View Full Version : Need Publicity!

07-29-2008, 11:12 AM
This is my first year at running a professional haunt. Our 1st year here is the haunts 5th year of operation. The place has suffered from poor management and though it doesn't have a bad rep, it isn't stellar either. We are working hard to make this a great show this season, nothing like the past couple of years.
Does anyone here have suggestions for cheap or free publicity? we are entering a few of the local fall parades in the area. I have made a press release that I will send out in the next couple of days to local papers. Beyond that, we are scrambling on how to get the word out that our haunt has new caretakers and is worth the visit.
Radio and TV are not in the cards this year, no budget for them.

Any help would be awesome!


07-29-2008, 11:31 AM
Two words: Viral Videos

Yeah, putting up videos on websites such as Youtube and the like.

Some haunts have gone in this direction. It's free and you have more, shall we say, legroom in doing what you want with your video. Want to show tons of gore? Fine. Want coarse language? Go ahead. Want the commercial to be five minutes long? O-K.

Go forth and exploit the internet!

07-29-2008, 11:45 AM
Sorry, but I just had to say that Smiley sure is looking different these days. I like it! ;)

07-29-2008, 01:45 PM

Can you post your press release on here before you send it out? I am a former newspaper editor and can tell you if it is what the media is looking for.


07-29-2008, 11:00 PM
I get some that paint that you can use on your car windows and put my haunt name and phone number.
We also do a "Meet the Monsters" day at a local business who lets us hang out in their parking lot. A few of our "lesser" monsters ( don't want to give away our BIG scares) and I go in full costume and hand out fliers .
If you are a member of MySpace, tell all of your friends;have them tell all of their friends,etc.

Patti Ludwinski
07-29-2008, 11:44 PM
Couple ideas for getting media attention:

1. Plan a Press Night and invite them all down for a Press Party. We used to do it the day before opening night, but later realized that there were too many kinks to work out early on, and we didn't want the press to witness us working through any kinks. Now, we do it a day or two after opening weekend.

2. A celebrity guest can draw media attention. However, it seems to get harder and harder to find celebrities willing to come for the right price AND who are willing to appear on all the radio station morning shows, televised news casts, etc. Our best celebrity guest who did THE MOST media for us was Linda Blair, but that was a long time ago.

RJ Productions
07-30-2008, 12:12 AM
Like Patti said promote a Press Night. Do something unusual to gain attention, make up little coffins, put the invite in and hand deliver them with maybe a "Mortician" and a "Zombie"!

Newspapers and other Media want thing that are "new". Push the "New Management" angle. Tell them all the "new" improvements or what ever else that is NEW!

07-30-2008, 09:04 AM
A current website is absolutely crucial! You can get hosting incredibly cheap through GoDaddy.com, about $4.00 a month for more than sufficient bandwidth.

Have you considered cross-promoting with local businesses?

My sister-in-law runs a salon and cross-promoting with her always works suprisingly well. We go through VistaPrint.com and order business cards that are actually coupons. A customer at her salon is given a card that offers $2.00 off admission to the haunt ...customers at the haunt are given a card that offers 10% off of any service. ( the cards are given after the customer pays)
She offers a bigger discount because her customers are paying more to begin with. She starts handing out cards a couple of weeks before the haunt opens, then rakes in the business and picks up new customers in a traditionally slow time of year for salons. It works well for both of us.

07-30-2008, 10:58 AM
We mailed our press kits out in coffins one year and it got a great response from some people ... but not the local radio producer who had just returned from her father's funeral.

We didn't do it again.

Jim Warfield
08-03-2008, 08:05 AM
I think I would advertise it as being ,"Under New Mis-management!" Then have a short video showing the manager instructing dressed up employee(s) not to terrify the customers intercut with scenes of people absolutely terrified, running, screaming at the top of their lungs!
The manager looks into the camera for a close up and with an evil gleam in his (or her) eye says, "Well , you have to start somewhere I guess? "
Then looking passed the camera says, "Just try and keep it a few heart beats below "fatal".

Patti Ludwinski
08-20-2008, 11:22 PM
Check this out... House of Torment in Austin, TX is already getting publicity attention. Kudos to you guys!



(Thanks for sending my way, Jon)