To help you build the foundation for a successful outreach and engagement strategy, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide with case study examples to help with your release.
Step 1: Educate Your Team
While you’ve had the opportunity to learn about Tugg, it’s important to make sure that your team, cast, and crew also understand how Tugg works.
- Assign a point person to act as the Tugg liaison for the campaign so that one coordinator is responsible for keeping the rest of the team informed
- Read our FAQ and support materials, and familiarize your team with the best practices included in this list
- Develop a strategy for communicating campaign progress with your team
- Send weekly updates to rally excitement and keep everyone in the loop
- Establish a timeline for the campaign, and set benchmarks for how and when the team should be involved
Step 2: Prepare and Integrate Campaign Messaging
Ensure that all campaign materials have a cohesive message that includes pertinent information about your release, especially how people can host a screening.
- Prepare talking points for pitching your film to your target audiences
- Create your Promoter Toolkit
- It’s important to prepare resources that will help make your Promoters effective. We’ve created a template with which you can craft your personalized Promoter Toolkit – click here to learn more.
- Integrate the Tugg API or Widget into your website, and create landing pages to educate fans about their ability to host screenings
- Incorporate the “host a screening” messaging into all new or existing marketing materials and social media campaigns
- Add Tugg messaging to all available social channels for the film, including cover photos on Facebook, Google+ and skins for YouTube, Tumblr, and Twitter
- Create a Facebook tab that utilizes Tugg’s API so that fans can learn how to create their own screening or join an existing event
- Messaging that includes the traditional release date or VOD street date should always have the “host a screening” call to action as well. This includes posters, trailers, clips, featurettes, etc.
- Create a personalized video that informs your community about how to host a screening, and empowers them to become involved with the campaign
Step 3: Recruit Your Direct Networks
Your personal community will likely be your strongest supporters, so make sure to get them involved with the campaign.
- Encourage your cast and crew to host screenings for their community as an exciting way to launch the campaign
- Have each team member identify people in their direct network who can host screenings for their community
- Send Outreach Emails accompanied by the “Host A Screening Guide” to introduce the concept of Tugg to your personal network
Step 4: Engage Local and National Support
Identify and engage relevant individuals, interest groups, and organizations to help drive the success of your campaign. These entities can be asked to either host their own screenings or attend events in their area.
- Divide your target audience by interest group and/or demographic
- Does your audience identify as a faith-based community? As people who are interested in social good? As folks who are passionate about animal rights? Fans of horror films? All of the above?
- Based on this target audience, identify local and national outreach targets and begin collecting contact information. Here are some examples:
- Organizations and Non-Profits – Does your film address an issue, message, or theme that is important to an existing organizations?
- Meet Up Groups – Do people generally get together to see films like yours?
- Student Groups – Do major universities have student groups associated with your film’s message? Are there national organizations with a network of like-minded student groups across the country? (Most universities will choose to host non-theatrical events.)
- Once the targets have been identified, begin sending Outreach Emails and support materials to encourage groups to get involved and to host screenings
- Don’t forget to follow up, follow up again, and then follow up once more!
- One email won’t be enough, it’s important to reach out time and again via email and phone. Trust us, your persistence will pay off!
Step 5: Identify Sponsorship Opportunities
Through Tugg’s Sponsorship Feature, it’s increasingly easy and effective for companies, institutions or individuals to sponsor aspects of a filmmaker’s release campaign, so make sure you’re capitalizing on potential sponsorship opportunities! Not only can this help the film, but Sponsorship opportunities also provide a unique and powerful marketing avenue for companies or institutions.
- Identify and engage entities that may be interested in sponsoring screenings of your film
- Which companies share interests with the film/filmmaker? They may be interested in sponsoring to spread the message of the film or to reach their target audience.
- Are there any businesses featured in your film? Could they host screenings for their employees?
- Are there philanthropists that may want to help for personal reasons, but don’t want to donate to a general P&A campaign? Now they could see dollar-for-dollar how their money will help people see the film!
- Example: A film about motorcycling may appeal to motorcycle dealers, while a film that features a local or upcoming band may appeal to record stores, etc…
- Highlight your sponsors, and utilize the early adopters to further attract sponsorships
- Include your sponsors in your marketing materials and feature them on your website
- Create a pre-show that thanks your sponsors for their involvement and support
Step 6: Announce Your Campaign
You put time, energy and effort into building your campaign – now it’s time to tell the world! Capitalize on both traditional and new media, and make sure everyone involved in the campaign is ready to talk about the launch. Our Campaign Toolkit has suggested website tweaks, sample social media posts, and messaging for you to personalize.
- Issue a Press Release
- It is absolutely critical that you proactively engage outlets to include the “host a screening” messaging into their coverage. By including it in any existing coverage of the film, you can draft off that exposure and better educate and empower your audience.
- Every time an outlet writes a story on your film and only includes your limited theatrical release date, this becomes a missed opportunity for securing more screenings.
- Outlets WILL include the ‘host a screening” message, but you may need to be proactive about encouraging them to do so. Outlets want to let their readers know where/how they can see the film.
- Make announcements via all social media channels
- Provide consistent social media messaging in order to reach your entire community. An average Facebook post is only seen by 15% of your followers, so don’t expect everyone will be informed by just a couple posts. Keep messaging!
- Send an E-Blast to announce your launch
- Email friends, family, and anyone you sent your initial outreach to, and encourage the cast and crew to do the same
- Update the national and local supporters you’ve identified and contacted
- Notify crowdfunding contributors, if any
- Provide talent Talking Points for all publicity events
- Guarantee that the filmmakers and cast highlight the “host a screening” option during all publicity appearances. Fans will respond positively when told that they have the ability to see your film regardless of where they live
Step 7: Position Promoters for Success
Promoting an event is fun, but it’s not always easy. Help your Promoters succeed by helping them use the resources you’ve prepared and by providing them with consistent encouragement.
- Contact your event hosts directly and push them to use our messaging feature
- Post on social media about your Promoters’ upcoming events, and inform your local fans that they have a chance to see the film
- Email your Promoters with exciting updates about the film – this keeps the film fresh in their mind and gives them something to share with their community
- Eventize the screenings whenever possible
- Offer to do an intro/Q&A in person or via Skype, and encourage cast and crew to do the same
- Offer Promoters giveaway prizes (posters, apparel, DVDs, etc…)