Writing a great press release is easier than you think. All you have to do is tell the story of your project in the 3rd person in 1000 words or less. We will be covering press releases in more detail later this week; in the meantime, always remember the Film Daily’s Good PR Golden Rules:
- Tell the story about your story. People want to know the backstory. They want to feel connected to your project, like they have gained some insider information.
- Use snappy headlines. Snappy headlines at the start of each paragraph draw your readers in. Double entendres, puns, and alliteration all work well. Remember: writers read hundreds of releases everyday. Write something that makes them giggle; grab their attention.
- Tell ‘em why your story is important. Tell your readers why they should engage with your movie. Tell them loudly; tell them clearly.
- Use visuals. You’re a filmmaker, so use your skills to sell your release. Animoto is a great marketing video platform you can use to create an accompanying video version of your project. Canva is a similar program you can use to make beautiful DIY graphics.
- Minimize hyperlinks. You want to keep your release focused; try to keep hyperlinks to a minimum. If you need to link to your writers, actors, producers, and studio, then build a bio page on your movie site and link to that instead. You want to send people to your movie site – not anywhere else.
- End with a call to action. The whole point of the press release is to encourage people to act: it could be to sign up for a screening event, or set up an interview. Whatever you want, make sure you ask for it – ideally more than once.
Chances are that you already have this thing kicking around somewhere from the development stage. Your producer probably forced you into writing it when you were shopping around for funding. Your synopsis should cover all the important elements of your tale: these are the ones that get you into Sundance or Cannes. The synopsis follows the story from start to finish in chronological order. Your synopsis is a sales tool – it needs to be enticing as well as informative.