Edinburgh International TV Festival: Diversity and the role of PR

Edinburgh International TV Festival: Diversity and the role of PR

At the Edinburgh International TV Festival, news presenter Jon Snow delivered a stirring and emotional MacTaggart Lecture in which he argued the media has become “disconnected” from some parts of society. His impassioned speech had tears in many of the audiences eyes, mine included.

“The completely man-made Grenfell disaster has proved beyond all other domestic events, how little we know, and how dangerous the disconnect is.”

 

“The Grenfell story was out there, shocking in its accuracy, hidden in plain sight.. but we had stopped looking.”

The challenge for the media is; how can it better reflect the problems, interests, and sensibilities of different cultures so that it better represents modern British society?

Behind the Camera

One of the best ways to achieve this is to increase the diversity of behind the camera talent. These people decide what is interesting, what programmes are made, and what news is reported. It is an issue that needs to be tackled at the grassroots level. It’s about increasing awareness of opportunities that are on offer – and shedding light on TV as a potential career.

Raising Awareness

Edinburgh International TV Festival’s Talent Schemes

This is where PR can help. As a company operating in the media industry, there’s scope to use PR to develop awareness and events to raise the profile of the industry in communities. At Franklin Rae we work to promote the Edinburgh International TV Festival’s Talent Schemes, Ones To Watch and The Network. These work together to drive applications from all parts of the country.

Combining platforms

To engage with people from a number of varied communities meant we had to work differently. In order to raise the profile of the talent schemes we worked closely with local journalists, placing case studies and using social media in ways that would resonate with the audience. For example, interviews with creative leaders of diverse backgrounds and sourced testimonials from TV talent who are well known in these communities.

Both schemes do incredible work getting people from all walks of life involved in TV.  Jon Snow applauded the schemes in his speech for this very reason – to great cheers from this year’s members! We were with the members of the schemes throughout the festival and their enthusiasm, knowledge, and skill was incredible. Their energy will really help drive the industry forward.

By Xander Ross, Senior Account Executive at Franklin Rae

BETT 2017: How to Stand Out at a Crowded Market

BETT 2017: How to Stand Out at a Crowded Market

There was a true depth of innovation on display at this year’s BETT exhibition, which took place last week, demonstrating that the international edtech industry is very much alive as ever. As we spent a few days exploring the aisles of the ExCel among the industry’s elite, it was hard to ignore the pull of all the gadgets and gizmos promising the next wave of education.

It’s safe to say Virtual Reality for classrooms was the technology of the moment, with the crowds fighting it out to test run Microsoft’s game-changing Hololens. And thanks to Raspberry Pi’s legacy, coding in schools continues to be the initiative on everyone’s mind. But the one thing the edtech community agrees on is that gaming is the missing link in mainstream education – and while Minecraft and Microsoft had the biggest presence at BETT in this department, it was great to see some of the exciting new players such as Lightneer and our client Tinybop making their claim in the market.

So what does it take to stand out from the crowd at key events such as BETT? PR and marketing are essential tools to help shout about your innovation when it counts, support your business objectives and let key influencers know what you are taking to market.

Here’s a few of our top tips to stand out from the crowd:

Marketing Prep      

You know the drill. Once you register to exhibit at one of these events, you’re bombarded with marketing emails that promise to help you make the most of your stand. And as tempting as it is to leave them in the inbox – make sure you don’t miss those important deadlines for submitting your copy and company profile to the official show guide. Make it as easy as possible for attendees to find you on the day. That means getting your name in the programme before it’s too late.

Media 

Looking to make a splash with news during the show? Let the media know beforehand. The beauty of modern journalism is that you can announce new developments and generate immediate impact. Markets are a great place to pick up trade magazines and print media still works very much in advance. It’s not dead just yet. Most key publications plan special preview features in their editions leading up to market. So, consider this – if a prospective customer sees your news in the media in those important days beforehand, or even while they’re reading their morning coffee on the way to market, you’ve already got a head start.

Face Time

A major strength of trade shows is the ability to meet face-to-face with the right people in a short amount of time. Well, guess what — you can also build much stronger relationships by meeting your industry journalists face-to-face. Use this opportunity while you’re all under the same roof to forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones with your target media. Believe us, it’ll pay off in the long run!

We’re already looking ahead to the Kidscreen Summit in a couple of weeks, the Broadcast Indie Summit in March and MIPTV in April. Who’s coming with us?

By Abi Williams, Account Manager at Franklin Rae

 

Frankly Speaking On The Edge….of an amazing 2017

Frankly Speaking On The Edge….of an amazing 2017

Franklin Rae PR and Edge Investments held their first joint event of the year today. The breakfast round-table, co-hosted by Franklin Rae MD Sophie Naylor and Edge’s Investment Manager Joanna Smith, brought together a range of premium drama indies to debate the growth opportunities and challenges facing scripted indies in 2017. Despite the early start, and possibly fuelled by coffee and breakfast, the discussions were intelligent and insightful; hot topics were the proliferation of international co-productions, the drama commissioning hiatus, the new platforms commissioning and funding process, the best time in a company’s life cycle to take investment, both the benefits and disadvantages of taking investment – the consensus seemed to be that it all depends on the investment partner, the role corporate PR plays in attracting investment, cash-flow challenges in the new super-uber-drama world, talent packaging and the need for scripted indies to consistently communicate their range of executives and expertise, both commercial and creative to an international audience.
Both Franklin Rae and Edge Investments are looking forward to the next Frankly Speaking On The Edge round-table which focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing factual indies in 2017.

 

By Sophie Naylor, Managing Director at Franklin Rae.

FR Favourite TV Moments 2016

FR Favourite TV Moments 2016

It’s coming to the end of the year, and it’s been an odd one but it’s almost time to say goodbye to 2016, and hello to a bright, shiny new 2017. The end of the year gives us a chance to reflect on our very best TV moments of 2016, and the team at FR Towers have chosen theirs:

2016 was pretty incredible in terms of British Drama*: Epic glossies like The Night Manager, Victoria, Game of Thrones – Battle of the Bastards and War & Peace were swoon-worthy for many of the FR team, some of whom were particularly impressed with the opening titles. *obligatory nod to foreign co-pro partners. Other homegrown British Dramas that were more gritty than glossy but equally compulsive viewing for Franklin Rae were; National Treasure, Happy Valley and The Missing – they all had the Holy Trinity, acting talent, writing talent and high-quality production talent. More please!

FR Towers are known for their (armchair) athleticism so it comes as no surprise that sport dominated our summer’s viewing. We loved the Rio Olympics – special mentions for the GB v Netherlands Women’s Hockey Final, and the bizarrely hypnotic cycling races where we seemed to win everything – Skill. The European Championships Wales V Belgium got a mention, and lots of love was sent England’s way for winning the Six Nations Grand Slam.

Tickling funny bones at Franklin Rae were the legendary Beatles…… of Brentford aka People Just Do Nothing, and the indomitable US production company 3 Arts shook up Franklin Rae’s Brit-content love fest with The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Master of None.

But we don’t just live in a fantasy world, Factual TV did get a look in: Planet Earth II’s flamingos were spectacular and Grierson Award Winner – Louis Theroux: Drinking to Oblivion deserves to be seen. However it was Hypernormalisation that got us to really sit-up and take notice, documenting what happens when delusion becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, and “fakeness” becomes the accepted reality.

Stranger Things was the only US drama that floated the boat but it has many admirers chez FR, and not just because it’s an apt description for the WHOLE of 2016.

Finally, at the risk of sounding (even more) like a middle aged woman, Strictly Come Dancing was watched religiously by my family this year – we’re all girls and faced the biggest TV dilemma since Sophie’s Choice – Danny or Ore!

And with that it’s Christmas TV Specials abound, so settle in and have a rocking Xmas & New Year.

See you in 2017.

 

By Sophie Naylor, Managing Director at Franklin Rae.

Telly – Aviv!!

Telly – Aviv!!

This week telly-avivwe were lucky enough to attend the very first Tel Aviv TV Formats conference. The event was put on by Israel’s Import and Export Ministry in consultation with Israel’s international players in the TV Market, Keshet, Armoza and Dori, and domestic TV companies, Gil Fomats, Yes! and Reshet.

The conference attracted broadcasters and distributors from all over the world, with delegates from India, Turkey, Denmark, Netherlands, Korea, Africa, US, UK, France. Its popularity shouldn’t be surprising – the destination is beautiful, the food is delicious, and the weather is great, but most importantly Israel’s track record in scripted and unscripted TV is pretty phenomenal, even to the most jaded TV doyenne, and totally disproportionate to the size of the population. The appeal for international delegates was the sneak peek preview of content ahead of the MIPCOM frenzy in Cannes, almost all the delegates were hungry to access the next big thing in TV.

The media giant, K7’s Claire Thomas gave an excellent analysis of why Israel is so successful in such a crowded market  citing tight budgets and risk-taking as crucial ingredients. The polar opposite of the inflated budgets and creative caution seen elsewhere in the world.

Hannes Hiller, VP of Entertainment, for Germany’s ProSiebenSat1, showcased The Best Showimg_6734 in The World – a great concept of audience testing new formats in a family friendly magazine-style game-show. The producers select a number unshown formats to debut segments of in front of a live studio andhome audience. The audience votes in real-time which shows they want to see more of. A fiendishly clever display of German ef
ficiency, simultaneously filling airtime, spotting the next big thing AND saving on commissioners’ salaries! Let’s see whether the creativity will match the efficiency.

Israel’s most recognised television company, Keshet demonstrated why they are so successful domestically and internationally with a slick presentation from Keren Shahar, Managing Director of Keshet International, and panel contributions from Assaf Blecher, Keshet’s VP of Development & Content.  In no way were Keshet flexing their (significant) muscle, but it was clear that their eye for content, supported by their investment in strategy, marketing and PR really pays off – at home and abroad.

Adam Berkowitz, co-head of Television at entertainment powerhouse CAA, rounded the event off with a wonderfully relaxe
d insight to TV. He generously discussed his career, the opportunities and challenges, and a gentle but wise reminder to the audience that practice makes perfect so keep trying and keep improving, and that the US is a great market, but not the only market. Despite this, I imagine his in-box will still be flooded with hopeful emails from attendees touting the next big thing.

Finally, coming from a technology PR background myself, it was great to see Applicaster in the mix. Not as a separate digital sideshow, but part of the main TV conference, which is where they should be. Other conference organisers take note, digital is part of every industry now – IT’s not a side show and not just for nerds.

#makegood? If anyone can… ADCAN can

#makegood? If anyone can… ADCAN can

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Last week saw the great and good of the creative industry converge at The Mill for the the third installment of the ADCAN Awards – an annual competition, which champions unsigned creative talent by giving them access to industry leaders, and provides charities and social enterprises with original content to help promote their cause.

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Unlike other awards ceremonies, should the camera have cut to the nominees as the Grand Prix was announced, hoping to catch flashes of disappointment across the faces of those not taking the top prize, it would be rather missing the point and would probably not be the case, for the ADCAN Awards is all about supporting and nurturing young talent all in the name of incredible causes, as the Hashtag (which on the night was trending on Twitter) states #makegood.

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ADCAN Founders Dan, Deborah and Brydon

Founded by creative and production veterans, Brydon Gerus, Dan Heighes and Deborah Casswell to provide a platform for new talent they felt was missing in the industry. Leading production companies Rattling Stick, Partizan and Nexus, not only judged the work but continued to champion talent with industry speed dating sessions and workshops.

The filmmakers were given four briefs, provided by four incredible causes to choose from. To give the evening extra significance representatives from the charities introduced the films made for their cause. Hearing Nordoff Robbins, Streetbank, The Girlhood and CALM talk was not only inspiring but made the work of the filmmakers all the more impressive. Each of the shortlisted films had managed to get to the heart of the charity’s work and I for one am not ashamed to admit that my eyes failed to remain dry throughout the screenings.

It was laughter however that won on the night for Klaas Diersmann and his film (T)HUGS for CALM, The Campaign Against Living Miserably – a charity which aims to challenge perceptions of masculinity in light of the growing number of male suicides. Capturing the need for young men to feel comfortable to talk about their problems and doing so in an accessible way won Klass the Grand Prix for best film and the biggest laugh in the room on the night.

Klass also won the innaugral Peoples Choice Award. Designed to allow supporters of the ADCAN Awards to have their say, guests on the night were encouraged to cast their votes and as a result discussion continued into the night on which film was deserving of this new award, meaning the work remained very much centre of attention, how very ADCAN!

2016 ADCAN Awards Winners

Our involvement with ADCAN from its inception meant there was a lot of pride in the advances the event has made, we work with some of the very best talent in industry and so it feels very natural to help play a part in ushering in the next generation.

There was a barnstorming finish to the evening as Chaka Sobhani, CCO of ad agency Leo Burnett gave a keynote address, telling all of the assembled talent that above all else, just go out and ‘make things’. The ADCAN Awards are doing just that as they continue to #makegood.

Check out the 2016 winners’ videos here https://adcanawards.com/winners.

By Mike Goward, Account Executive at Franklin Rae