Publicize your shows! If you have something going on, you gotta let people know about it. Get it in the papers, on craigslist, on campusphilly ...everywhere you can. And you should be sending press releases as well, with complete information and logos and photos and contact information and links to websites, etc.
I think every improv and sketch and anything else group in Philly should really make that a big priority from now on.
There are all links on here, but I want to stress other kinds of publicity.
Fliers. If you can get stuff printed up and handed out on the street or left at other shows (Comedy Clubs, Open-Mic Nights, Improv shows, etc.), it's really targeted marketing and especially makes an impact if someone can get a face-to-face thing and a chance to ask questions about it.
You can have a great poster that speaks to your group's image and leave white space on the bottom to write in show information with a marker. Then not only can you get discounts by printing more but you also use only what's needed with zero waste.
If you're organizing a show, put up a craigslist post (or get someone to do it for you). You would be amazed at the amount of people you can get with a well-timed, good-looking, well-written craigslist post.
My biggest publicity recommendations are craigslist, mailing lists (keep an email list of your fans and email them about upcoming shows), and signs (if you can, get the venue to put up a sandwich board that says "Improv Comedy," time and date, and any other details you want to put in)... and having a nice website to send people to at the end of all these other things.
If anyone wants to utilize craigslist and has questions, wants advice, or needs to know how to write code, embed photos, or make links, I am happy to help. PM me through IRC or send an email to rarebirdshow.
Does anyone have a source for dirt cheap color postcards? Don't have to be glossy, just cheap and can even have the company's logo on the back, just something that can be blanketed everywhere.
Philly comedy groups/comedians can send me info for my website (comicvsaudience.com) and I'll put it up. You can PM me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don't get the hits of the City Paper or Craigslist, but I know my "readers" likes comedy and for the most part live in the Philly area.
In addition to the other advice here, I'd say whatever you can create content-wise to promote your show is good. Make a silly little video or write something funny. It only need to be one concept (a few minutes of video), but it at least gives people a sample of what you are about. And, other blogs and whatnot can link and embed it and it feels like content even though you are promoting your show.
It's great to see all the wonderful press that people have been getting lately.
I also just wanted to offer my brilliant guidance (basic knowledge of html) for help with craigslist postings.
If you want some advice, a cheat-sheet of code that you can keep and update whenever you have a new post, or just want to talk all marketingly with me, just send an email to email@example.com.
Top 5 Craigslist Tips
Have an image.
It's somehow much more engaging to viewers online and in emails if there's some kind of graphic (a photo, a logo, anything) to accompany your text. A picture says a thousand words.
Brevity is the soul of wit.
Keep it concise, clear, and informative. Infusing some humor and personality is great, but you have to straddle the line between a listing and a long email.
Have a nice hyperlink that takes people to a website with more information, ticket purchases online, anything. It makes them actively involved and thus more invested in attending. PLUS it gives them something to email to a friend.
Just the facts.
Even if it's a duplication, give them the who, what, where, when, how much, directions, etc. in a big, simple, clear way.
Extra! Extra! Headline Stands Out Among Sea of Others!
Make your headline really sum it all up and include descriptive words like "improv," "comedy," or "FREE" if it is. Locations are also eye-grabbers. If you live in Manayunk or off of South Street, those words will stand out to you. Be sure to include words like that prominently in the full entry as well.
You can use some fancy html code <B>Like this!</B> to make yourself stand out from the rest. It looks a lot nicer than SOMETHING LIKE THIS!!!!!!!!!!