<iframe src=”//player.vimeo.com/video/47193928″ width=”500″ height=”281″ frameborder=”0″ webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/47193928″>Artova Film Festival AFF 2012 traileri julkaistu!</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/artova”>Artova</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
This is only the third AFF ever, which means that to make the festival (and our media visibility) a success we need fully functioning group dynamics and clear-cut allocation of tasks. AFF team interviewed people and chose me and two others for AFF media team. We set ourselves an ambitious goal to achieve better media visibility and make the festival known among professional film-makers.
We, the publicity team, co-operated closely but each member had a specific role. Tasks were allocated by each member’s previous experience and personal interests.
A crucial step in the initial stages of our publicity campaign was making a publicity plan. We benefited greatly from making a clear schedule because we joined the festival organisation relatively late. Our publicity plan included all the important dates, people and their responsibilities and a list of media the AFF teams of previous years had contacted. The plan strived to answer the questions how, when and to who.
Everyone took responsibility for two of these six areas:
1) Entity : publicity plan, general leaflets, blogs, online media, press, updating AFF website
2) Interviews of the volunteers behind the event and stories for our own sources: festival site, the Spirit of Artova, StadiTV
3) Publicity aimed at particular groups: people interested in the themes of our films, volunteering, urban city culture
4) Silent publicity: production companies, others the film industry, professionals
5) Social media: Facebook, Twitter, other platforms
6) International: material in English and Swedish for WDC, foreign papers and film-makers
Even if the responsibilities are a bit sketchy, having them written down will nonetheless be of great help. It’s easier to check if something’s been forgotten and you can find out easily who to contact about different things. You can include more detail if you like and have the schedule show any publicity highlights, such as the release of a preview, publishing the festival programme etc. We marked down the dates when posters were to be put up around the city. The posters remain visible for such a short while that we decided to have them put up in “waves”.
The social media raised the most questions: How best use Facebook? How often to update, what’s too much, what’s just right? What tone should the updates have: colloquial, official…? Our team opted for a somewhat liberal policy. Each member wrote as they thought best and put their name at the end. I suppose not everyone is a fan of such informality but the number of likes grew steadily all the way until the festival. We created a separate event page for AFF so that inviting people and informing everyone of changes was easy. Facebook was also a good media to have prize draws. I think it’s important, though, not to let Facebook become the only publicity channel. Some people find promotion campaigns in the social media annoying, others view it as too informal.
Our publicity efforts needed to fit the tight schedule but also be coherent and support the overall look and feel of the event. The team and others talked a lot about what kind of language we should use. Intranet turned out to be an invaluable tool that allowed everyone to participate and edit outgoing bulletins. As we went along, we were getting a better picture of AFF and the ideology behind it, and little by little our materials started to reflect a clearer cohesive style that highlighted the central AFF qualities: relaxed, urban, professional.
In the end, there was no getting round the fact that we had too little time. The media visibility ran short of what we had had in mind, and the visitor count was about the same as last year. On the other hand, we managed to attract the interest of the press and film-making professionals. The profuse Facebook-updating was loved and hated but, in the end, it brought us festival guests who had heard of the festival for the first time now. As a tip for future media team members: start putting the team together and making publicity earlier than we did and establish a direct contact on the phone with different media well before the actual event.
Publicity is a very important factor especially for an annual event that is only starting out. Functioning publicity attracts the interest of the media and potential visitors and establishes the event among other annual events. If you build the foundation well, it will benefit the media team of the following year and helps make the event known to new audiences. The media team is there to build an image – the largest film or music festivals have a functioning, identifiable visual and verbal style. The AFF media team made good use of the logo designed by Joonas Rinta-Kanto. It embellished our posters, leaflets and other materials and got positive feedback.
Translation by Pigasus Translations.