As a independent filmmaker in Denver, part of my success has been by way of building my brand. To do so means that I have to expose myself to the public eye. For this reason, I use a public relations firm to make sure that the public exposure that I need isn’t negative. On a recent film set, I needed to shut down a lot of streets in downtown Denver. The result of this was that there were a lot of commuters inconvenienced on their way to and from work. There were so many complaints that the local newspaper ran a story on the movie that I was making and the street closures that it caused.
As a result, my public relations firm went into crisis management mode. I rely on the good will of the city of Denver to make my movies. I simply don’t have the money that film makers out in Hollywood have. So, my ability to make films has a lot to do with my reputation of being a good guy doing his best. Not only did all the negative publicity about the road closures threaten my relationship with the city and county of Denver, it also threatened my reputation with the business owners of Denver who I have come to rely on. I am able to get away with a lot of things because of my reputation.
Without that, I would have to pay a lot more to acquire locations and permits. So, I was freaking out about what would happen with all the bad press. Luckily, I had a solid public relations firm on my side with a strong ability to deal with crisis management. The firm Dovetail Solutions took the crisis that I was having as an opportunity. In the entertainment business, they say that all publicity is good publicity. Dovetail Solutions was able to deal with all the publicity and spin it into a good thing.
There tactics were simple. They responded to the critics by acknowledging that my movie did create an inconvenience for a lot of people. But, they also took the opportunity to explain that film crews across the world do the same things in major cities. The team was able to explain that there was so much upside to the movie because film producers would see not only that Denver was a beautiful city to shoot in but also that Denver was an easy city to shoot in. Dovetail Solutions educated the critics by explaining that the city could greatly benefit economically by future productions shooting in the city.
The result of the public relations maneuvering was that the critics stopped. They started to appreciate that the minor inconvenience of a film crew was worth the potential economic upside. Most importantly, my name got thrown around a bunch. Another consequence of the crisis management was that my name became associated with film production. I became a good guy in the public’s eye because my efforts would lead to future economic returns for the city.