My first love is sharing content on the big screen–I’m talking 30 x 70 ft. movie theater size screens. “Hi, my name is Diane and I enjoy documentaries, “… that is how I’ve introduced myself over 50 times to audiences in dimly lit theatres and a few mega-churches. Using social media for marketing, I create events that promote a product or service by associating it with a documentary film on screen.
Documentaries (or ‘docs’ as we call them) are by nature ‘themed’ which makes them ideal as content rich tools to reach niche audiences. Even with tightly focused target markets, it’s possible to find a documentary that will speak directly to that particular need.
For instance, I recently helped Kewl Innovations get in front of parents of teenagers that have Type 1 diabetes. Kewl’s product, ClimaPak maintains the temperature of insulin for 3 to 5 days in a portable compact container which is rechargeable using a USB adapter or car charger. Their target market: Type 1 teens (and their parents) with busy schedules who have a critical need to keep injectable insulin at the proper temperature. With the help of diabetic advocacy groups, we attracted a target audience of 150 parents to see “Sweet 16: A Journey into Teen Diabetes” on screen at a local movie theatre.
Constant Contact is my favorite tool to communicate doc events. I can upload a movie poster, embed a YouTube trailer, provide a link to RSVP and include social sharing links. You can do this easily through the regular Constant Contact or through their Event Spot product. Highlighting and hyperlinking sponsors on the email flyers give extra value to those who help promote and fund the event.
LinkedIn is my go-to site for finding subject experts and then contacting them with a request to talk-back to the audience after the film. A documentary event provides the opportunity to showcase the client’s product before and after the movie and weave it into the panel discussion.
I love the challenge of finding just the right film to highlight a firm’s product or service. When Right Step, a treatment center owned by California-based Elements, wanted to raise awareness in Texas about their recovery program for prescription drug abuse, we dovetailed a screening of the documentary, “Behind the Orange Curtain” with Dallas area schools during Red Ribbon Week. This particular week each October is when schools traditionally focus on communicating drug prevention to both students and parents. Documentaries like this one have longevity because problems like prescription drug abuse, continues to surface in the news.
Prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions in certain parts of the United States. In 2012 I flew to Bismarck, North Dakota and coordinated a doc event at a local movie theatre surrounding “Behind the Orange Curtain” for Heartview Foundation, an alcohol/drug treatment and education center. North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem was the lead panelist after the film.
A few months ago Caron Texas, a treatment center located in Princeton, just east of McKinney asked me to coordinate two screenings of “Behind the Orange Curtain,” one in Arlington and the following night in Dallas. Filmmaker, Brent Huff flew in and conducted a talk-back with both audiences. Executive Producer, Natalie Costa maintains an active Facebook account for the film and she is also a speaker about prescription drug abuse.
Again, communication through Constant Contact paired with social media, engaging cross promotional partners and moderating the panel discussion with subject experts are all crucial elements in organizing and executing a successful event.
Most of the time I will find documentaries through a Google search or I’ll follow new films-in-the-making on Kickstarter. Occasionally people will send me links to documentaries. In the case of “Behind the Orange Curtain,” a counselor who had been a panelist at a previous documentary sent me an email one day with a link to a trailer on a prescription drug doc. He asked me to take a look and see if it was something we could play in Dallas. Because any doc could provide a great opportunity, I look at them all.
I find this work fascinating as I match clients with documentaries ranging from keeping our planet green to algorithms on stock exchanges. This isn’t work: it’s a way for me to continue to learn about so many different subjects.
I’m currently working on bringing a documentary about the subject of cyberbullying to Dallas. In late August I’ll help one of my clients use it as a kick off at back-to-school events, and that will help arm parents with important information.
Diane Feffer is owner/manager of Diane Feffer Marketing Consulting, LLC. She is a Marketing /PR / Event Management specialist with an emphasis on documentary events, author book launches and new store openings.
Keep up with Diane by following her @dfeffer and connect with her on LinkedIn.
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