Public relatons: Tips for books and films

Hello there!

Today is going to be a much different post. I’m going to be talking about how public relations is utilized in the film and book industries.

As I’ve said before, I’m a public relations major, so this kind of thing is pretty interesting to me.  I hope you like it!


I’ve done a bit of research on how the film industry promotes movies using PR and there are a few key tips that come up over and over: (Disclaimer: a lot of the following pertained to independent films. However, I see the same tactics use on big budget picParanormal activity movie covertures as well.)

1. Use social media

Willis Wee wrote in his blog, Promoting a Movie Made Easy with Social Media, “Movie is social. Social is movie.” What he means is going to see a movie, and every step leading up to it, is a very social process made easier by social media. I agree. Think about it… before you even go to the theater you watch the trailer, read reviews, talk to your friends about what they think of it and then plan to go see it. Now, every step I just listed can be done online through social media sites like Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. Whoever had the idea   to use social media to promote Paranormal Activitythrough social media was a genius. I heard more about the film on Facebook than I did through any traditional media source (TV, newspaper etc…).

Anthony Mora adds in his blog, Promoting Your Movie via the Media, that another good use of Facebook is to run ads on Facebook and Google.

2. Make a press release

A press release is the information about your film you send to the press (radio, television, newspapers etc…) when you want to start promotion. It’s free and the press can help promote your movie to millions of people. says this about press releases:

The key to the press acting on your press release is to have a hook. In the case of local press this might just be the fact that you’re local people making a film and for the local paper that’s newsworthy enough. However, for the national press to pick up on your film you will need a major hook.

I think this is a great tip. Many press releases are looked over if they are deemed “un-newsworthy.” That’s why having something attention-grabbing in yours.

3. Know your target audience/market

This is true in any PR campaign. You MUST know who you are trying to promote your film to. If you’re promoting a teen romance with vampires and werewolves, you probably don’t want to advertise your film in AARP’s magazine. According to Haute PR, “The most essential aspect of public relations is understanding your target audience in a better way. To understand your target audience better, you should know who your target audiences are. ” You should know your audience’s attitudes, opinions and  interests and they should correlate with what your film is offering.


Just as with the film tips, these tactics were given over and over again.

1. Virtual book tours

Pump Up Your Book Promotion PR says that one of the best promotion tools they use is a virtual tour. Online book tours provide an opportunity for an author to get a lot more exposure than they might using only traditional media outlets. Tours last about a month and during that time, the author will be interviewed, write guest posts and have their book spotlighted or reviewed on blogs. I think this is a really cool idea and a great way to utilize the blogosphere. The other cool thing about this is that as long as the blogger keeps that post up about your book, you will have that exposure. It’s not a one-and-done thing.

2. Media coverageJ.K. Rowling signing books on tour

This is similar to the virtual book tour but focuses on traditional media outlets such as television, radio and print. Pam Perry, Book Publicity Coach calls media publicity “the icing on the cake.” It’s probably the biggest component of a successful book promotion. does say, however, that you don’t need to use all types of media to promote your book. Focus on the outlets that your audience will actually see. Which brings me to the final point…

3. Know your target audience/market

Once again, knowing your audience is a HUGE part of book promotion. It’s more than just knowing the market’s interest and opinions according to Pam Perry, Book Publicity Coach. You also need to know the author’s reputation in that market. “The author must create a market for himself by really addressing the needs of that market, knowing that market and communicating the right message to that market.”


Well, that’s all for today! I hope you guys liked the change. I won’t be positing for a couple weeks but my next post is going to be awesome! I will be posting about the Hunger Games film!



3 thoughts on “Public relatons: Tips for books and films

  1. thesocialstash says:

    Jenna – I really liked that you talked about PR for books and movies, something the sequence at Kent has barely touched on. The virtual book tour is a great idea, by having the author blogging you can create the two way relationship with the public, and give them an in depth look at the author and his/her thinking. I know when I am reading a book I often would love to pick the author’s brain, but can’t. A blog is a perfect medium for these types of questions to be addressed. By engaging the audience in ways that they want it, we can attempt to jump start the groundswell.

  2. Sarah Knapp says:

    I believe public relations is important to the film industry and even more to the book industry. Someone doesn’t usually want to give up 2-3 hours of their time to a movie if they are uncertain how interesting it will be to them. Public relations for films, whether it’s through social media or creating a press release to send a message to outside sources, helps provide an audience with a message about the film. However, I feel that it is beneficial when film production companies build relationships with other industries to reach two different audiences. For example, Universal Pictures teamed up with IHOP with both of their movies, Despicable Me and The Lorax, to promote movie-themed food items on their menus. These relationships are important and reach an audience the movie industry may have not influenced on its own.

  3. Lauren King says:

    I like how you spoke about different ways PR relates to movies and books. If I was someone who was confused about how to market either, I have an idea now. Good job on engaging your readers and making this one very informative.

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