Marketing and Publicity Manager
Marketing and Publicity Managers oversee the creation and planning of films' marketing campaigns, once Distributors have identified the target audiences and potential revenue. Marketing campaigns should reach target audiences as efficiently and frequently as practicable, both before and during film releases. Film projects are among the most eagerly anticipated products available to consumers, and as every film is different, every marketing campaign must also be unique. Big budget films involving top stars usually spend more money on marketing and publicity because they have more production costs to recoup.
Smaller niche, art house or 'indie' films have less to spend, and must therefore employ considerable ingenuity in order to be noticed. Work on a film's marketing campaign may begin over a year prior to its release, but more usually the lead time is several months, during which the Marketing and Publicity Manager must promote the film's visibility, and stimulate public interest.
Marketing and Publicity Managers' main responsibility is to enhance a film's visibility, and to raise the public's awareness, by convincing audiences that this is a 'must-see' movie. They must ensure that the overall desire peaks when the film opens. Subsequently, Marketing and Publicity Managers need to increase interest in the film with further promotion, by directing their team, and troubleshooting any problems.
In some instances, they only oversee the implementation of a pre-existing campaign created by a studio and/or the filmmakers. These pre-existing campaigns must be re-tailored for different territories, taking into account cultural differences. For marketing campaigns to work on all levels, Marketing and Publicity Managers must be fully aware of Distributors' needs and requirements. They should also be continually aware of how films' publicity machinery is working, and of the directions taken.
Marketing and Publicity Managers must approach each film strategically and tactically. Positioning a film requires careful assessment of the competition, and forward thinking. Tactical skills are vital because of the ongoing need to develop and enhance promotional campaigns, while keeping channels of communication open with all parties, in order to achieve maximum box office revenue. Organisational and planning skills are crucial, as are creativity and adaptability. Campaigns sometimes change at a moment's notice, and Marketing and Publicity Managers must implement these alterations whilst keeping within costs and budgets. A thorough knowledge of film marketplaces, and the ability to read and capitalise on popular patterns and cultural trends, are crucially important.
Marketing and Publicity Managers usually have higher-level qualifications in Marketing, PR, Business or subjects related to business. On the job training is crucial, and is often acquired while working at Advertising or Media Planning agencies. Prior experience in managing some other intellectual properties, such as DVDs or games, is equally useful. Writing skills, computer literacy, and a broad knowledge of film, are also desirable.
Individual course accreditation in certain subject areas is currently being piloted. As part of Creative Skillset's and the UK Film Council's Film Skills Strategy, A Bigger Future, a network of Screen Academies and a Film Business Academy have been approved as centres of excellence in education and training for film.
Where to go for more information
Creative Skillset is the Sector Skills Council for the Audio Visual Industries. The first sources of information for all jobs in the industry are the National Occupational Standards. Browse Creative Skillset's website for links to our network of training partners, information about training and access to the comprehensive Creative Skillset/BFI course database. Finally, Creative Skillset Careers is UK's only specialist media careers advice service; for detailed media careers information and advice, visit http://www.creativeskillset.org/careers/.