A Guide to Promoting your Project

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1 Contents 1. Introduction 2. Why Promotion? 3. Channels Traditional Media i. Television ii. Radio iii. Print Digital Media 4. Planning Assigning Roles i. Coordinating ii. Speaking iii. Writing iv. Photographer Messaging i. Frame your Story - Generating Local Media Interest ii. Events Building a Media Database Working with the Media i. Talking to the Media ii. Pitching your Story iii. Responding to Media about your Project Working with ScreenWest i. Marketing ii. Government Liaison 5. Execution Traditional Media i. Media alerts ii. Media releases iii. Media Kit Digital Media i. Websites ii. Blogs and Online Magazines iii. iv. Social Media Appendix A Media Database Template 1

2 1. Introduction This guide offers a brief outline on how to promote your organisation and project through traditional media and online resources. It covers how to work with the media, highlights what angles the media might look for in news stories and explains how you can promote your project using digital channels such as websites, social media and blogs. ScreenWest wishes you well in planning your promotional activities. If you have any questions about this guide or during the planning process, please contact the ScreenWest Communications team. 2. Why Promotion? Promotion is the publicising of a product, organisation, or venture to increase sales or public awareness. Promoting your project is essential to ensuring it reaches your intended audience. There are many ways you can promote your project. Publicity gained through the media often comes at little or no cost and can add benefits to your company and future projects. Publicity created through digital channels is also available at little to no cost and can be done in a myriad of ways. Choosing the right types of media to promote your project is the most important and difficult decision to make. Different projects will work better with different types of media. For instance, web series will generally use social media and marketing to promote their content whereas large budget feature films will incorporate traditional media such as newspapers and magazines as well as digital media such as a website and social media. Cost is also a factor in determining which channel will suit your project. This guide will help you identify which platforms are best for your project. 3. Channels Traditional Media The media industry is made up of many different mediums. The three most prominent are: i. Television (commercial and non-commercial) Organising television appearances or paying for TV advertising is a costly and time-heavy practice. You will need someone with media handling experience to arrange this for you. ii. Radio (commercial, non commercial and community radio stations) Interviews with local radio stations can be organised quite easily, and radio advertising is generally cheaper than TV. 2

3 iii. Print (local and national newspapers, magazines and brochures) A news or feature article is a form of publicity that does not cost anything, as it is the core business of newspapers and magazines. An advertorial is bought space with written content which will appear as an article. Media releases, interviews, and print advertising are some of the forms of promotion you can arrange through this channel. Media releases are usually written communication directed at the media for the purpose of announcing something newsworthy. These are sent to media organisations (such as a newspaper) and your story will be picked up if it is considered newsworthy. Digital Media Digital Media is constantly changing and evolving, and includes the following platforms: Websites Blogs and online magazines , ie newsletters Social Media, eg Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc 4. Planning Assigning Roles i. Coordinating Have one or two points of contact for media in your team. This presents a professional, consistent message to the media. Nominating a person in your organisation to generate media for your project will help polish and, focus the messages and themes you wish to share with your stakeholders. No matter how you decide to divide roles, you should have someone responsible for each of the following: keeping the media lists updated; cultivating and maintaining relationships; and working within your group to develop ideas. 3

4 ii. Speaking This person is the face of your organisation/project and should be comfortable in dealing with the media. They should be credible, quick thinking, and a good listener. They need to know how to answer questions that they may not be prepared for. It helps if they have an on camera and photographic presence. iii. Writing Write creatively and ensure that all written material is consistent with the project/organisation s message. If there is only one person in the team that can do this, the rest of the team should be supportive. iv. Photographer Photos are a great way to tell your story and usually have a greater impact when securing coverage. Use a professional photographer to capture your event or project. Media will not publish stills that are not media friendly or professional. Make sure that the photographer that you hire can produce the photos quickly. If it is related to an event, process the stills within two hours of the event happening. Send the images to media in a jpeg or tiff format at 300 dpi (dots per inch). This is a professional image format and the photographer will be able to format the images for you so that they are media friendly. If you are ing a digital image include the caption in the body of the accompanying , or on the file name. A caption identifies the names of individuals featured in the photo, photographer name and sometimes the location the photo was taken at. Messaging It is important to map out the key messages and objectives of your organisation s project. Gather information on the background of your organisation, summarise what your project is about, its aims and goals, target audience and facts you think might be useful. Read publications that you think might be of interest to your project and make note of any journalists that you would like to develop a relationship with in the future. For social media, plan out news items or messages you can communicate during the lifetime of your project. Are there special guests working with you that can be announced each week? Did a key actor/actress in your film post or tweet something related to your project? Can they help with social media posts? For each post or tweet, consider: Who you can tag to help promote the project, eg We will be holding the premiere of our film XYZ on the DD MONTH! Do you have a hashtag for your film project that can be used? 4

5 i. Generating Local Media Interest - Frame Your Story Determine the date, time, place and details of the event launch date, transmission date, as well as the level of awareness you want to raise and to which audience. Then identify why your story is newsworthy. Be clear about what you are offering the media and ensure your information is: Logical, allowing journalists to assess its newsworthiness. Factual, with interesting figures and anecdotes which make it real. Timely, meeting media deadlines. If you want your story to make it into the newspapers the next day, for example, a media release should be sent out by 11am the day before so media have time to assess the story, gather any other information and quotes and then file their story in time. If you are planning a photo call or media conference then between the hours of 10am noon is ideal and should be held in a central location. Newsworthy, makes good TV, article or images. Develop your angle: an angle is a little extra information to entice journalists; it could be exciting stills, a famous celebrity involved in the project, or an unusual fact etc. Also remember that the journalist may have no idea what your project is about, so you need to keep this in mind when preparing a media release. Use simple language when writing your story. It is important that you make your story relevant to the audience of each media organisation. ii. Events Events are a great way to generate media interest and create photo opportunities. For more information on how to organise an event launch, please refer to Event Planning 101 Guide. Building a Media Database After researching which journalists you would like to build a relationship with and where you want your news to appear, create a list of people and publications you would like to engage. Your radio contact can be found by calling the station switchboard or researching online. For newspapers and other publications the editor or chief of staff is usually the person you will need to contact. Once you have found the right media contact to talk to, it is best to put this information into a database. The database can be a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or a Word documentwhichever you feel more comfortable with. The database should display: The media organisation Target audience: who you intend to deliver your messages to (such as general public, film critics, government) 5

6 Editor/producer Telephone Date sent Response Refer to Appendix A for a sample media database. Ensure that the database is kept up to date regularly; media employees move jobs regularly or take new roles within their organisation so it is important to keep this document up to date. It is a good idea to schedule in a call once a month just to make sure your contacts are still relevant. Working with Media Journalists and other media contacts receive a large number of media requests, media releases and media alerts daily. It is best to know how you can make their job easier. Some handy tips for building media contacts are included below: Become a reliable source of information and provide your information on time. Make the effort to get to know your local media. Small gestures like spelling their names correctly and being polite mean a lot. Make contact on a regular basis. This will enable you to get to know them on a more personal level and establish a rapport. Do not bombard them with media releases; only distribute a media release when it is relevant, newsworthy and timely. i. Talking to the Media Once you have your list and know what you are going to say, call the producer, editor or reporter to explain your story and highlight why you think it will interest their listeners, readers or viewers. You can have a face to face/telephone meeting or /letter exchange. Start a telephone conversation by clearly stating who you are, the group you represent and why you are calling. Ask the reporter, Is this a good time for you? and if they say no, arrange a time to call back. Journalists like advance notice so talk to them well before their publishing and broadcasting times. ii. Pitching your Story As mentioned earlier, the best way to alert the media to your story is usually by a media alert or media release. However, another way you can alert the media is by pitching on the telephone. To pitch your story means to present it as best as you, so your organisation or project gains publicity. You will need to pitch your event or story differently depending on the media outlet you are targeting. 6

7 It is best to do some research before you pitch. Look up the appropriate contact or call the switchboard and ask who the best person to talk to would be. When you call, introduce yourself and state your position. It is important to ask the person you are speaking to if they have a deadline as you may need to call back at a less busy time. Once you have introduced yourself, provide some background information about your organisation and program. Include the following details: Date Time Venue Photo opportunities Guest speakers and attendees. Leave your contact details and follow up with a thank you . Pitching to radio can be as simple as an that is clearly titled with a pitch headline. A pitch headline is a catchy heading that should relate to your event or project. The should include dot points on the details of your event or story and a profile of the person (if any) available for interview. Do not forget to provide your name and contact details on the bottom of the page. iii. Responding to Media about Your Project Sometimes, the media will contact you asking questions about your project. If the time is not convenient for you or you need time to think about what you are going to say, organise a time to talk to your contact and phone them back. Re confirm the message that you want to get across. Listen carefully to what your media contact asks you and make sure you understand. If you do not understand ask them to explain in more detail. Do not speak about your program off the record. Assume that every conversation with a journalist is recorded and useable content. If a journalist interprets what you say differently to how you were trying to say it, you can either or call them back and explain. Working with ScreenWest i. Marketing ScreenWest may be able to help promote your project on Twitter, Facebook and ScreenOnline (SCON), the fortnightly enewsletter. In order for your story to be included in SCON, please visit 7

8 for details on format and word length. Please note: All content submitted to ScreenWest is considered final. ScreenWest reserves the right to edit the article for clarity and style. ScreenWest is not obligated to publish contributions. ii. Government Liaison ScreenWest can also help liaise with the Minister s Office for a film set visit or launch event. Invites need to be sent at least two months in advance. Please contact the ScreenWest Communications team at least three months in advance to arrange 5. Execution Traditional Media Depending on the time of your launch event/project or the deadline for a story there are various ways to deliver your media products. is a good idea for media releases and alerts. is usually the best option for a media kit (see below for what this involves) and general correspondence with your media contact should be by phone and . It is important to target relevant media organisations that best match the members of the community you wish to reach. There are several resources, such as the local library, the internet and media databases that are available that list key media organisations and contacts. i. Media Alerts A media alert is an one page invitation to the media to attend an event and is considered a photo opportunity. Your media alert should include: A brief description of your event. Details of the event photo opportunities, including when, where, duration and who is attending. Details of a contact person. An indication of photo opportunities. Send out an alert before speaking to a journalist so they can have something in their hand before they speak to you. Media alerts should be ed 24 to 48 hours before an event to allow individuals to review and ask for any additional information and organise coverage of the event, including putting in a newsroom request or finding out further information. Always check the 8

9 deadlines. A media alert is generally followed by a media release, which will be released to media on the day of the event. ii. Media Releases A media release is a one page document that pitches your project/story to the media. To write a media release: Write down all of the major points relating to your story. Place your points in order from most important to least. Find the human interest element in the story. Market your organisation by using your letterhead and clearly mark the document as a Media release. Discuss with your partners for pre-approved quotes. Please see for a sample of what needs to be included in a media release. Proof read your media release and ask a colleague to review it to make sure the key facts such as the date and time of the event are correct. Send the final release by as an attachment but also put the release into the body of the . Sometimes journalists do not read media statements if they have to open attachments. iii. Media Kit A media release is ideal for ing to media organisations or to alert them to news items and feature stories. However, a media kit can provide more detail for upcoming projects. When inviting particular media organisations to your event or set visit provide them with a media kit at least 14 working days before the date that can include: A copy of your media release. Background information on your project. Any logos that your organisation is associated with. Details of your contact person. Images which the media can access and use. Digital Media i. Websites Setting up a website for your project is easy and a cost effective activity. Websites can cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars to produce and are beneficial to all types of projects. Optimising your website for search engines like Google will determine how effective this channel is for promoting your project and will require someone with experience. 9

10 Also consider partner websites including their event listings that can be utilised. ii. Blogs and Online Magazines Contact local bloggers and online magazines to see if they are interested in promoting your projectthey will generally do so for free. Make sure their blog or publication is relevant to the subject matter of your project. iii. marketing is considered the most effective form of digital marketing. You can collect subscribers to send an Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) newsletter about your project through your website, events and other marketing channels. This tool ensures your news or announcements are sent directly to your audience s inbox. Setting up marketing is also cost-effective and timeeffective. iv. Social Media Social media, one of the most diverse marketing channels, has numerous benefits to promoting your project. It is free, easy to manage, accessed by billions of users, and integrated across millions of networks. The type of social network you use however will depend on the subject matter of your project. The following is a brief summary of each major social network: Facebook Facebook allows you to create a Business Page that promotes your project and its key activities through posts. You gather fans that are Facebook users who then pass on your content with their friends by viewing, liking, commenting on, or sharing. Creating a Facebook page is free and easy to do. For more information on how to do this, visit Facebook Business. Twitter Twitter allows you to create a profile for free and promote your project using tweets made with just 140 characters. These tweets are then seen by your Twitter followers who retweet or favourite your tweets to share it with their friends. For more information on how to set up an account for your project, visit Twitter Business. Instagram Instagram is an online photo and video sharing platform that you can use to promote marketing content from your project. You create an account and have followers who can like or comment on your content. It is free to create an account on Instagram and you must be registered in order to 10

11 interact with other users. For more information on how to set this up, visit this handy How To Guide by Mashable. Google+ Google+ allows you to create a user profile, customise it based on your project s branding, and share all types of content with your circles. It is the second largest social network in the world after Facebook. For more information on setting up Google+ for your project, head to Google+ Business. For more information on building an online audience through social media, visit Screen Australia s Digital Marketing Guide. 11

12 Appendix A: Media Database Template Target Audience Company First Name Last Name Position Phone Number Last Contact Stories Covered 12

13 Disclaimer The information included is of a general nature only. It has been drawn from a variety of sources and is not intended as legal, accounting or any other form of professional advice. ScreenWest makes no representations that this information is a substitute for external professional advice obtained from a third party. Nor should the inclusion of any organisation be seen as an endorsement or recommendation of that organisation. No representation is made regarding the appropriateness of any organisation to your project. ScreenWest has undertaken all reasonable measures to ensure the accuracy of information included. It specifically disclaims any liability, for loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which may be incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this information sheet. The information contained in this publication is current at the time of writing. Please consult the websites of cited organisations for the latest information. Copyright ScreenWest

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