By Tammy Lynn
For as long as I can remember, one of my biggest goals has been to help people understand how, when and why they need to incorporate PR into their career.
I get calls all the time from actors who know they should be using PR, but aren’t sure where to begin – sound familiar? Well, the nuts and bolts of how it works and when to start are often more clear-cut, but the issue of why you need to be using PR in your career is not always as obvious.
So, let me ask you: What’s the Point of PR?
If you’re not sure…you’re not alone. I started working with a new client recently that had never used any PR in his career before. He asked plenty of questions and I explained step-by-step our strategy for gaining press attention. But, it wasn’t until after we got all done with his press campaign and had secured him several articles and interview opportunities that he finally confessed to me that he still wasn’t sure why PR was important to his career.
I was stunned and couldn’t believe that he didn’t share this with me sooner. However, it led us into a long discussion on this topic – and eventually to his “aha” moment. It was as if a lightbulb suddenly went off in his head when he said to me: “I get it now…PR can help to build my brand equity in the business.”
EXACTLY! And now, I want to share with you the main points he learned during that conversation, so you can understand how to use PR to Build Your Brand Equity, too.
PR Adds Credibility
I don’t know about you, but when I see an article written about an actor I’m not familiar with, I immediately want to know all about that person.
Why is that? It’s because that article immediately gives off the impression that this is someone at a level in their career who warrants my attention. It’s like a shot of instant credibility. Even before I click on the link to read it, I already have the feeling that this actor’s work is solid. I mean, they must be someone rising in the industry considering a reporter took the time to write about them, right? And, that’s when I click the link.
An article, written by a third party source (like a reporter) adds a layer of integrity and authority that is hard to find anyplace else. For this reason, it adds credibility to your career.
PR Builds Industry Confidence
Whether an Insider runs across your story as they read the latest entertainment news or as a link you share with them yourself, an article is a savvy way to highlight you as a working professional in the biz. It shows them that not only do you pique reporter interest, but that you also understand how to use the press to your advantage as a marketing tool.
Producers love it when they see actors helping to promote their projects – for free. Commercials, magazine ads and billboards are all paid promotional tools that producers use. But a press article is what we call “earned media” and these are published for free. So, if you’re looking to build a positive relationship with producers… helping them promote their project without adding to their budget is a step in the right direction.
PR Creates an Industry Promotional Tool
Smart actors share their successes with the world. Not just with their friends and family, but also with industry insiders like casting directors, reps, studios and networks, production teams, and more. Many of you reading this have probably used postcards, newsletters, emails, and social media to tell people about your latest work.
Now, consider the number of actors these industry folks meet for each TV episode they cast, film they direct, or project they “green-light” – that’s a lot of actors. So, how can you, as a “smart” actor, stand-out when you’re trying to stay in touch? Use your press articles.
Not sure how? Here’s a few ideas:
- Give your reps a link to the latest story about you to share when they’re pitching casting.
- Email a podcast interview you did talking about your latest film to a director you’re dying to work with.
- Compile your articles into a personal EPK (electronic press kit) and send to a manager you’re trying to get a meeting with,
- Tweet an article link to a producer who is about to start working on a new film project.
PR Delivers and Nurtures Fans
Building a fanbase is an important task for anyone working in the industry today. More than ever before, the number of fans you have can directly influence the number of opportunities you get.
Press coverage offers a fresh way to capture new fans. Whether you land in an article on an entertainment website or get interviewed by an industry-focused podcast, their audience are potential new fans of yours. Plus, most outlets will share how the public can connect or follow you in order to keep up with your career.
In addition, press coverage gives the fans you already have an exciting way to learn more about your latest work.
Here’s an example – which Twitter post is more likely to energize your fan base?
Catch me this week on the TV show GOOD GIRLS DO — I get to be real “bad”! #actorslife
– or –
Shared all about how I get to be “bad” this week on the TV show GOOD GIRLS DO in this fun interview w/ @TV.com: (insert link here) #actorslife
I don’t know about you, but I’m much more intrigued by the second post. And, that means I’m likely to click and read the article – which gives your fans a bigger taste of your creative talents.
Overall, I hope you’re starting to realize why it’s important for you to begin building your brand equity today. There are ways to incorporate PR into your career no matter what level you’re at, so stop waiting. Press coverage offers a fresh, fun and compelling way to share your successes and showcase you as a working actor in the business.
Tammy Lynn is the Lead Publicist and Founder of Spotlight PR Company, an innovative boutique PR firm that offers affordable and effective a-la-carte publicity services to actors and creative artists. With nearly 20 years of experience, Tammy has helped thousands of actors build career buzz and share their talents with the world. Her efforts have garnered placements in top-tier trade and consumer media, including television, print, radio and online outlets. Tammy is an active Contributor to BackStage.com and a former Mentor for Dallas Travers’ Thriving Artists Circle (TAC), helping actors at every level gain attention for their talents. She created the PR Starter Kit to help you get started now, and you can grab it here.