The Red Carpet used to be the exclusive place for Hollywood A-lister’s to walk and talk. It was a coveted event that was used by studios to get the right sound bite out there, including well-planned “gossip” to help build the buzz for box-office success.
Today, with more independent (indie) productions and even more red carpets being held for web video, niche award shows and fan conferences, one has to start thinking about how to use this high profile opportunity and turn it into a strategic marketing tool.
Over the past three and a half years, Mingle Media TV’s Red Carpet Report has covered hundreds of red carpets from Film Festivals to the Oscars. We’ve shot and produced thousands interviews with everyone from Oscar winners to YouTube Stars to Indie Web Series Creators. These video interviews have millions of views on sites that we syndicate our content to like YouTube, Blip, AOL Video, Daily Motion and more. They are keyword tagged and hopefully found on page one of YouTube or Google when someone searches for that person.
Whether you are in front of or behind the camera, you are “the brand” and the Red Carpet is the best place for you to show off who you are as well as talk about why you’re there, what you’ve done and are working on.
Several casting directors I know have told me that they look at IMDb pages, event photos and pay attention to who is on the Red Carpet. Being photographed on the Red Carpet gives the perception that you are someone to pay attention to. You need to look serious, to be taken seriously, especially with the massive competition out there. Access is now easier than ever with the number of people creating content and making their way to events where they are being interviewed and those images, videos and articles are getting seen.
How Can You Stand Out?
If you have a publicist, they will make sure you are prepped for the red carpet and will also make sure that the press stays on point and not take you off topic to get “sound bites” that may put you in a bad light.
If you don’t have a publicist, practice ahead of time – know what you will be talking about; know it like you would know your lines.
Think about the event you are attending and write down what you want people to know. If you have a project entered at the event, then tell the story about how you created it, who your team is and how thankful you are to be there. Talk about how great the opportunity is to be included and how you’re looking forward to seeing the other projects that are there as well. Don’t be a one trick pony! Talk about what you are working on in the future. Keep it professional; keep the answers short and succinct. Practice like you would your lines from a script, so when you get up to the microphone, you don’t use crutches (like, ah, umm…and sound awkward and unprepared) and your message will come across clearly and you won’t be trolled with negative comments. Finally, be sure to tell them how to find your work, online, on Facebook, Twitter, etc…
Be memorable, make the press and the public want to know more about you and genuinely want to follow your work. Act or look ridiculous and you will get troll comments on your photos and videos, that won’t help you unless that’s your shtick, then stay in character and don’t wonder why you’re typecast in the future. Thank the host for the interview, ask where you can find it and leave them wanting more.
PR is no Longer a Luxury, it’s a Necessity.
Use Red Carpet events to build your online presence, increase your brand awareness and use it as your calling card to open doors for other projects. Yes, a good agent or manager will help you get auditions, but you need to be the whole package, you need to be able to handle yourself at these events and getting access to walk a carpet could turn out to be huge, especially when you don’t know what A-list celebrity might show up and boost your own star power by being there too. But if you blow it by making a (negative) spectacle of yourself, your reputation will precede you and keep you out of other events.
Don’t Get a Bad Reputation with Press
One of the things that happens when press does a lot of event coverage in one concentrated geography, they see some “talent” multiple times in a short time period. Some press will ignore you, especially if you don’t have anything new or interesting going on, and that’s not what you want. If you are going to be talking to the press, be sure to have fresh material for every event, so when you are interviewed by the same outlet in a short time period, they know you will be talking about something interesting and will want to interview you – no one wants a repeat of your past interview.
TIP: Help the Media Outlet Get More Views of Your Interview
Today, it’s all about being social. Good press outlets will have your photos and interviews up within 24 hours of the event. They will be sharing with tags including your name and the event. Google yourself, or them and find their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest account and LIKE, Follow, Retweet, Share, and Subscribe and then ask your fans to do the same. The next time you see that outlet – I bet they will fall over backwards and want to interview you for the 10th time… because they see you’re sharing and know you care about their coverage.
Social is a two-way street. If you don’t show you care and share, they won’t care about you either.
Getting Red Carpet Ready – an Expert Panel Video Rebroadcast
Mingle Media TV produced an expert panel live stream broadcast a few years back to give some tips on the importance of the Red Carpet after seeing too many gaffs at events we were covering from underwear sticking out of clothing to people walking the wrong way on the carpet, saying they don’t know why they are there, their publicist just told them to do it, and well, treating the press with little, to no respect. The panel is about an hour long but has some great insight to help you get ready for your next Red Carpet PR Opportunity.
The panel was moderated by entertainment industry reporter and producer, Jeff Rago, formerly of Extra and CNN, accompanied by panelists: Alexandra Lippin, Vice President/Public Relations, The Lippin Group, Kristyn Burtt, host and producer, The Red Carpet Closet, and Kallah Maguire, Stylist, The Emerald Scarab.
We Hope to See You on the Red Carpet Soon!
– Stephanie Piche