More New Media News for Film Publicity

August 29, 2007

According to Robert Marich at marketingmovies.net, the days of investing all online publicity effort and budget for a film into a single website are over. The following excerpt states:

“….marketers ask themselves why attempt to build traffic from scratch for an official movie website that is a startup when they can place content such as video film trailers, mount tie-in promotions and buy ads on established websites with huge audiences. These days, Yahoo Movies, MySpace, YouTube and Google are a prime focus for most movie campaigns.”

Check out the full story.


Blogs: Embrace them, use them, don’t leave the set without them.

August 29, 2007

I love it when the numbers support my argument.   This headline makes me smile and pump my fist in the air a couple of times in affirmation:

8 Of 10 Americans Know About Blogs; Half Visit Them Regularly

Check out the full stats in all their glory at mediapost.com

Tip:  Movie goers are discussing film on blogs. Effective film publicity requires wading into the blogosphere.

Talk: Are you a filmmaker with a blog? Post the link in comments and I’ll add it to my blogroll.


Balancing Act: Traditional Publicity and Social Networking

August 27, 2007

Embracing Web 2.0, effectively interacting with the community of movie fans using the variety of social networking tools and sites is obviously something I advocate very strongly. Frankly, I doubt the wisdom of any studio or indie filmmaker who chooses to ignore the power of the conversations on the Internet. However, that doesn’t mean one should focus solely on the new media and forego the traditional press.  How much attention you focus on the traditional media depends, obviously, on the “star” factor of your film and how much money you have in your publicity budget, among other things. It’s a balancing act, even in the best of circumstances, and one that studios and independent filmmakers are still learning.

podcast.jpgToday I listened to a podcast on just this subject. A three-way conversation between Joseph Jaffe, Across the Sound; Chris Thilk, Movie Marketing Madness; and Kirk Skodis, Real Pie Media. After a blessedly brief three-way love fest, including a declaration of a man-crush that I’m sure will haunt the declarer for some time, the guys discussed how the film industry is reacting and adapting to the new media and social networking. They used several recent examples of box office flops and successes, from studios and independents to demonstrate what appears to work, and doesn’t, in film publicity nowadays.

Check out the podcast and share your thoughts about it.


Digital Distribution: survival tool for indie filmmakers?

August 22, 2007

This article from pr-gb.com, while quite lengthy, and written by a digital distributor, does an excellent job of articulating the struggles of indie filmmakers to get their movies to audiences, and the hope that social networking and digital distribution provides.

Indie filmmakers have always been at an disadvantage against major studios, especially when it comes to promotion and distribution. And as the author suggests, it’s unlikely that indie filmmakers will successfully compete in the traditional fashion. Digital distribution, while it hasn’t exactly leveled the playing field, offers indies a cost-effective alternative.

As I said, it’s lengthy, but well worth taking the time to read.


A little ad in your viral video: YouTube’s new model

August 22, 2007

Online Media Daily reports that YouTube is now running semi-transparent ads as overlays and/or rich media animations  on professional and user-generated videos.

It’ll be interesting to see how YouTube users react to this. Would a Joe from Ohio wonder why he’s not getting a slice of the branding revenue when he realizes there’s an ad overlay playing concurrently on his popular video of his break-dancing dog?

In any case, it’s another sign of the times: publicity and marketing focus continues to shift and adapt to the world of Web 2.0.


Press Releases: Not just for the press, for everyone.

August 19, 2007

Back in the day, before Web 2.0, news about films (as well as practically everything else) was sent via press releases to various news outlets, who then published articles about the films.  Hardly anyone who wasn’t a journalist read press releases.   Nowadays, everyone is surfing the Internet for press releases, rather than just relying on traditional news outlets.  With the proliferation of Internet newswires like PRnewswire.com (among many other newswire services) and RSS, everyone, not just journalists, can get first-hand news by reading press releases.

David Meerman Scott, one of my favorite experts on marketing in the era of Web 2.0, has written some insightful information explaining the movement of press releases away from the exclusive domain of journalists, and encouraging those who write press releases to write them for everyone to read, not just journalists.

Studios are getting on board with this concept. Chris Thilik points out, in a piece he recently wrote for Brandweek, that Sony Pictures now has a public press room with press releases, downloadable posters, corporate logos, and still photos, for their slate of upcoming holiday films. As Chris points out, they’re lacking a RSS feed, which may limit their exposure, since more and more people (including me) depend on RSS nowadays to get news. Still, it’s a bold move.  And about time!

The indie house, Yari Film Group, is also trying to get with the Web 2.0 program. They have an RSS feed for their blog and are running their own RSS feed containing news from other sources about their films. Yes, their blog and their press page are woefully out of date. Their online marketing department had a recent switch in personnel, but I know their new department head will soon have things back in tip top shape. The point is, they’re trying. How many production companies have blogs, RSS feeds, and offer readers the ability to not only get info about their filmmakers, but also leave feedback?

When preparing an announcement of the latest news about your film, remember that press releases should be written for everyone to read. Sure, you want journalists to pick up your release. Having Variety write an article about your film would be a good thing! Everyone else (bloggers, people hanging out on MySpace, FaceBook and other social networking sites) can also write about and discuss your film. Make sure your press releases are also written for them, and acessible to them.

Tip: Press releases on films are not read just by journalists, everyone reads them.
Talk: Do you have press releases about your film up on the Web? Post the link in comments and I’ll feature it in a future post.


Content + Communication = Interactive Publicity

August 14, 2007

Paul R. LaMonica posted an interesting bit on his CNN mediabiz blog about a recent study that suggests a trend by Internet users away from spending most of their time communicating via E-mail and instant message applications and towards spending more time consuming content, like reading blogs, watching videos, checking out profiles, etc.  You’re thinking “so what does all this have to do with film publicity?”

The exciting part about this news is that due to the explosion of social networking on the Internet, content and communication is melding together, as Mr. LaMonica points out.    No longer do people passively consume content in one location and time, and then travel to another place and time to communicate about what they’ve learned. Now we have instantaneous discussion, feedback, sharing.  We’re in the age of commtent (I just made that up, it’s probably not really a word…yet). 

Internet users are increasingly participating in online discussions about what interests them at the same site where they consume the content that interests them.  This  is a goldmine for filmmakers who want to reach out directly to audiences. Filmmakers who recognize the value of commtent in publicizing their projects can present their movies and attract the attention of audiences, and also facilitate same-site interactivity for discussion, sharing, and providing feedback on the films — instantaneously.  No more wondering and waiting to find out if people “might be interested in watching” your project. 

When you’re thinking about planning the publicity efforts for your film, you’d do well to keep this trend of the melding of content and communication in mind.  I think we’ll learn that more and more, effective film publicity will be built on the architecture of commtent.

Tip:  Film publicity needs to be interactive, providing content and facilitating communication.

Talk:  What are some ways you might achieve this for your next film?