What I Learned About Film & Media PR

I’ve worked in multiple agencies and i’ve PR’ed for a music management company yet something (until the start of this semester) I’d not yet come across in my PR journey was film PR.

What I learned about film PR

One of my biggest assignments this semester is based around film promotion and PR and it’s actually been remarkably interesting. The film is The Burying Party, of which one of my lecturers is involved in the production and promotion of. We basically have to come up with tactics to promote this film and it’s actually been pretty interesting to research in to what kind of methods favour film over anything else in terms of PR.

Radio was one of the biggest eye openers for me, as for me I thought – if you can’t see it, why would you be interested in it? (Referring of course to trailers and advertisements being the best promoters). I was surprised to find that radio is actually incredibly influential when it comes to film PR, it reaches a wide audience and is a platform that allows arguably the most freedom of speech. You can put out a lot of information, without being too overbearing.

So, what do you know, you really do learn something new every day.

Film PR is often different than most other types as it’s hard to express how good a film can be, without actually showing the public the product itself. Of course, trailers can be put out on social media but that is pretty much as far as it goes. So, is it challenging? Yes. But it’s also incredibly interesting and nice to do something different for a change.

You need to be creative and persuasive with your news releases (of course this is a given anyway), but for film PR, the emphasis is placed on it even more so.

You also need to be flexible with your platforms to reach a wider audience, not everybody will listen to the radio and not everybody will log in to social media, so you have to test the waters a little and test which tactics you plan to deploy. For example, I also worked towards targeting primary school children for the film… Chances are, they’re not going to engage with either of the above tactics so again, I needed to be more creative.

Overall, film PR is something I never thought I’d take an interest in. But it has actually been very eye opening for me and certainly interesting. I’m always open to anything that challenges me to be creative, so this was a great task for me and I definitely wouldn’t say no to any similar ventures like this in the future.

A word about The Burying Party

The film which I worked to promote, as mentioned above is The Burying Party. A short film commemorating the ever interesting, yet sadly tragic life of famed war poet, Wilfred Owen.

One of my final year lecturers has been involved with the founding, production and promotion of the film and thus encouraged us to get on board with it too. This made for an exciting final year assignment (because let’s face it, anything beats writing essays) and allowed me to learn a little more about a field of PR I’d never before considered.

Wilfred Owen, if you don’t already know, was a renowned poet who was a solider in the First World War. He wrote beautiful works during his time in battle, yet sadly fell to his death on the field just one week before the armistice. This year marks 100 years since that tragic day and thus The Burying Party could not have came about at a better time really. I’ve seen previews of the film and I can’t lie, it looks fantastic – I’d strongly recommend anybody to check it out when it’s released this Autumn.

The film has been funded mainly off the back of sponsors and donors, and the producers are in their final stage of crowdfunding to help pay for costly festival and premier fees. If you were interested in helping out, you can find out more here.

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