Here’s the deal. If you are talented actor who has hit a snag, the go-to marketing strategies every other acting is using just isn’t enough. Things like sending postcards, networking events, taking workshops can only take you so far.
There comes a time when you have to shake things up.
If you want to make you and your acting success stand out from the crowd, there is a way to do it. And it doesn’t involve wayward shenanigans, public meltdowns or pulling a (regrettable) stunt.
Be sure to read Emily’s other Film Courage article
In fact, getting some heat on you might be a lot easier than you think.
Land yourself some good old-fashioned media coverage!
What makes media coverage so powerful?
Media coverage is how the entertainment industry does business. It is the language that is spoken. It is highly valued.
When a new film or tv show is coming out what do the producers of that project do?
They get as much media coverage as they possibly can.
Media coverage does all of the following:
•Builds a buzz
•Gets people talking (the BEST marketing on the planet)
The more press, the more buzz, the more tickets sold, the more money is made. The industry values media coverage. It’s how they do business.
When you land your own media coverage, suddenly you are speaking the same language as your industry. This makes you a valuable asset. It gives you some heat, and when there’s heat on you – it’s time to strike while the iron is hot!
Landing your own media coverage helps you:
•Up your visibility
•Get people talking about you
In other words – it makes you stand out from the crowd.
In a sea of talented, focused, proactive actors, how do you stand out? With credible visibility.
Media coverage can plant you in front of thousands, hundreds of thousand or even millions of people all at once.
Landing Media Coverage is Easier Than
Let’s talk about the most important principles you must master to get the industry buzzing about you:
Have a good story
Your story must be “good” in the eyes of a journalist, editor or reporter. Start thinking like one to get to the good stuff. Look for the following elements:
•Specific newsworthy angle
•Find something new about the story (notice how “news” starts with “new”)
•Effectively answer the question “Who cares?”
•Human element – people emotionally connect to stories, not facts
•Relevant to the audience of the publication
Non-Newsworthy Example: Actress creates new webseries
Newsworthy Example: Actress overcomes the no-budget hurdle to create first-ever 100% crowd-funded webseries
See the difference?
The first example is simply a fact.
The second example is a story of a determined young woman who overcomes obstacles to her aspirations by funding her project in a completely new way.
Here’s the next step in the art of landing media coverage:
Do Your Research
•Find news outlets that are appropriate for your story
•KNOW who you are pitching (editor, a reporter, or a journalist)
•Target specific people
•Understand the kind of stories they usually cover
•WHO is the publication’s audience?
•What does that audience value? What are their interests?
If you want your story to get picked up you must pitch a relevant story to the appropriate person.
You wouldn’t expect to land a national commercial by submitting for a musical, would you? Media coverage is the same. Backstage West and Variety are both considered industry trade papers. But they focus on very different stories and different readers
Your job is to investigate (ahem…like a reporter) which publications are right for your story.
Pitch a GREAT Story
You have a great story, you’ve done your research, you’ve got the right person and your story appeals to the audience of the publication.
Now it’s time to make your pitch stand out.
•Keep it short
•Show them WHY your story is valuable to their audience
When it comes to media coverage, your job is to provide value, to help the editor or writer tell a great story. Approach your pitch from the point of view of what YOU can do for them (not what they can do for you).
What you can do for them is provide a great, newsworthy story that appeals to, entertains or educates their readers.
The trick to landing your own media coverage is to be bold enough to ask for it. Many media coverage opportunities have come my way not by chance or luck, but because I was bold enough to ask.
Most people won’t take this step. If you do (and you’ve done your homework beforehand), you’re that much closer to making yourself stand out from the crowd.
Tell the World
Once your story gets published – don’t be shy. Tell the world! Here are few ways to get the media coverage snowball rolling:
•Post on social media
•Email your friends
•Let your industry fans know about it
•Ask people to SHARE your stuff (don’t be shy)
•Print hard copies of your press and mail it out
•Create pdfs of your press and email them out
•Include links to your press and post them everywhere
When it comes to media coverage, often that first published piece leads to other news outlets (and industry professionals) approaching YOU.
If you are an experienced actor who feels stuck at your current level, media coverage just might be the boost you need to kick it up a notch (or 10). If your story is newsworthy, you do the research and your pitch is high quality, go for it! Boldness pays off.
Emily Grace helps actors get in the driver’s seat of their career with marketing plans that get results. She is an award-winning actress, a writer and producer. Want to hear more from Emily? Be sure to sign up for her weekly newsletter full of useful tools to navigate the entertainment industry at www.emilygrace.tv. Follow Emily on twitter or Facebook!