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

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 Yes, their blog and their press page are woefully out of date.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.

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One Response to Press Releases: Not just for the press, for everyone.

  1. ‘My Name is Alan, and I Paint Pictures’
    A film by Johnny Boston

    My Name is Alan and I Paint Pictures is a haunting documentary created by the emerging super producer-director, Johnny Boston. The film is a five-year chronicle about Alan Streets, a paranoid schizophrenic, as he struggles to succeed as an artist in New York City.

    Alan’s life is a constant series of questions, concerns and fears. Will his work be appreciated? Will he be taken advantage of? Will he be able to keep his disease subdued without medication?

    My Name is Alan and I Paint Pictures follows this talented artist from the suburbs of London to the wards of Bellevue Hospital in New York City and out on to the streets where he sets up his easel every day – fair weather or foul — and paints canvases of the urban landscape.

    Alan battles the demons in his own head with vast quantities of alcohol, a wide variety of drugs (legal and otherwise), and, ultimately, just a paintbrush and canvas. Clean and sober and off of all meds, Alan now lives in New York determined to succeed as an artist on his own term s. But can an isolated, still paranoid Alan make it an art world where success sometimes depends as much on whom you know as on what you paint? This film and this unforgettable character will probably change your beliefs about Schizophrenia as something that is always debilitating.

    Alan’s story unfolds through the eyes of his parents, friends and lovers, psychiatrist, and Alan himself. In time, we get to know Alan very well through swatches of his daily life, his interactions with others, and, crucially, through his paintings.

    Interviews with the art community complement the story. They include:
    Robert Storr – Art Historian and Former Curator, MOMA;
    Arnold Lehman – Director, Brooklyn Museum;
    Pamela Willoughby – Gallery Manager of Marc Borghi Gallery;
    John Maizels – Editor, Raw Vision Magazine;
    and Daniel Kunitz – Critic, Art Review.

    Alan’s struggles and difficulties as an artist and a recovering person are so fully delineated that one is left wondering if Alan’s paranoia is generated by his illness or rather is simply a function of the reality of trying to make it as an artist in New York City.

    The film is going to air on Ovation Arts Network at these times:

    Saturday, February 7th at 8pm & 11pm

    Wednesday, February 11th at 9:30pm & 12:30pm

    Sunday, February 15th at 8pm, 11pm & 2am

    Ovation TV can be found on the following channels:

    directv – 274
    dish tv – 157
    verizon fios – 188
    time warner of NY – 83
    time warner of LA – 175

    in Connecticut

    Hartford: CH 176
    Waterbury & Seymour: CH 143
    Norwich & Old Lyme: CH 167
    Carmel: CH 109

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