It has always caught my attention the way my friends picture my work as a publicist. The general idea is that my work consists of mainly attending glamorous events, traveling and hanging out with celebrities. If they only knew that it is so far from reality, and mind you, I am not complaining at all, I have been in this industry for more than 10 years and I can say that thanks to my job I’ve been able to experience things that I never thought I would’ve experienced in a lifetime. One of those has been to be a part of important red carpet events with artists as my clients. Although the phrase “Red Carpet” sounds very sophisticated, the truth is that for a publicist to do a red carpet with a client, and to get the expected results, there are a lot of details involved that need to be taken into consideration.
I would like to share with you a list of simple steps to follow in order to successfully survive a red carpet:
- Do your homework: As soon as your artist or client is invited to participate in a red carpet event you need to start preparing. The first thing to do is to read all the information related to the event, mainly the logistical information sent by event organizers, which usually includes parking information, media list, schedule, contacts etc.. We need to be aware of all the details about the event, not only for us, but for our clients who ultimately depend on us.
- ABC- 1-2-3: A red carpet is a great opportunity of publicity for your talent (whether it’s a celebrity, a company spokesperson, etc…); your client can do more media in one day than in an entire month. But as we all know carpets are very crowded and chaotic, and sometimes artists can get distracted with the excitement of the whole experience, so be sure to talk to your client beforehand and give him/her three key messages to promote during the interviews
- Be Prepared– The day has finally arrived. Don’t forget your credential, have a paper and pen in hand and don’t forget to bring your talent information so you can give that to the press before he or she arrives. Once you arrive
to the Red Carpet locate the “Publicists Pen,” which normally is at the top of the carpet to wait for the talent. Before you take your position in the publicist’s pen it is always a great idea to walk the carpet alone, say hi to the press and try to coordinate the interviews in advance. There is nothing worse than trying to pitch your artist for an interview when he/she’s standing right beside you.
- The early bird gets the worm: If your personality is not too well-known, don’t bring him/her to the carpet “fashionably late” or he/she will not get any interviews. The fashionably late individuals are the A-listers. Unless your talent is that, then get them to the carpet on time. Media is more likely to interview a less-known personality before the A-listers come in.
- Be Memorable: Let the media get used to seeing you on the Red Carpet and at events. Be friendly, extra personable. Learn their names. This small detail can be the deciding factor in getting an interview or not. Our relationship with the media should be one that’s beneficiary for both sides, because sometimes we have the important artist they want to feature, and sometimes they are the ones who can give us a hand to promote an artist that is just starting in the business.
- Prioritize: Since a Red Carpet is a crowded event, I recommend to make a list with the names of the media with whom you have already coordinated interviews. That way, when your client arrives you can take him directly to those specific media outlets first.
- Strike a Pose: There is one section of the red carpet that I absolutely recommend not skipping, and that is the Step and Repeat. No matter if your talent is an A-lister or not, the step and repeat is always a great promotional tool. Why? Because this area always has photo agencies and that alone will place your personality on a lot of publications the next day.
Lights, Camera, Action! – If your talent is doing a live shot from the Red Carpet, make sure they are there a few minutes before the actual live shot. This live interview opportunity needs to be coordinated in advance, and not to be pitched on the spot.
My last recommendation is to wear comfortable shoes that will allow you to move easily throughout the carpet. Be prepared to be standing, walking and even running for a lot of hours. It is also important to dress up for the occasion while maintaining a low profile; black is always the best dress code, because at the end of the day the star is your client. Our job is to help our talent shine that evening. With these few steps I can assure you that you will be able to survive a red carpet and not die trying.