DIY indie film PR 101: Master the EPK – Film Daily
Make sure you include the link and your password in your EPK, or instructions on how to request a screener.
Press & partner lists
The penultimate, and highly important, task after creating your epic EPK is a coming up with a great list to contact, filled with influential people able to get the word out about your movie. We will be publishing a whole feature about growing your list later this week, but in the meantime here are a few tips:
- Your list doesn’t have to be large, but it should be high-quality. Often people panic that their existing list is too small, but in our experience most filmmakers have contacts in the industry they have forgotten about. Trawl your email accounts and social media profiles for industry contacts and start compiling a database.
- Join filmmaker social media groups and Meetups. The world over, passionate filmmakers, fans, producers, and press agents want to know about the newest cool project. Join online communities and grow your network. Attend Meetups, film festivals, and conferences and meet industry folks in real life. In social media groups, connect with people with whom you can build a symbiotic relationship. Don’t be shy about asking your new friends if you can send over your EPK; a lot of these folks will be delighted to hear about a new, cool, well produced project.
- Use newswire services. You can pay to distribute your press release to relevant press using keywords. We love Muck Rack, as it segments press via Twitter bios, which feels a little more relevant than some older competitors. This process can be pricey. Advisory HQ published this great guide to newswire services who will distribute your release for free.
- Reach out directly to bloggers & writers. Moz have a great tool called Followerwonk that lets you search Twitter via bio, i.e. DIY the process for which Muck Rack charges $500 a month. You can find, segment, follow, and contact relevant writers with a $10 Followerwonk subscription. By no means a quick fix, this method does have the added bonus that you personally engage and build a relationship with the writers you want to target, and you get to know who is writing what in the space that relates to your work.
- HARO is an amazing tool for writers and creators which allows you to reply to journalists looking for story sources. Sign up for their daily newsletter to make sure you never miss an opportunity to pitch your work for an article it would be perfect for.
- Go straight to the source: befriend your local journalists’ union. The less research a journalist has to do, the more time they can spend writing great features; while many journos say they get overwhelmed by unsolicited press releases, they’re generally happy to find one covering their beat. By making friends with the journalists’ union, you gain access to writers and create a relationship of synergy. It’s a soft way to be introduced to these writers, a respectful way to make career-lasting relationships.
Hit send and take a break, you’ll need it!
It’s wise to take a well deserved rest after releasing your new EPK into the wild. If you’ve done your job right, the rest of your week will be filled with calls and interview requests about your project.