How To Write A Film Press Release That Gets Noticed

A while back I had a professional media coordinator volunteer her time to help my crowdfunding campaign in exchange for a producer credit. While we were planning the film press release, she posed a question that made me really think: these days anyone can make a movie[1], what’s so special about yours? My initial answer sucked, so we spent some time talking through the concept of the short.

It was a silly little comedy, a spoof of spy movies and cooking shows rolled into one funny little script. And we’d taken honorable mention in a screenwriting contest. That became our spin, so we leveraged that in the release.

You may have to take some time and think about this, but chances are you can find something newsworthy about your movie. Think about who’s attached, how you funded it, why you wrote it…there’s bound to be something other people would find interesting.

Pros Have a Plan

News falls into two categories – hard news which are considered really important things that have to be reported immediately (war, politics, crime), and soft news which is everything else. Movies are considered soft news, so these types of stories are usually scheduled in advance.

Most media outlets will list their editors and reporters on their web site with instructions on how to contact them. Follow the outlet’s guidelines and follow up about a week or so later. They’ll probably tell you the editorial schedule.

While you’re planning your distribution, think carefully about timing. You need to get the release out early enough to make a difference (say people attending a screening or contributing to your fundraising campaign), but if you send it out too early it’ll be premature and not newsworthy. Also note holiday material – like Christmas or Halloween – may be scheduled months in advance.

I Wrote a Release – So Now What?

After you write the release, it won’t do you any good if you don’t distribute it. My advice is to start locally.

The first place you should put it is your web site if you have one. You do have one, right? Good.

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