Today, I had the opportunity to sit down and interview film and entertainment publicist, Theresa Pickett of Ryan Pickett Productions. In our interview, she discussed some of the ins and outs of being a publicist in the film industry.
What is the name of your firm?
I co-own Ryan Pickett Productions, a movie company.
Are you a freelancer, work in an agency, or in-house?
I’m a freelancer.
How long have you been in business?
As I recently finished grad school at Vanderbilt, I realized that movie publicity is a field I really love. In undergrad, when I was a production assistant on the set of SyFy feature film Fire From Below in 2007, I took some of the publicity stills and headshots of the actors on set, which the production company used to publicize the movie. Later in 2009, I used what I had learned about movie publicity on the set of 6-time award-winning short movie Look, as I asked the crew to get great photos for publicity. I’ve been managing publicity for Look and short movie You Only Loved Me Twice since 2011.
What clients do you represent?
I am a film publicist for Las Vegas-based Christian short movie So In Love, You Only Loved Me Twice, and Look. I also help with publicity and public relations for Hollywood feature film Misogynist.
What is your day typically like?
I’m currently a featured Arts & Entertainment contributor with Yahoo! Voices. I use my writing background to help publicize the movies I represent. I make contact with other writers to encourage press coverage, and I publish interviews with actors/directors. I check in with clients and help brainstorm on how to find solutions to problems.
How do you recruit new clients?
I’m always on the lookout for movies that need help with PR. I make connections with moviemakers.
How is film PR different from other types of PR?
I think film PR is different because knowing the film industry is important to the job. In my ideal, I’d be with a movie from concept to post-production to help build a strong campaign. So much happens through the journey of creating a movie, and a good publicist can have strong photo and video material to work with from different stages of the film’s production. I began doing publicity for You Only Loved Me Twice after the movie was completed and I was crushed that no one took still photos on set. Creating an outstanding film PR campaign can require great communication with the filmmaker from day one. Movies that excel in festivals can build a strong PR campaign late in the game.
What was your biggest client problem? How did you resolve it?
I’ve had clients want so badly to get social media likes above a certain number. Clients need to realize that having a smaller amount of very engaged fans is much better than having a ton of fans that pay no attention to posts. I do help promote client’s social media pages, but I can’t guarantee a rise in likes.
What are some of the best social media strategies you use on behalf of your clients?
I would say some of the best social media strategies would be staying true to the personality of the client’s brand. Analyzing who views my client’s social media can be really helpful when that data is available.
What’s your best piece of advice to aspiring publicists and people looking to start their own agencies?
Do what you can to get in the door and get experience. Volunteer on a friend’s project, and intern at an agency in college.
To connect with Theresa, check out her social media below: