At the time “The Good Catholic” crew asked if I had interest in helping with marketing and public relations after a mutual IU connection referenced me for the job, I had never worked in film and knew nothing about the industry.
But I knew marketing and PR, and at the end of the day, that’s all that mattered – the rest followed.
The PR field can be fast paced, but what I learned is that the entertainment industry is even faster. Not only are you constantly dealing with deadlines of your own, you’re dealing with the deadlines of reporters, the media, the actors, and the film as a whole. Most of the time you have to speak to more than one person about the same thing, or the person you wanted to speak to is unavailable so you have to get creative. If you aren’t good at developing a plan B, C, D and E, then PR in entertainment probably isn’t for you.
Three things were key to my success working for the film.
- The first was my colleague, Rebecca Banks. She was the other marketing and PR intern and is the most skilled student I have ever worked with. We made a good team because we made ourselves accountable and reliable – I could count on her. We were extremely organized and created spreadsheets and documentation for all the press we handled. We wrote email pitch templates. We were in nonstop communication with one another making sure that our tasks were getting completed, and always looking ahead.
- The classes I had taken in the Media School were also key to my success, specifically a certain class I had the pleasure of taking with Nicholas Browning. The class is R349 “Public Relations Writing” and I would encourage anyone who is even somewhat interested in a communications career to take it with him. He teaches from experience. I used the assignments I made in that class as references for the press I had created while working on the film. The class is the closest you will get to the real world.
- The third key to my success was the build-up of knowledge I had from prior experiences and opportunities working in this field. For two years I have worked as the marketing assistant at WTIU Public Television. I did an internship in communications and marketing in Italy the summer of 2015. I did freelance marketing and PR for the League of Women Voters in Bloomington. I have been in the Bloomington Advertising Club for three years, which has given me the opportunity to work on two complete advertising campaigns for the National Student Advertising Competition. I’m the managing director for the Media School advertising class Agency Seven. I’m also an ambassador for International Education of Students internship program and the IU Media School. Without all of the work I’ve dedicated my time to, I wouldn’t have been as confident going into the film, and I definitely would not have had the connections I did. The personal relations I developed over time were to my benefit when the film came to town and needed resources and press.
One of my favorite memories from the film was meeting Danny Glover during his only press event, which I helped organize. Overall, my favorite memories came from all the laughs and good times shared between the crew during and after filming. I worked with some really cool and passionate people who not only taught me a lot but made it a fun experience along the way. They will be friends of mine for life, and it doesn’t get much better than that!