As we all experience the heat of proper summer, the country around us is starting to slowly open up. You may have seen our excitement at the announcement that cinemas will be formally reopening from 4 July, with appropriate distancing measures in place. But the creative minds in media, marketing and production have hardly been idle while stuck at home, so we thought we’d digest some of our favourite recent innovations in the space from some very bright minds
Smart design is tackling the problem of getting kids used to masks
If you go near Twitter you’ll know that enough adults seem to have problems with the concept of wearing facemasks – so explaining the potentially scary concept to kids is a daunting task. Step forward, Nalla Design (recent participants in our Virtual Escape Room), who have come up with a way of making face coverings less scary, more fun for small kids. Just download, print out, cut out and your rather anonymous nose and mouth covering becomes a bear, a tiger, or a bulldog. With more designs set to drop, we think this is a great design-led approach to a potentially serious problem.
The magic of Eurovision taps into pop up radio
No-one loves an innovative bit of film or TV content like us, so when Magic and the new Will Ferrell comedy announced they had teamed up to launch a pop-up Eurovision themed radio station, to support the streaming launch of the song competition-themed film, we stood up and applauded. Not only are we partial to a bit of Abba and Bucks Fizz (well as much as the next PRs), but radio has been surging in popularity as we were all housebound. Content-led, innovative ways to support film releases which could otherwise have passed by on streaming? More please. It’s also a great way of including songs from the film to extend possibilities for the content, as well as frankly giving us all a much-needed giggle. We didn’t get to enjoy real Eurovision this year from the comfort of our houses – but this might be the next best thing.
Keeping the festival experience alive
It won’t have escaped anyone’s notice that the doyenne of summer festivals, Glastonbury, just isn’t happening this year. But people keen on replicating the experience have been taking matters into their own hands – and back gardens. With a tent, a speaker, access to the content at our fingertips and a surprisingly small amount of mud, this is homegrown experiential from people not only keen to keep summer traditions going but also eager to share that experience s far as they can in bubbles. We’re now connected as never before and the crop of virtual and streaming festivals and concerts emerging is not going to stop some outdoors summer fun. Expect this to be a trend which experiential taps back into when lockdown lifts further and client budgets unfreeze. It keeps an event unique and exclusive but also intimate and personal. That sector deserves it.
What’s your proudest PR moment (to date!)
When myself and my team managed to secure a broadcast interview on CNBC for an engineering simulation client. They had been tricky to pitch as the technology was very niche, but with a lot of dedication and a good hook we managed to secure a national broadcast opportunity!
Biggest learning curve?
Due to the current pandemic, I’ve had to adapt and flex my skill set to ensure that I can remain relevant and successful in the comms industry. This situation has certainly taught me a lot about the skills I possess and the ones that I need to continue to develop
What makes you excited about PR?
The unpredictability of the job – one day you might be writing a byline on cloud technology and the next you’ll be staffing a national press briefing for the launch of a new product
What’s your dream client
I would love to work for a charitable organisation and help to spread awareness of an important cause
Favourite TV show?
Currently, I’m loving Parks and Recreation – we all need some light relief now and then
Last film you saw in the cinema?
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Biggest advocate of…?
Having passions outside of work. Sometimes we become so focussed on work that we forget to disconnect and enjoy our lives outside of work. I’m a huge theatre lover and participate in amateur dramatics – it’s my version of switching off and having fun.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee – an oat milk latte with an extra shot to be precise
Cats or dogs?
Staying in or going out?
Going out (when we’re allowed, of course)
Audiovisual Producers Finland – APFI will together with Franklin Rae PR organise a webinar on understanding the TV trade in the UK. According to Ampere Analysis, the UK is now the largest market in Europe in terms of audiovisual revenue (in all forms of video entertainment). In the webinar you will hear recent experiences of how the COVID-19 crisis has affected demand on content, and practical examples of what is working in the UK and what is not, as well as do’s and don’ts of marketing your content to UK commissioners and distributors.
Hell Fire! is a television production company founded in 2019, with a HQ in Leeds and bases in Manchester and London. They look to the British Regions for stories authored by original and authentic writers and work with some of the brightest new talents in the North and in the UK. With content ideas in the works for some of the top UK broadcasters, and connections to top UK commissioners, they have amassed a detailed understanding of the current TV market – if anyone has an up-to-date understanding of how to sell a show in the UK, its them.
Channel 4 is a publicly owned and commercially funded UK public service broadcaster, with a statutory remit to deliver high-quality, innovative, alternative content that challenges the status quo.
As Head of Specialist Factual a Channel 4, Fatima Salaria is responsible for History, Science, Natural History, Arts and Adventure. The department produces everything from Putin, A Russian Spy Story, SAS Who Dares Win, Grayson Perry, Guy Martin and critically acclaimed single films like 100 Vaginas and 3 Identical Strangers. Prior to joining Channel 4, Fatima was Commissioning Editor for Religion at the BBC. She commissioned award-winning Muslims like Us, Abortion on Trial, We are British Jews, The Pilgrimage and curated the Black and British and the Partition seasons for BBC2 amongst many other series and single films across BBC One, TWO and Four.
As Head of Entertainment and Events, Phil Harris oversees entertainment output across Channel 4, E4 and All4. His slate includes channel defining live events like Stand Up to Cancer, the award-winning topical satire of The Last Leg and gold standard comedy entertainment such as Cats Does Countdown and the forthcoming Taskmaster. His teamwork with a broad range talent such as Davina McCall, Maya Jama, Greg Davies and BAFTA nominated comic Mo Gilligan.
Before Channel 4, Phil produced a series of high profile hit entertainment shows such as Saturday Night Takeaway, X Factor, Take Me Out and Celebrity Big Brother. He developed and Executive Produced BAFTA nominated BBC1 Entertainment hit The Greatest Dancer plus young skewing comedy reboots of iconic heritage formats Supermarket Sweep and Blockbusters which recorded record viewing figures for ITV and Comedy Central respectively. He has a strong background in reality; show running BAFTA winning The Only Way is Essex, devising and Executive Producing E4 smash Celebs Go Dating, now in its 8th series, overseeing BBC’s BAFTA and Broadcast award nominated Eating With My Ex and winning an Emmy for dating show The Singles Project which he developed and produced for America’s number one cable network, Bravo.
Channel 5 is a British free-to-air television channel. Channel 5 is a general entertainment channel that shows both internally commissioned and foreign programmes. Emma Westcott oversees a wide range of factual series in the channel’s peak-time schedule and also leads the channel’s push to double its amount of regional commissions. At Channel 5 Emma has been responsible for successful series such as: Thirties in Colour, Walking Britain’s Lost Railways, Dogs Behaving Badly, Toddlers Behaving (very) badly, Ten Years Younger in 10 days, GPs: Behind Closed Doors and Violent Child, Desperate Parents.
Before joining Channel 5 she was Director of Commissioning at The Lifestyle Channels in Australia from 2010 to 2012. There Emma developed and managed key local productions as well as successfully translating a number of UK formats such as: Location Location Australia, Grand Designs Australia and Trinny and Susannah’s Australian Makeover Mission.
Prior to that she worked as Channel 4 Commissioning Editor for Features, responsible for channel defining shows including: Location, Location, Property Ladder, No Going Back, You Are What You Eat and Ten Years Younger as well as managing key brands such as Grand Designs and Supernanny.
Emma has also worked for ITV Productions Children’s and Entertainment and BBC Entertainment and Features as well as an executive producer in the independent sector, producing content for all major UK broadcasters.
Twice listed as the fastest growing UK distribution company in Broadcast magazine, Orange Smarty is a Factual Specialist in Non-Scripted content and boasts a catalogue of over 1500 hours of quality content. Karen Young, CEO and Founder Orange Smarty is an industry professional with a huge background in Sales and Marketing for Blue Chip companies such as British Airways, P&O Cruises and Foxtel Channel in Australia. She has worked in distribution for over 20 years and set up Orange Smarty in 2013, launching a formats division in 2017.