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Backstage Experts

5 Ways To Use PR To Keep Your TV Character Alive

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5 Ways To Use PR To Keep Your TV Character Alive

You're on Cloud 9, the TV show you're on just got green-lit for another season. Suddenly, you hear your character may have less screen time or worse, may be killed off. Right now, you're confused, like being dumped without knowing who's doing the dumping. Was it the producer's choice or the writer's "creative" idea to unceremoniously kill you off by plaguing you with a horrible and non-curable disease. Regardless, there's still a way to try and use the power of public relations to increase your chances of survival before you meet your untimely demise.

1. Use Your Social Media. Many of the actors I've worked with have been able to increase the duration of their screen time because of their influence in the social media world. Their tweets have received more retweets and favorites than other actors on their TV show. The reason this is appealing to producers is because they've demonstrated that they are their own PR machine and are constantly keeping fans talking about the show, which helps the ratings, even if by a small margin. Things like, "Just got the script and I'm shocked! Going to be a crazy new season #pleasedontkillme" can generate buzz. (Obviously you would need to select a less revealing hashtag.) Sometimes, seeing the reaction of a possible death of a beloved character can spark outcry from your fan base, altering the decision that a writer may have originally had. I mean, if fans can bring back "Veronica Mars" via Kickstarter, I'm pretty sure anything is possible.

2. Red Carpet Appearances. If you're going to some great events and getting your image in magazines and online gossip sites, it'll generate buzz for the show and will have the show execs seeing you in another light. Just get out there and be seen out in the bright lights of Hollywood. This is the "look-what-you're-going-to-loose" card. Show everyone, from the writers to the fans, that you're becoming an exclusive commodity. Red carpet events, especially the good ones, aren't open to the public so finding a way to get invited or just get in, can showcase your star power. Not every actor has the funds for a publicist, but you certainly can act like one and work on getting your images and quotes in various media outlets. Just remember to keep your show's name attached to yours so that you can demonstrate that you value the show and are independently promoting it. 

3. Plugging the show into your interviews. When you interview for any media outlet, make sure to include your show's name. Tease the audience with possible plot twists, just don't reveal too much because the writers will not be pleased, unless they've granted permission. Remember, press increases awareness which increases viewership, and at the end of the day, it's about the ratings. Genuinely show your excitement for the show's storyline, your co-workers, and crew. Be positive and don't let the public see that you're battling your internal emotions over the outcome of the show. People often forget that being positive is infectious and attracts a much higher audience. 

4. Buzz marketing. Take a chance and go in a different direction. Be creative and re-evaluate your image and what draws the most attention from your fans and the press. Evaluate your fan base and the reasons why they love you (and hate you). It may be narcissistic, but understanding their interest in you can help maximize the type of press you conduct. For instance, if your most notable feature is your style, wear something inspired by your character on the show. People can talk about your great outfit and also you have an excuse to rave about your character and the show. Think of PR as an eco system that needs to be nourished, the nourishment being ideas and content. The whole purpose of buzz marketing is to play...smart, you want to try different ways to make an impact. Does this mean it's time to make a sex tape? Absolutely not. But at least you're thinking outside the box.

5. Promote the writers. This is the most blatant plea to not be killed off the show, mention the writers in interviews. Sometimes people need a little ego boost and you admiring them about their masterpiece of a script will keep them happy. 

In the end, you will have to face your fate and move on to bigger and better projects, but at least you can utilize PR incase a similar scenario arises again.

Garrett O. Thomas has been working in public relations for several years. He lived in Tucson, Arizona where he focused on restaurant publicity, combating restaurant foreclosures during the economic recession in 2008. 

Eventually, he moved to Houston where he began working in technology publicity. Promoting software and online publicity integration for Fortune 500 companies. After handling more than 12 contracts and overseeing hundreds of thousands in contractual agreements, he decided that he wanted to progress his career into the entertainment industry.

He got a job as a celebrity publicist for Def Jam artist, Jeremih in New York. While Garrett collaborated with Def Jam and CAA, Jeremih received a Billboard Awards 2012 nomination for Top R&B song. From that point on, Garrett has worked with musicians, actors, and producers, promoting brands and educating them on his publicity knowledge and increasing his reach into a variety of areas in the entertainment industry. 

You can follow Garrett on Twitter and friend him on Facebook!

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