Film PR and Social Media Resolutions to Make (and Habits to Break) in 2019

2019 resolutions film publicity and social media

It’s that time of year again…we’re in that weird period between Christmas and New Years, we’re reflecting on the year that was and looking towards the horizon of 12 fresh, new months. And, if you’re anything like our household the remnants of the Christmas choccy boxes contain those horrible hard caramels nobody seems to like!

While you’re thinking about all the personal and professional goals you have for 2019, it’s a good time to also think about what you want to achieve with regards to your film or webseries’ publicity and social media. Film publicity and social media marketing is, sadly, something that takes a back seat when it comes to production. There’s a misconception that PR and social media for your film is something that needs to be thought about solely on release when in reality it’s something that can be utilised throughout production to help grow your audience and awareness of your film.

With that in mind, I’m going to give you some resolutions to make (and habits to break) in 2019 that will help you feel confident about publicity and social media marketing of your film or webseries and assist you in supporting your other filmmaking and production goals.

Create a Publicity Budget

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Money’s always tight when it comes to indie filmmaking, but successful publicity and social media marketing is always a mix of earned media (shares, mentions, posts, reviews, interviews), owned media (website, social media channels) and paid media (social media ads, promotional content, advertising). Can you do without paid media? Certainly, but if you want to have a more strategic reach (i.e. reaching your audience in areas where your film will be shown, or connecting with fan bases aligned with yours or that of your actors), paid media is also a big help.

In the coming weeks we’ll talk more about creating a publicity budget that doesn’t break the bank.

Get Sorted on the Socials

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If you don’t have a social media presence yet, now’s the time to get it sorted. Having a social media presence means you can grow your audience, connect with fans and prep fans and followers for up-coming and future releases. Check out our post answering frequently asked questions about social media for filmmakers to find out more about making the most of social media for your filmmaking.

Learn a New Publicity or Social Media Marketing Skill

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As you will know, indie filmmaking is like a small village: there’s a community on board that rolls up their sleeves and takes on various roles. Chances are, you’re wearing more than one hat in your filmmaking right now, be it editing, producing, or design. With that in mind, if you don’t have the ability to hire a publicist or social media marketing person, it’s a good idea to level up by learning something new about publicity or social marketing. Whether you hit the blogs to find out about trends in social media for 2019 or take a quick course, you will definitely benefit from the time you spend learning something new. Our blog is packed with juicy info to help you out if you don’t have the budget to hire an outside publicist and is based on information that’s of most use to indie filmmakers, based on 5 years of running Film Sprites PR.

What about habits to break in 2019? Here’s a few things to think about ditching!

Hoping to Go Viral

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The social media landscape has changed significantly since the start of the 2010s. In 5 years of operating Film Sprites PR I’ve seen massive changes in the way people consume their media (including a jump to streaming services and a push towards greater self-distribution), including the way people consume their social media. Whereas going viral used to be a golden goose for creatives, it’s now less effective and harder to achieve. If you’re waiting to go viral it’s effectively like a fairytale character waiting to be saved by a white knight or a prince. Instead, work towards creating a sustainable presence and building your audience and community. That lasts longer and is more meaningful than going viral.

Having Social Media Accounts For Every Short Film

It’s tempting to create new social media pages and accounts every time you have a new short film out, but this is something that is time consuming and less effective than if you have social media accounts which provide a platform for all of your work. The issue with creating multiple accounts for different projects (especially with regards to short film) is that once you’ve completed and screened or streamed your film (and done the awards circuit), chances are you may not use those accounts again. They will be sitting on the Internet like a dead end. Plus, people who loved that particular film may not realise that you have other films in production.

A more efficient thing to do is to have social media accounts that can encompass all of your work. Whether you set up social media accounts in your name as a filmmaker or under your production company’s umbrella, you can continue to invest in those social media accounts for years to come and mobilise your fans to support you, share your content and see your films.

Making These Social Media Snafus

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Social media is such a powerful tool when used effectively, but when it goes wrong it goes badly wrong. You want to connect with your audience, not annoy them! Check out our list of the most annoying things you can do on social media when promoting your film, as well as the alternatives we’ve suggested.

Wishing you a very productive, inspiring 2019. As a thank you, I’m giving you Getting Prepped for 2019, a handy guide on when to generate publicity and digital marketing for your indie film or webseries. It also includes a timeline you can either print out or modify to help you to plan everything out and have it at your fingertips! You can download this guide HERE.

It’s A Marathon, Not a Sprint: Looking After Yourself During a Crowdfunding Campaign

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Confession: I am a wee bit of a mother hen when it comes to people. Even here at Film Sprites PR I make sure our team members are doing well, feeling their best and taking care of themselves.

The same is true for the filmmakers we work with, especially during a crowdfunding campaign. In addition to assisting them with publicity and digital marketing of their campaign, I have a tendency to also dispense advice about self-care when it comes to the crowdfunding campaign period.

A crowdfunding campaign is very much like having an additional full-time job. It can be tremendously exciting, and when that percentage marker is inching up towards the 100% mark it can be very tempting to work every hour of the day helping to get even closer. I know- I’ve been there! But making sure that you and your team look after yourselves during the campaign period is vital- you need to avoid burn-out.

With that in mind, I’m giving you the advice I have given filmmakers over the past two years when it comes to self-care during a crowdfunding campaign.

Think of a campaign as a marathon, not a sprint: the clock starts on the campaign, and you’re refreshing your browser every chance you get. The contributions start coming in, but perhaps they’re more a trickle than a flood. You start to panic. Is this supposed to happen?

Firstly- breathe. If you have a slow start to contributions, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s going to set the trend for the entire campaign. I’ve seen examples where contributions have come in steadily and then all of a sudden there’s a spike in contributions or someone has very generously donated a sizeable amount. Suspend your expectations and focus on each moment at a time, each task at a time. It’s not over until the clock hits 00:00 minutes remaining!

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Photo credit: Davide Ragusa

Have a solid team behind you: it’s tempting to take everything on yourself. As an indie filmmaker you’ve most probably worn quite a few different hats in your time when making a film, but no person is an island when it comes to crowdfunding.

Prior to your campaign period, assemble a reliable team that can be allocated various tasks. If you’re not working with a PR consultancy (like us!) to secure media placements, you may wish to have someone allocated to reach out to the media. You’re going to want to have more than one hand on deck to assist with campaign work via social media, etc. This means you have consistent campaign coverage, without burning the candle at both ends.

Screen-free meals: I’m serious about this one! It’s vital that during campaign time you have time away from your tech. Technology is so ubiquitous nowadays that we sit fiddling with our phones or scrolling on our tablets far more than is good for us. Put away the tech and have a sit-down meal.

I’m guilty of it, too, especially juggling the various international time zones we work with here at HQ, but it’s something I’ve had to be strict about- nourishing meals, 3 times a day and with no screen time for the duration of the meal. It also means your body is getting consistent energy so you’ll be able to put more into the campaign work between meals. Trust me on this one, it’s vital. There’s nothing worse than working on a crowdfunding campaign with your hand in a bag of chips and chugging back a huge can of energy drink.

Yes, you need sleep: it can be tempting to skimp on sleep, but not being rested can affect your ability to function in any setting and not just while working on your campaign. You wouldn’t expect your team members, cast and crew to go without sleep (night shoots notwithstanding), so please don’t deprive yourself of sleep.

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Photo Credit: Nomao Saeki

Remember- you’ve got this! No, I’m not expecting you to stand in front of the mirror and do affirmations. I may be a chakra-cleansing, mantra-chanting gal myself but you don’t need to go down that road. Crowdfunding campaigns can be such a rollercoaster of emotions at times. Sometimes it’s exhilarating, sometimes it can be anxiety-inducing. No matter what, you’re doing something amazing: you’re taking charge by crowdfunding your film. You didn’t wait to be chosen-you have put blood, sweat and tears into your work. That’s something to be celebrated.

If you’re crowdfunding right now or gearing up for a campaign, the Film Sprites PR team is wishing you all the best!

Want to know more about our PR and social media marketing services for film? Download our information pamphlet HERE

Exciting Updates and News in the New Year

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Film Sprites PR has been back in the office from January 14th, so we wish everyone a belated Happy New Year!

We had a tremendously exciting 2016 and 2017 looks set to be just as exciting. Some of the things that are currently happening for past and current clients:

  • Mad Shelley Films (the award-winning makers of popular short filmĀ The Halloween Girl) have released their brand new supernatural webseries Under The Flowers. The series consists of 4 short episodes, each episode premiering every Sunday. The first two episodes have been released and are available to view on the official website, with the third episode premiering this coming Sunday. Already the series has attracted praise from Popcorn Horror, Movie and TV Series Geek, and Movie Critic Next Door. It was also front-page news in the Courier-Post.

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  • In case you haven’t seen it yet, writer/filmmaker Oliver Park‘s multiple award-winning horror short VICIOUS is now available to view for free on YouTube. VICIOUS is the winner of eight awards internationally, including Gold Award for Best International Film at Toronto After Dark and Platinum Award at the LA Horror Competition. It was also nominated for a further seven awards, including Melis d’Argent at Molins in Spain. We’re aiming to get VICIOUS to 1 million views by March, so if you love it, please make sure you share with other horror-loving film fans! You can see the film here. Oliver Park’s follow-up to VICIOUS, STILL, will be released in 2017.

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  • We also have exciting updates from two crowdfunding campaigns Film Sprites PR successfully assisted in reaching their campaign goals: Enough, from filmmaker Daphne Fischer and Medusa’s Kitchen, the fourth short film in the Northern Line Series, created by Jessica Burn and produced by Fall of the House Productions. Both films are in post-production! We will keep you updated with regards to release dates.
  • We’re always keen to partner with groups and individuals from all facets of the film industry, and recently we’ve partnered with FGN Inc. to support their “For A Positive Future” Campaign, aiming to change the world “one message at a time” and foster diversity, equality, solidarity and positive mental health in the film/TV industries and beyond. You can find out more about the Campaign here.

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  • And while it’s usually our role to secure media placements for our clients, sometimes we’re asked to be featured as well! Recently our founder and head publicist, Lynnaire MacDonald, chatted with Dave Bullis on his podcast about marketing of indie films and more. Click here to listen to the episode.

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  • And finally, our brand new services pamphlet is here! It contains all the information you need that is available here on the website, but in a PDF that you can take with you and read anywhere. You can download the pamphlet here.

Don’t forget, we absolutely love connecting with filmmakers, media and film fans around the world! You can catch up with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.You can also connect with our founder, Lynnaire, via LinkedIn.