Live from the Red Carpet: PR Tips & Tricks from Behind the Velvet Rope


It is officially awards season, and with awards season comes the red carpet. Between the glamorous gowns and stunning stars, the red carpet seems like an effortless flow of media exposure. But what truly goes on behind the velvet rope?

We share with you our behind-the-scenes PR experience with our client, the 2013 San Diego Film Festival.

Think Long-Term
Hosting a red carpet event is much more than rolling out a rug and calling it a day. As the local PR agency for the film festival, prep work started as early as almost a year in advance in building out a strategy to maximize exposure, prep our spokespeople and create effective communications channels across all teams. Collectively, we established a series of long-term objectives, and the various strategies and tactics to achieve them.

The result was 255 million media impressions throughout the year, which helped the film festival drive attendance and sales.

Pique Interest
As a part of building the anticipation for the event, it was important to pique media and consumers’ interest about the event. We consistently announced notable updates about the event to media, such as films premieres, confirmed celebrity appearances, panel discussions and more, which led to a excitement during the red carpet.

Get Local
While the San Diego Film Festival included films from all around the world, we made sure to be prepared to answer the question, “what’s the local hook?” Prior to the event, we collaborated with the film festival to curate several local stories to highlight to media. The result? A mix of coverage on local celebrities, like documentary star SLOMO, and Hollywood stars, when they walked the red carpet.

Have An On-Site Plan
There are a lot of moving pieces on a red carpet, including celebrities, talent managers, press, event managers and more. Before the red carpet, we worked closely with the event management team and media to establish a clear process for securing press credentials, checking in on-site, requesting interviews, and assisting talent as they walked the red carpet.

Go With The Flow
Sometimes, no amount of planning can prepare you for some of the events that occur during red carpet events. Traffic jams that cause talent to be late, overzealous fans, and more are all circumstances that can occur and derail even the best of plans. In these situations, it is important to relax, breathe, and go with the flow.

There’s certainly more to red carpet events than glamour and gold statues, and sometimes what happens behind-the-scenes is more interesting than what happens in front of the camera. With experience, patience and preparation, you will be ready to manage your next red carpet event.

Photo Credit: Alan Light

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