Here at Film Courage, we’d been seeking press for our film Goodbye Promise in 2012. Since our days consist of responding to e-mails, Tweets and Facebook requests from filmmakers/content creators asking for the same, we offer a few suggestions from what we’ve experienced.
1. Clear, concise and brief e-mail correspondence is usually the preferred method for contacting press.
2. Twitter DMs may not be effective. Depending on the outlet, it’s sometimes better to save privately (via e-mail) a query rather than what you might quickly Tweet someone (puts less pressure on the outlet and they may be more apt to respond, albeit a little slower).
3. In vein of Lucas McNelly’s FGYST, have your ducks in a row before reaching out to a member of the press. Establish an online identity even if you’re not listed on IMDB. Have a trailer, website and/or Facebook page in place with plenty of relevant info on your film. Include set photos and bios/photos of key people involved with the project. Establish a Twitter account for the film (can also be a personal account) and do not be a one-way blast marketing machine… follow this Lesson from Gary Vaynerchuk.
A Lesson On Publicity Every Filmmaker Must Know by Alexis Kirke
DIY Tips For Doing Your Own Publicity At A Film Festival
by Kyle Patrick Alvarez of C.O.G.
6. Sending a long letter with all your (and/or the film’s) accolades is usually not effective. Wait to see if the reviewer/press outlet wants more info and then hit them with “the good stuff.”
Release Strategy: What To Do 30 Days Prior To Your Film’s
World Premiere by Theo Dumont
7. If you’ve sent a press outlet something, give them a little bit to follow-up. Keep a chart of the contact person, what was sent, and when. Best not to bombard them too soon. Circle back but don’t be too persistent. We realize it’s hard when it’s your project that is on the line. Sometimes patience is best. If you’re crowdfunding, plan according to your deadline for the campaign. Make a list of which outlets you want to target well in advance before the campaign begins. These outlets might consist of media about your project (i.e., Opera-related websites may show interest in a pending documentary about Opera/Theater related themes). Possibly the publication may share a link via social media (rather than post on their website).
The Most Effective Way To Promote Your Movie At A Film Festival
by Daniel Sol
8. Plan big, but be willing to reach out to Bloggers, Youtube critics and the like if “key” press doesn’t respond. Also, be willing to write a piece yourself for submission with an outlet. If you’re not confident with writing it yourself, possibly someone else involved in the project will be able to write something about it.
9. Your backstory or the story of making the film can play a major role in your film getting media attention. Savvy marketers will pitch storylines that those in the media will want to share. (Watch Shane Ryan’s video on the making of his film.)
Publicist Jeremy Walker tells us why he got into movie publicity, the importance of a set photographer, how his job has changed in the last five years, and looks into the successes of The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity.
This fun (yet informative) video is intended for country singers but has some great info.