Just as the worlds of music and print journalism have been changed forever, the world of film production, distribution and marketing has been turned on its head. The internet has changed the definition of business as usual in the entertainment world. There are now new avenues of distribution and marketing. Technology has also changed the film world in other ways. There are some very impressive feature films being made on shoestring budgets, outside of the basic studio system. But once you get a film produced, what then? How do you secure distribution, or find your target market? Public relations is more important than ever in this process. Social media and other forms of internet-oriented outreach are vital, but to create the type of buzz needed to truly launch a film, you need an effective PR campaign. Media relations includes reviews, interviews, and feature stories in print radio or TV. Once you have that component in place, start to broaden your marketing mix. Start focusing on blog postings, article marketing and creating a presence in the social media world.
Why is traditional PR so vital when launching a feature film? It offers you and your movie the validation and credibility of being featured in magazines and newspapers as well as on TV and the radio. That type of coverage helps create a buzz and builds a brand for you and your film. That type of press coverage also separates your film from the competition. It establishes your film in the marketplace and you as a player.
You don’t necessarily want your film reviewed as much as you want stories about you and your film. Come up with a number of media pitches and hooks about you, your film, the actors, the storyline, etc. As you start to garner some media coverage, start a social media campaign to amplify and magnify it.
As you’re launching your film’s media relations campaign, focus on developing a strong online presence. Create an easy to read, easy to navigate, visually compelling website. Develop a presence on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and other social media sites. Start a Youtube channel and start posting short clips. Write articles that film enthusiasts will be interested in. Comment on other films. Engage people in online conversations. Concentrate on film sites, but also consider other markets that have to do with your film’s topic. For example, if your film is sci-fi oriented, search for sites that cover that genre.
Now brainstorm. Come up with different ways you can generate interest in your project. Don’t limit yourself, consider humor, sex, controversy… you get the idea. Remember when working to create interest online your job isn’t to sell, but to create interesting content and start stimulating conversations. Don’t minimize the importance of visuals – you’re working in the film world.
Never forget that the bottom line when creating an effective PR campaign for your film is to have compelling stories. What makes your film interesting? What makes you and your journey as a filmmaker interesting? You’ve used your creativity to make a film, now use that same creativity to make it a success.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012