EP 17 – Neil Mackinnon – Edinburgh Fringe Head of External Affairs

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EP 17 – Neil Mackinnon – Edinburgh Fringe Head of External Affairs

Total run time: 1 hour 00 mins 44 secs.

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About Neil Mackinnon…

Since 2009 Neil Mackinnon has been the Head of External Affairs at Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society & Head Of Media at the Fringe. This means when the world’s news media and journalists arrive his office is the first place they go. 

Here are a list of the questions we covered. 

Media Office

  • What services does the media office offer? [to the uninitiated] [0 mins 0 secs]
  • Should we send you a press release? [3 mins 30 secs]
  • When should we contact you? (before the Fringe / during?) [3 mins 30 secs]
  • Should we keep you updated on any developments eg if we win an award or are selling out etc [4 mins 58 secs]
  • Do you only pass on show recommendations or also news stories?
  • Does the Fringe central offer emotional support for performers having a bad Fringe? [7 mins 51 secs]
  • What’s the process of working with the Fringe office to help performers get more exposure for performers?[14 mins 35 secs]
  • What advice would you have for performers to get more exposure for their show?[17 mins 14 secs]


  • Do you like the trend of acts going to Free Fringe to build an audience? [25 mins 15 secs]
  • What services can you offer someone on the Free Fringe in terms of press coverage?
  • Do you track how people discover shows? Is print or online more effective? [18 mins 21 secs]
  • Interviews with artists… should we email you to confirm we’re available or do you just contact us?
  • Press images – when should these be sent to you?
  • If we’re doing a “stunt” do we let you know before / during / after? [8 mins 20 secs]
  • Should we involve the Fringe Central in stunts? [20 mins 45 secs]
    • Clash Diary
  • How does the worlds media approach you? Do they ask for stories / reviews or subjects which fit their publications? [2 mins 0 secs]
  • Is there a place where the press post for things they’re looking for? [19 mins 33 secs]
  • How do journalists use Fringe central to discover shows?[27 mins 25 secs]
  • So we can contact them? I remember last year there was a very last minute article about shows which had no audience, and I was put forward for it. Is there a place to find out about these?
  • What do you think of performers going “solo” and not hiring their own PRs? Do you think they’re worth the money now? [23 mins 51 secs]
  • What does the Fringe Central think about student reviewers?[30 mins 16 secs]

General Fringe Questions

  • How do you see the Fringe developing in the next 5 years? [38 mins 55 secs]
  • What is Edinburgh?[40 mins 36 secs]
  • Do you think the Fringe is too big? What do you think of new production companies like Freestival? [39 mins 30 secs]
  • How does a performer get featured on the official Edinburgh Fringe social media platforms? [41 mins 57 secs]
  • I counted 28 awards at the Fringe, do you think there are too many? [43 mins 26 secs]
  • Why do you think comedy dominates the Fringe programme? Is it a chicken and egg, like the industry come up so we do or something else? [49 mins 04 secs]
  • Is the Edinburgh Fringe a meritocracy? [13 mins 24 secs]
  • What are the things the Ed Fringe audiences looking out for when deciding on going to a show? [44 mins 58 secs]
  • The environmental impact of the Fringe – what does the Fringe do? [46 mins]
  • Advice for – [51 mins 30 secs]
    • Performers putting on a show
    • People going to watch
    • Industry looking for new talent.
  • Books etc [50 mins 18 secs]

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Simon Caine is a comedian, author, podcaster, writer and social media manager. He's the host of the Ask The Industry Podcast (iTunes link) , writer of jokes for Twitter and teller of gags on the London comedy scene. He's also the person writing this and it is taking all his willpower not to make a "Simon Says" joke.
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