FYI – Film Your Issue

National Film Competition for 18 - 26 year olds

What We Did:
Marketing Strategy, Public & Media Relations, Social Media & Marketing, Special Event Planning & Promotions, Graphic Design

Challenge

The organizers of FYI – Film Your Issue, an unprecedented national film competition designed to motivate 18- to 26-year-old Americans to create short films about social and political issues important to them, had done a brilliant job of enlisting major corporate and organizational sponsors (Microsoft, Toshiba, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, The Humane Society, etc.), and signing up A-list jurors (George Clooney, Walter Cronkite, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, etc.). But three months before the submission deadline, they realized that they were missing something – films and filmmakers. FYI hired The Busby Group and challenged us to build awareness and engagement among their vital Millennial target demographic.

Campaign

The Busby Group responded by mounting a multi-pronged media relations and social media/marketing campaign designed to galvanize would be young filmmakers into action.  We saturated the major social platforms and numerous film and cause related websites and blogs with FYI announcements and invitations.  We blanketed the mainstream and film/entertainment media with eight press releases and media alerts.  We reached out directly to every traditional, independent and alternative film and photography school in the U.S.  We delivered customized pitch letters and media kits to the editors of the top 100 university and college newspapers.  We engaged campus street teams to post flyers and ran a series of radio PSAs (“What do George Clooney, Walter Cronkite and the Dalai Lama have in common?”) on campuses across the country.

Results

Dozens of city and university dailies nationwide picked up the FYI story, as did the major mainstream newspapers, the wire services and public radio. Word of the grassroots nature of the contest also spread quickly via social media.  Total impressions were impossible to calculate, but they easily reached into the millions, and yielded the desired results. Despite the short time available, hundreds of young Americans submitted short films to FYI.  During a two-week period in June, MSNBC.com hosted the films of the 35 FYI semi-finalists and asked viewers to vote for their favorites.  The Busby Group did an intensive outreach to the media outlets in the hometowns and university towns of the 35 young filmmakers to draw attention to the contest. MSNBC.com reported that during those two weeks, more than 88,000 people visited the site, viewed multiple films and voted for their favorites, shattering their previous participation record for a streaming video poll.  

FYI – Film Your Issue