with her riding on my shoulders.
One night as we passed a storefront with a window containing one of our show posters, she saw the poster and asked what it was. I explained that it was advertising for the show so people would know about it. Her comment floored me then and still does today. She said simply,
Well, Dad, if it’s good enough you shouldn’t have to beg.
She was right of course, and also wrong at the same time. Unfortunately, even the best product or the best art needs someone to “get the word out.” The world may beat a path to your door if you build a better mousetrap, and that does indeed happen, but the number of mousetraps make for a lot of different paths, and someone has to make sure yours takes precedence.