Latest Case Studies
While I’ worked with lifestyle brands previously such as Beachcomber Hot Tubs, I had never done any publicity for a relationship coach, so I was uncertain as to what it would involve.
At the time, Tara Caffelle was working on getting her first book published and need a publicity campaign in place to get as much as exposure prior to the book’s release. She also worked with a wide variety of clients, from couples and new parents to those grieving the loss of a parent or spouse.
The challenge of this press campaign was two-fold: not only did I have to build a fairly extensive media database of lifestyle publications/blogs, podcasts and mainstream outlets with a lifestyle component, I had to develop several different story angles and make sure that they were pitched to the proper media. For example, a more relationship-focused publication would be more likely to accept an interview on how to navigate an open relationship than an interview about grieving empty nest syndrome as a parent.
I also had to make sure that the outlets I pitched were in line with how Tara conducted business with her clients (whom she met with in person, by phone and Skype), which meant I couldn’t pitch media too far outside her referral network.
Focusing on developing several different story angles for different publications, I created pitches that focused on the importance of mental health (in time for Canadian Mental Health Awareness Month), on how to cope with grief and how to navigate communication issues in relationships, among many others.
Several of these ideas were tailored to publications such as Best Health Magazine, Cosmopolitan and PopSugar and submitted as interview ideas-which gave each outlet options on which topic they wanted to interview Tara on, based on her expertise.
Thanks to the variety of pitch ideas sent to national and international newspapers, blogs, magazines, podcasts, radio and broadcast programs, interviews and guest article opportunities were secured in outlets including but not limited to: PopSugar, Best Health Magazine, Cosmopolitan, With Her In Mind, She Does the City, The Good Grief on Voice America and BITE (Bringing Inspiration to Earth) Radio.
April 27th, 2017-Interview w/ Tiffy Thompson for She Does The City on how to help support a grieving loved one
June 2nd, 2017-Are You Unintentionally Killing Your Sex Life (Best Health Magazine)
June 16th, 2017-Several articles with PopSugar
https://www.popsugar.com/love/What-Makes-Relationship-Last-43633909 (got picked up by Yahoo a couple hours ago!)
June 23rd, 2017-How to Turn a Relationship Into the Real Deal (WHIMN AU)
June 26th, 2017-Conversations to Have Before Marriage (Cosmopolitan UK)
July 24th, 2017-7 Things You can Do if Your Partner is Unhappy (Cosmopolitan UK)
Aug 17th, 2017-Expert Tips on a Divorce Proof Marriage (Slice.ca)
Oct 18th, 2017-Grief: A Love Story: Interview on The Good Grief on Voice America
As a unit publicist with experience running public relations campaigns for short films, an actor at a film festival and a horror film moving through a competition, this film presented challenges I hadn’t previously dealt with in my other projects. For my other short films, I’d had the benefit of support through the film event I was working on (see my Crazy 8s case study) or it was a one-off event such as the TIFF strategy for Peter Dacunha or helping Black Land through the Cinecoup competition.
Heartless is my first American-directed and produced short horror film where I didn’t have a film event, competition or team behind me as a jumping off point and a sense of urgency to make the publicity campaign flow easier. Heartless, and by extension, the film’s award-winning production company, Sunshine Boy Productions, also has the distinction of being the first film I’d actively pursued for publicity.
An unintended benefit of this being my first major solo unit publicity campaign, however, was the ease in obtaining film reviews where it had previously been difficult for my other film projects. Not only did the fact that Heartless is a horror film make it much easier to obtain reviews, Kevin & Jennifer Sluder, the film’s director & executive producer (and owners of Sunshine Boy Productions) have also been readily available for interviews as the production company is their primary business, rather than a side venture.
Focusing on local media (newspapers, magazines, blogs), indie film podcasts, blogs and horror review outlets, I updated my media database based on the region the film was screening at on the festival circuit. As a result, I was able to pitch Heartless to countless local media in regions such as Lansing, MI, Durham, NC, Calgary, Alberta and the greater Los Angeles area.
In addition, I was also able to pitch interviews and reviews for Heartless with numerous horror and indie film media outlets worldwide such as Ready, Steady, Cut out of the UK, Rue Morgue Magazine out of Toronto, Canada, Promote Horror out of the US, Dave Bullis’s Indie Film podcast out of the US and Popcorn Horror out of Scotland.
By utilizing a multi-directional media list that incorporated regional media with horror review websites/podcasts/blogs and indie film blogs and podcasts, I was able to secure coverage and interviews with several influential horror and indie film media as well as regional outlets, including but not limited to: Rue Morgue Magazine, Dave Bullis’s Indie Film Podcast, Ready, Steady, Cut, Lansing State Journal, Lansing City Pulse, John’s Horror Corner and Nightmarish Conjurings.
PRESS COVERAGE TO DATE (FESTIVAL RUN STILL ONGOING)
Feb 8th, 2018-News Release posted on Promote Horror
Feb 10th, 2018-Heartless Review from Midnight Horror Show
Feb 18th, 2018-Interview with Kevin on Heartless on Popcorn Horror
March 14th, 2018-Heartless news release featured in Nightmarish Conjurings
March 25th, 2018-Review from John’s Horror Corner
March 27th, 2018-Interview with Kevin & Jennifer for Ready, Steady, Cut
April 11th, 2018-Interview with Lansing State Journal for Capital City Film Festival
April 12th, 2018-Interview with Lansing City Pulse for the Capital Film Festival
May 8th, 2018-Review from Rue Morgue
For more press coverage, check out my Unit Publicity Portfolio for Indie Film & Television.
MOOSEMEAT & MARMALADE
As the unit publicist for APTN’s third season of the Indigenous cooking series, Moosemeat & Marmalade, this production stood out from my other indie film projects for a few reasons. 1) It would be my first time doing publicity for a TV series, 2) It would also be my first time promoting Indigenous food culture and 3) As a recurring client of The Social Agency (a boutique PR agency I do contract work for), they’d already established press coverage from numerous outlets across Canada for the past two seasons that saw the show increase in popularity.
So as the new publicist coming into the project, I had both the added benefit & challenge of pitching Canadian media coast to coast as well as trying to establish new story angles for a series that had already covered a lot of ground over two seasons. Additionally, I didn’t want to just obtain press coverage from outlets already familiar with the TV series, the goal was to expand coverage to reach completely new audiences.
There was also the media relations strategy between the outlets and the two co-hosts; Cree bush cook/Indigenous rights activist Art Napoleon and UK born Chef Dan Hayes, owner of The London Chef Cooking School, to consider.
Focusing on story angles such as the first-ever gleaned Vegetarian Chili recipe (meaning it used leftover crops after the harvest) and Indigenous food culture and sovereignty, I pitched several mainstream major city newspapers, blogs and radio stations across Canada.
As the TV series also filmed in several locations on the Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island, Northwest Territories and overseas in the UK, I pitched the story angles to publications, radio stations and blogs located in these specific regions. Using the Indigenous food culture angle and Art’s passion for Indigenous food sovereignty and security, I was also able to secure interviews, coverage and recipes in Indigenous radio shows, newspapers and websites.
By pitching the Indigenous food culture & security angle along with focusing on the regions the TV series filmed in, coverage and interviews were secured in major Canadian publications such as Globe & Mail, Radio International Canada, Vancouver Sun and Sun Media network, radio such as CBC’s Unreserved & North by Northwest, industry publications such as Restobiz.ca and Food in Canada and Indigenous media such as Muskrat Magazine & CBC Yellowknife’s Trail’s End.
Jan 8th, 2018-Vegetarian Chili recipe & bios featured on Georgia Straight
Jan 10th, 2018-Moosemeat & Marmalade (and vegetarian chili recipe) featured on Toronto Sun, syndicated on Sun Media Network
Jan 10th, 2018-Interview with Art & fireside clambake recipe featured in Vancouver Sun
Jan 11th, 2018-Interview with Art featured on RestoBiz.ca
Jan 19th, 2018-Interview with Muskrat Magazine (plus Jackfish Cakes recipe)
Jan 19th, 2018-Online Article on CBC’s Unreserved (CBC Indigenous)
Feb 14th, 2018-Feature on Indigenous Food/Food Sovereignty feat. Art Napoleon (Globe & Mail)
For more press coverage, check out my Unit Publicity Portfolio for Indie Film & Television.
CRAZY 8s FILM EVENT
As unit publicist for the Crazy8s Film Event, developing the PR campaign for the film event as well as managing the publicity for all 6 winning teams during production, on set and during post production meant that I had educate the media that this was a film event, not a film festival. Being a film event meant that the top 6 winning teams won THE RIGHT to have their films produced and edited in 8 days with in-kind sponsorship donations in the form of cash and equipment, rather than submitting finished films to win awards.
The teams were:
Cypher–A coming of age hip hop story about a Korean American teenager who finds a platform to confront the pain of his past in LA’s underground hip hop scene following the 1992 riots.
Anh Hung-a story of how sibling bonds are forever changed when a young girl discovers the truth of her family’s (and her older brother’s) activities outside the law.
The Prince-a young dancer and her uncle, an actor, struggle with their identity as Middle Eastern Canadians following a violent confrontation on public transit.
No Reservations-a satirical take on pipelines where the roles of the homeowners and the oil/gas company executives are reversed.
Undertaker’s Son– A young man in an 1880s Western town is forced to confront some long buried feelings about family when he joins his father for his first day of work as a undertaker for the family business.
WoodMan-A man made of wood befriends a woman online and comes to realize how some of the lies he’s been telling himself has kept him trapped for years.
Additionally, I was also responsible for working with the teams to develop the official press kits that properly reflected their experiences and positioned the proper ‘story hooks’ for each of the 6 films to mainstream and online local and international media. With this year’s group of films focused on subjects outside popular genres such as horror, LGBT, romance and straight up comedy, developing the PR campaign was less about pitching to genre-specific media and more about doing research into each media outlet and what the types of films the journalists/bloggers/podcasters usually reviewed and scheduled interviews for.
After conducting extensive research into key media outlets and influencers and the topics they covered, I focused on pitching all 6 teams based on 3 parameters:
- The hooks/subject matter/genre of each film
- The background/experience of the director/producer teams (ie. whether they’d won awards, notable projects they’d worked on)
- The ages of the director/producer teams (as some media outlets skewed more towards audiences between the ages of 20-35)
Following these parameters, I pitched all 6 teams to select podcasts and blogs in Vancouver, New York, Toronto and Seattle along with local radio stations and newspapers. Over the course of the six weeks, I followed up with key media outlets through both email and conversations via social media and continue to pitch each film based on topics of interest. I also worked with the Vancouver Sun to set up an official production blog for all teams to blog about their experiences with Crazy8s and share their journeys from writing the scripts to location scouting and casting.
Through story pitching and social media campaign management, I secured national and international press coverage for all 6 film teams and the film event including but not limited to: radio stations such as Roundhouse Radio and Co-op Radio in Vancouver, broadcast media outlets such as CBC Vancouver, Novus TV and Vancouver TV, podcast media such as Endeavours Radio and print media outlets such as The Georgia Straight.
PRESS COVERAGE in CANADA & INTERNATIONALLY
Under the Noise Podcast (NYC)
About to Review (Seattle)
Endeavours Radio (Vancouver)
Novus TV (Vancouver)
BLACK LAND CASE STUDY
Black Land is a Canadian horror film on how a simple environmental assessment became a horrifying fight for survival, directed by Vancouver-based director Shaine Jones. It was an entrant of the annual Cinecoup Film Accelerator, a disruptive studio model assisting indie filmmakers to develop, market and produce feature films.
At the beginning of the 2015 Cinecoup Film Accelerator, Black Land was competing against 99 other films for the grand prize of $1 million and the chance to be developed as a feature film by completing mission milestones each week and garnering votes from the general public.
Once Black Land made it to the list of Top 30 films, they needed more than organic social media promotion to convince Cinecoup’s team of experts to move them to the next round. To ensure that Black Land had the best chance of making it into the Top 5 and beyond, I was tasked with generating press coverage and building upon their social media audience.
In the discovery process, I interviewed Shaine Jones and learned more about the inspiration behind Black Land and what Shaine and his team hoped to achieve with the horror film, set inside one of Vancouver’s majestic forests. I developed a press campaign that illustrated how Black Land, inspired Shaine’s personal experience being lost in the forest tied into all of our inner fears of being hunted by something unknown. To generate press, we reached beyond local mainstream outlets and positioned Black Land as the next big horror film that deserved to hit theatres and become the 2015 winner of the Cinecoup Film Accelerator.
I identified a list of influential indie and horror media outlets and reached out to them for press coverage and interviews to help boost Black Land’s visibility among horror fans and general film audiences. The resulting international press coverage from indie and horror film media in the UK, New Mexico, Florida, Alabama, California, Tennessee, Texas and locally in Vancouver saw Black Land make it to the Top 5 of the 2015 Cinecoup Film Accelerator and have their film optioned for development by Cinecoup’s panel of film experts.
PRESS COVERAGE FROM HORROR/MAINSTREAM MEDIA
The Slaughtered Bird (Liverpool, UK)
Director’s Cut Radio Podcast (New Mexico, USA)
Ginger Nuts of Horror (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Legless Corpse (Alabama, USA)
North By Northwest CBC Radio (Vancouver, Canada)
PETER DACUNHA CASE STUDY
With notable feature film and television series that include for Disney, The Hallmark Channel, ABC Family, Lifetime, The Syfy Network, CBC, CBS/CTV and the CW Network, rising Canadian star Peter Dacunha has a resume that would impress most Hollywood heavyweights. But the 13 year old thespian’s career moved up another level as he worked with critically acclaimed award-winning Hollywood talent on two films, the drama Remember and horror film Hellions, premiering at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
With two feature films of very different subject matter premiering at the two-week long 2015 TIFF, the PR campaign needed to be tailored to Peter’s schedule as well as their respective audiences.
A limited window for press coverage and a desire to appeal to both mainstream and niche horror media meant that Peter needed more than a standard pitch to local media. He needed a press campaign that would reach the international media in the city for the festival and that would maximize the opportunity for coverage on the red carpet. I was tasked with developing a press campaign that both illustrated Peter’s depth of experience and provided unique promotion for both films he had premiering at TIFF.
In the discovery process, I interviewed Peter learned more about his previous respective film and television roles as well as current projects and the significance of the roles he played in both Remember and Hellions. I developed two separate press campaigns, one for more mainstream local and international media and one specifically for horror media, positioning Peter as the rising star in film and television that everyone needs to know, capitalizing on his previous experience in dramatic and horror roles.
I identified a list of influential mainstream and horror media outlets and reached out to them for press coverage and interviews to help boost Peter’s visibility on the international stage and in Hollywood. The resulting national and international press coverage from outlets such as Tribute.ca, The Gate Magazine, CP24, Ginger Nuts of Horror, The Slaughtered Bird and The Avod increased Peter’s marketability as an actor on the national Canadian stage and in the horror genre. Red carpet interviews with eOne Films, ET Canada, Canada AM and CTV Toronto further solidified Peter’s viability as an actor who is able to more than hold his own against Hollywood royalty and assisted in his casting of a more permanent recurring role on The Syfy Network’s 12 Monkeys.