LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS... welcome to the big top blog of Douglas McPherson, author of CIRCUS MANIA, the book described by Gerry Cottle as "A passionate and up-to-date look at the circus and its people."

Sunday, 21 July 2013

World Circus Day - a missed opportunity?

Young Afghanis celebrate World Circus Day
but how many UK circuses used the day to
raise their profile?

This year’s fourth World Circus Day was celebrated with events in a whopping 47 countries from Afghanistan to Vietnam, and from Peru to Japan. But, writing in the World Circus Day edition of Planet Circus, the magazine of the European Circus Association, editor Dirk Kuik lamented the lack of involvement by the majority of professional circuses. It was mainly amateur circuses, schools, community projects and circus fans who took part.

What a wasted opportunity that was for publicity-starved circuses everywhere!

Awareness-raising days like World Circus Day and World Juggling Day may be easy to ignore - after all, every day is world something day. BUT, journalists, radio presenters and even TV stations love linking a feature to such days. Emailing a local radio station to say next Saturday is World Circus Day will almost guarantee an invitation on air to talk about the circus - and YOUR circus - and if you mention a tie-in promotion such as cheap tickets or a free juggling lesson before the show, you will get more people in your big top.

Circus Mania
was launched on the first
World Circus Day
- as reported in
The Stage.
I know, because a) as a journalist I’m always linking stories to various awareness-raising days and b) as the author of Circus Mania, I’ve arranged a ton of local, regional and even national publicity for the book linked to the past four World Circus Days.

So come on, circus owners, when the next World Circus Day comes around on April 19, 2014, how about you all arrange a related promotion and make a concerted effort to get some World Circus Day publicity for your own show and circus in general?

Oh, and why wait until next April? August 1st is the beginning of International Clown Week. If a circus can’t get its funny man in the media in that week it never will!

See also: Royal approval for The Showman's Girl!
and Banned from the big top - why circuses don't get reviewed.

Update: The fifth World Circus Day will be celebrated on Saturday 19, 2014.

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