How to Harness the Power of the Press

Written by Dallas Travers, CEC

Even in this age of Facebook, Twitter, smartphones and iPads, traditional media outlets still have a lot of sway. You can bet that a large portion of the news you read everyday comes directly from press releases crafted by publicists, media experts, and even interns. That’s how news happens.

Publicists use press releases to share current and compelling information with the news media. Celebrities, large corporations, political figures, and even small businesses rely on press releases to communicate with the general public. As an actor, you too, can utilize press releases to make a splash! Whether you want to garner interviews and media attention, or you just want to inform certain industry contacts, press releases are a great addition to your marketing arsenal.

So, I’d like to share three quick tips to help you make the most of press releases.

It’s All About Perception

People often perceive the information in a press release as “newsworthy” simply because it’s presented in an official format. The next time you send a mailing, use a press release instead of a postcard or headshot and cover letter. The release itself provides validity to the reader.

Bypass the media all together and mail, email, or fax your press release out to the industry contacts you want to stay in touch with. I don’t know about you, but I find it easier to toot my own horn in a press release rather than a personal letter.

Not every press release is sure to result in a news article, interview, or review, but the release itself can be a very valuable marketing tool for actors at every level.   Get Back to Your Roots

Sure, Variety may not be interested in the co-star you just booked, but your hometown newspaper will eat that report up!

Reach out to hometown publications, smaller news outlets, Internet outlets, and your alma mater to generate some media buzz. The Internet is home to thousands of media outlets begging for quality material. You might be surprised by how easy it is to get your release published online. You can then use the articles featured in local papers to create another great marketing tool.

I had a client who booked a co-star last year. She issued a press release to her hometown newspaper, which was thrilled to run an article. She then used that published article in a mailing she did to agents and casting directors, which resulted in two agent meetings.

Invest in Your Wins

Most actors wait too long before hiring a publicist because they don’t exactly fit in the average actor’s budget. That doesn’t mean you have to wait to embrace the power of the press release though. If you can’t afford to fork over several thousands dollars each month for a full-blown publicist, let me suggest a fantastic alternative.

Press release submission services are a great way to generate media buzz without breaking the bank. Whenever you book a job, win an award, appear on network television, Broadway, or in a film, I suggest you utilize a service to spread the good word. For just a nominal fee, you can hit hundreds of media outlets with your press release and create some media momentum.

My favorite PR service for actors is Spotlight PR Company. Spotlight’s owner Tammy Lynn caters directly to actors, and she’s a pro at press release submissions. Her website is www.SpotlightPRcompany.com. Other solid services are www.prweb.com and www.ereleases.com.

So, if you’ve got a major win, I recommend investing some money in a professional service that can really help you get in the news. Those articles and interviews will serve as great marketing tools for months to come.

All in all, a press release will help you make huge strides in your marketing. Whether you send it directly to your target agents, managers, producers, and casting directors, or you use a submission service to garner interviews, start putting press releases to work for you.

 

Respected as one of the entertainment industry’s leading experts, Dallas Travers teaches actors the career and life skills often left out of traditional training programs. Her groundbreaking book, The Tao of Show Business, has won over five awards including first prizes at The Hollywood Book Festival and the London Festival along with the National Indie Excellence Award. She has helped thousands of actors to increase their auditions, produce their own projects, secure representation and book roles in film and television.

If you’re ready to jump-start your acting career, get your FREE Thriving Artist Starter kit now at http://www.dallastravers.com

 

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