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French Film Festival: key ingredients to publicising events

The 2016 Alliance Francaise French Film Festival had Brisbane cinema buffs packing theatres for three weeks in March to enjoy almost 50 contemporary French films and exclusive cinematic events.

The festival experienced an 11 per cent hike in attendance this year with more than 23,000 film-lovers through its doors. BBS was proud to help the festival organisers reach this goal by developing and delivering a targeted three-month media strategy that generated strong coverage.

Creating media hype for large events is quite the operation, but there are some key ingredients for success.

Create a media plan with deadlines

In the months leading up to a large event, it is important to create a series of newsworthy milestones that can be drip-fed to media. This helps to create media coverage over a longer period of time, in turn generating broader public awareness. These milestones could include the confirmation of key event activities, appointment of event ambassadors, and pre-event ticket sales.

Tap into the event’s point of difference

Make sure you articulate the event’s point of difference regularly and early – this is what is going to draw people to attend. As an example, the Australian Alliance Francaise French Film Festival is the largest film festival held outside of France, so it was important to highlight this point of difference when promoting the Brisbane component.

Host a media launch event

Two weeks prior to the event launch, look at hosting an exclusive media preview. This will not only alert the media to the event, but give them enough time to report on it before the event starts. If appropriate, consider engaging bloggers who can spread the word to their existing followers.

Leverage event ambassadors

Ambassadors can help spark public and media interest and boost the credibility of an event. Think about who is highly respected within the industry and approach them early to secure an ambassadorship.