6 Rules for Contacting Press
I’ve had to reach out to a lot of press recently for the theatrical release of Goodland. It’s not the first time I’ve had to try to get some press for a movie, but it is the first time I’ve had to do it recently. So I had to brush up on a couple of tactics, and thought I would turn those tactics into a useful blog for all the people who follow me. So without further ado, here are 6 rules for contacting press about your movie
1. Think about what they get out of covering you.
Reporters receive A LOT of press releases and requests for coverage on any given day. If you want to rise above the pack, a good way to start is by thinking about why they should cover you.
Try asking yourself these questions. (Google Large Rectangle to the side.)
Are you local?
Is there some reason your film being there is significant to your community?
Is there any reason the arts editor should review your movie instead of the major studio ones on their desk?
Consider all of these questions, and try to find an answer to them before you reach out.
2. Start Small
Don’t go straight to Variety and Deadline. (unless you have contacts there) instead try to get some reviews from some blogs with moderate following. If you can, get some ratings on IMDb. As you build notoriety and visibility, start reaching out to bigger and bigger outlets.
3. Local Press Coverage is Easier than National Coverage.
4. Develop your list of press contacts.
Not everyone has a press contact list, but if you do, it’s probably worth reaching out to them as soon as you have something relevant to announce. If you don’t, you should see how you can develop a list of press contacts. That’s easier said than done, but it can be helpful to volunteer at events or organizations that already have the contacts, then see about networking with them wherever you can.
5. If you have press contacts, don't bombard them with irrelevant releases.
Don’t send our a press release just because your movie got accepted to one small festival. It’s unlikely to do you much good. However, if you get into Sundance, or are heading to local theaters, that’s probably something the press would want to know about.
The biggest thing here is to not waste the time of busy people. it’s a good way to ensure you get ignored.
6. Consider hiring a publicist
Like so many things in the film industry, (or any industry for that matter,) publicity is a game of relationships. If you don’t have those relationships, it’s probably worth hiring a publicist. Press coverage is still one of the highest ROI promotional channels you can do for your business, even if you decide to go through a publicist, since you’re likely to get a lot more coverage than you would on your own. If you hire the right publicist, they’ll more than pay for themselves.
Thank you so much for reading!
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My name is Ben, I'm an Entrepreneur, Producer's Rep, and Author. I'm the founder of Guerrilla Rep Media, Co-Founder/CMO of ProductionNext, and founder of Producer Foundry. Together, the organizations seek to help make filmmaking a more economically sustainable endeavor. I am dysic, I have capitalization issues, and the blogs are often unedited. opinions all my own.
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