PR, Films and Fantasies

Posts Tagged ‘PR

This week I was invited to Communicate Magazine’s  half day Transform Conference, followed by the glamorous 2012 Transform Awards. Basically, “transform” stands in for “rebrand” as both the conference and the awards are Europe’s only programs that focus on the process of changing brand identities.

The brand is central to the intangible value assigned to companies by their stakeholders. No company can sit still – the process of examining and re-examining a brand in terms of its relevance to those stakeholders should be ongoing.

The Transform conference is not just there for those about to embark on a thorough rebrand, but for everyone concerned with their brand’s relevance to the changing marketplace and to their stakeholders – whether it’s their investors, employees, the media or others.

I would go through what happened on the day and what were the points that each of the speakers followed, but I think it would be more helpful if you had a look at the live blog from the conference. It is probably more in depth and more accurate than what I can remember and it also includes the presentations from each of the sections, which I am sure you will find very helpful.

Also, have a quick Twitter Search for the #transform12and you will find some incredible tweets with information, opinions and critique. The hashtag also includes all the tweets from the awards ceremony with all the GOLD winners and the Grand Prix for excellence in rebranding and brand transformation: Pearson (Interbrand). Here you can find a video of the strategy and idead behind the multiple award winning rebrand.

The list with all the other award winners can be found on Communicate Magazine’s website. I am actually quite proud as in the Best creative strategy category the GOLD went to Larix by Romanian branding consultancy BrandTailors.  Read more about the campaign here. 

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I am a huge fan of PR stunts as I think they are the pinacle of creativity in the Communications department (yes advertisers, even better than you!). Considering that I’ve been studying/working in PR for almost 5 years now, I also can’t help questioning everything that brands do in terms of why are they doing it? who is their PR agency ? what was the audience’s reaction or  what coverage did they get for it?

One of the companies that never cease to amaze me with their crazy ideas is Starbucks. Over the past week I heard of them in two different news stories, and not just at a small level, but all over the internet and in the UK press. The first one was “Starbucks bans screenwriters from all their 19,435 locations worldwide”. The news broke off in Hollywood and all sorts of media outlets went crazy. Here is the original article. Obviously the 19,435 number already signals something but if you start thinking back at all the problems screenwriters have had lately, it kinda makes sense. Also, the “Screenwriters Guild of America responded”… anyway, really good idea!

The second is the “We have a Latte with your name on it” which started out with a huge ad in the Metro, UK’s free morning newspaper. I saw the one page, A4 ad in the paper of a person next to me on the train so it caught my eye from minute one and then my Twitter feed and Facebook were full of Starbucks related messages. I didn’t get a chance to go myself as I was in a conference all day, but again, it sounds amazing!

Here are a few more stunts from Starbuck that I found tonight. They come from all over the world so if you know more please feel free to share them!

Pay it Forward 

Starbuck Paper Cup in NY

Jonathan’s Card 

Jobs for USA 

LE – I’ve just been told by Hollywood and Swine that the screenwriter thing was not a stunt started by Starbucks but it came from the parody website itself. I guess the fact that the information got to the UK in a very twisted way, kinda shows people’s skepticism when it comes to all kinds of crazy announcements made by the brands or anyone mentioning them 🙂

One of the highest levels of creativity in PR is definitely reached when putting together amazing stunts. Long ago their aim was obviously to grab the attention of the media, but with the internet (and Youtube, doh!) more and more are being planned so as to assure they go viral. I already dedicated a few posts to brilliant stunts I found online (here and here), but as I was watching the already famous Carlsberg Bikers cinema stunt I found this video:

Top 10 PR stunts in 2009 by trendhunter.com

Don’t judge, but my favourite was Paris Hilton’s 🙂

To end the academic year in style (for some of us being the last one as undergrads… sniff), Birmingham City University’s PR students are working hard to organise SPIN 2.0, a half day conference covering current issues in the PR industry.

The date is the 26th of May, the place is City North Campus and the time is 1-5pm!

We’ll have great food and wine, a nice and cozy venue, free parking and goodiebags…. if none of these convinced you to put it down in your planner, maybe the amazing professionals, incredibly smart student-presenters or just the perfect networking opportunities will 🙂

More details on the actual themes of the presentations to come! Stay tuned and let me know if you are interested in joining us on the day!

Time for a bit of PR blogging 🙂 Just found this on Creative Criminals and although it has nothing to do with the film part, it’s very, very ingenious!

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been working on my dissertation for a few months now (going slowly but surely). Overall, it covers film promotion within today’s promotional culture when we get stuck in a vortex of publicity and at a point, loose track of what is marketing pushed material and true media content.

My case study will be Sex and the City 2 and no, I did not chose it because I’m a fan of the franchise (although I don’t hate it with a passion either) but because despite the fact that the film was a review disaster, it did make the over 100mil BO and billions still went to watch it. I am really curios how bad press mingled with articles on the S&C lifestyle and the “Carrie On” pages as on the one hand the media destroyed it, but on the other it promoted every single usp the marketeers emphasised.

Anyway, for now, I just wanted to present a few really good books on Film Marketing and Promotion that I found in my research. I think they are quite helpful for anyone in the industry or aspiring to be part of it. Let’s start with the classics:

Justin Wyatt – High Concept: Movies and Marketing in Hollywood – 1994 It covers promotional techniques for movies in the “high concept” category which are the crowd pleasers. They go beyond blockbusters in following rules of BO and Wyatt covers many case studies of such productions where marketing starts from the first page of the script (Top Gun, Baby Boom, Basic Instinct and so on…)

Tiiu Lukk – Movie Marketing: Opening the Picture and Giving it Wings – 1997 – One of my favorites as it really helped me in my own research. It follows the promotional campaigns of different genres and styles from the romantic comedies (4 weddings and a funeral) to the independent films (Pulp Fiction), action, documentaries and so on. I really wish I could find something similar from our decade. (this website tries to present case studies, but it doesn’t analyse them so in depth: http://www.moviemarketingmadness.com/blog/ check it out!)

Thomas Austin – Hollywood, hype and audiences: Selling and watching popular film in the 1990s – 2002 – again this is key for my own research as it combines the sold image of the films (which appeared in the media reviews and through advertising) with the audience response and reactions. Basically it analyses how the promotion influences the viewer’s expectations and to what extent this changes the messages he/she receives from the production. Again Basic Instinct is among the case studies, as well as Dracula and Natural Born Killers.

Janet Wasko – Hollywood in the Information Age – 1994 – even if this doesn’t cover film marketing to the point, it helps the reader understand the background of the big studios and how the function in order to relate that to the way the movie are being produced and sold. This goes hand in hand with:

Janet Wasko – How Hollywood Works – 2003

And now, for the pure film marketing ones:

Robert Marich – Markting to moviegoers: A handbook of strategies and tactics – 2009 – up to date marketing toolkit for the film industry.

Finola Kerrigan – Film Marketing – 2010 – great read which combines the business approach with the cultural theory. I think it’s quite a bible for the field

Angus Finney – The International Film Business: A Market Guide Beyond Hollywood – 2010 – Goes away from Hollywood recipes and looks at how the industry works in other countries and within the independent sector.

Hope this list will help others so please feel free to ask me any questions about the titles or maybe others. Also, I would be really grateful if  you could suggest more that I could use in my research and add to this list!

Film marketers and scholars out there, I salute you!

In one of my modules this semester we had a look at a chapter by Aeron Davis regarding the relation between news production and PR. The debate was wether the influence PRs have on the news agenda is too big for a democratic society or if it is actually perfectly balanced as more and more small organisations (especially from the voluntary sector) can finally have their say due to the PR support they get.

Davis states that four resources are key in the PR to news piece process: economic capital (obviously they need to afford PR support in the first place), media capital (referring to the status of both media and source in society), human resources and media-source affinity which is influenced firstly by bureaucratic considerations (such as organisational structure or many other business related terms) and newsworthiness. The level of impact of each of them is quite different and it is actually this difference that sometimes leads to accusations of spin or corrupt journalism.

Newsworthiness in press releases is actually what I wanted to get to as I just found this from The PRmoment.com:

The type of stories people most like to follow (Q4 2010)

1 Stories about topics impacting my family and life 33%
2 Stories that make me stop and think about an issue 27%
3 News about where I live 26%
4 Stories that make me laugh 19%
5 Uplifting news 16%
6 Stories that strike up conversations at home or at work 11%
7 News about the recession 10%
8 Sound economic forecasts 8%
9 Shock headlines 7%
10 Surveys about what people think 6%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more really interesting articles on: http://www.prmoment.com !!!


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