The better venues would have people responsible for press and publicity as well as enough foot soldiers to get the print material out. Further down the chain, venues would have an army of volunteers and enough people keen enough to see venues succeed in terms of putting on a good show.
Of course, a good way of seperating the good from the bad would be the matter of money (hence Tom's poster as illustration). Venues that paid a fixed fee were more inclined to have better marketing facilites because they were liable to pay out regardless. Venues offering box office splits and venue hire deals were less reliable. And then there are the venues who ask for expensive print material only to find same material still on someone's desk or not distributed around the town or locality.
So what has changed? Clearly the responsibility for marketing a touring show now lies with the visiting theatre, despite the fact that many venues have paid marketing staff. Six weeks into our Beatle Mal show and we have learnt this lesson with a vengeance. We have to do the usual print runs with posters and fliers ourselves, search out and contact the press and do all the social media stuff which is now required. Doing all this in your own locality would be daunting enough, but for 30-odd venues across two countries - mmmmm!
Maybe we should try something completely different. I know, we can post a Youtube clip of Nik swinging on a wrecking ball completely naked!