The PR reps at Cannes are the ghosts behind the scenes. Always near at hand and almost never seen for more than a fleeting moment, they seem to be doing something, but what is it? I caught up to festival veteran Laurent Boye and asked him.
Who are you and what do you do?
I founded Jazo PR, a company that does corporate and movie public relations, event and cross promotion, as well as social media campaigns and soon product placement.
What is Public Relations? Why do you think it's important?
Public Relations is bringing awareness of the people/product/movie to other businesses or people. PR helps business growth, it should be part of every business plan.
Did you have specific goals in mind for Cannes? Did you achieve those goals?
I had a major goal in Cannes: making my clients happy, giving them my best. From putting together industry and press events, setting up a photo-op for a major celebrity announcing a new movie at the last minute, promoting short movies, creating an award: the Birks Canadian Diamond as well as promoting Canadian diamonds to create jobs and revenue for Canada via red carpet opportunities to talking to the press and negotiating with them for media opportunities for my clients. It was a very successful Cannes!
What would you say to an independent filmmaker about PR? Is it really needed? At what stage?
If you want the world to know how great you are, and get more opportunities, you need a publicist. Publicity is needed, there are way too many stimuli in this world for people to not notice you and your project(s), a publicist will bring the awareness which will bring interest in you and in what you do. I would say talk to a publicist at any stage of your career, if we can do work for you we will tell you.
Do you have any advice for filmmakers, actors, and other professionals who can't quite afford a PR representative yet?
You are investing in your career, so hiring a publicist, and it is quite an expense, is an expense which will generate awareness therefore opportunities. You are spending to earn more.
Anecdote or a "Cannes moment"?
Having an actress telling the ambassador of her country in front of other officials, that I was doing an excellent job, well beyond my contract, having manually adjusted her boobs in her dress for them to look perfect in the outfit for her big red carpet moment... Luckily I am known to go beyond my job requirements to get the job done...
Next up...The Actor
Written by Zack Coffman. Follow Zack's film marketing tips and adventures @choppertown on Twitter.