By Brenna Parker
For the chronic binge-watchers and moviegoers who dream of working in the entertainment industry in film and television, guess what? You have a shot at making it big too.
In the “Conversation With Warner Bros. Television Publicity” session, panelists Jeff Tobler, Lisa Mitchell and Brian Carrillo talked about how television audiences are changing. Consumers are not watching television on their TVs live anymore, instead they DVR, watch online or on their mobile devices. Entertainment companies are now starting to pay attention with how they can reach their customers.
These production companies aren’t just launching shows domestically and internationally to global media markets. Warner Bros. currently has 11 publicity field offices around the world and every show is launched globally. Warner Bros. currently has 400 shows on the air and balances how to get viewers to watch the shows and break through the clutter.
They work to not only gain media attention for their shows internationally, but also get the actors placed on magazines and booked on television shows. This also includes submitting the plan to get a star on the walk of fame and planning the reception.
The panelists also talked about how the press is overwhelmed with what to cover and are running out of space because of the high demand of quality shows currently on air. As the publicist for a show, you need to know the show you are working on and get the message out to the right person at the right time.
Carrillo talked about how every day is different working behind the scenes. Every Monday when Supergirl airs, the next morning the communications team pulls clips from media outlets from the night before and then pitches the next episode to the press. During this panel they mentioned one of their tactics is to release breaking news to publications such as Entertainment Weekly and People.
One of the media events they did was from this past April, when actress Allison Janney made a surprise appearance at a White House press briefing. Janney discussed the importance of addressing the growing problem of opiate addiction across the country. Janney previously starred as the White House Press Secretary on the television show The West Wing. Warner Bros. used the event to discuss opiate addiction, but also promote their show Mom, which follows a single mother who, after dealing with her battle with alcoholism and drug abuse, decides to restart her life in California, working as a waitress and attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Her mother, played by Janney, is also a recovering drug and alcohol addict. The show adds themes of real-life issues such as alcoholism, teen pregnancy, cancer, homelessness, gambling addiction, domestic violence, death, drug addiction, relapse and overdose.
ComicCon expanded to across the country and is now in 21 cities. The publicists plan the logistics of the events, which actors and producers attend, plan their food, when they get there etc. They also coordinate the new initiative for ComicCon, involved actors created a short video to fans to tell them they were coming to the event.
Mitchell talked about how part of the job entails working with the actor’s personal publicists to get them positive media coverage. Often times this involves communicating to check the actor's schedule to see if they will be working on another project.
· Apply for as many internship opportunities in the entertainment industry as you can in New York and Los Angeles.
· Build relationships with as many people who work in that industry as you can. This industry is incredibly close knit and small.
· Apply to work for local theatre troupes, festivals or even major conferences in your area like ComicCon.
· If you are a publicist, you should always have a pen.
· Gain skills in Adobe Premiere Pro so you know how to put together an electronic press clip.
Brenna Parker is a senior public relations major and is PRSSA Kent's vice president of professional relations. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.