News from Pam Newton - A Look Behind the Marketing Curtain

Hello Friends,
                  One of the things I promised was a look behind the “marketing curtain” at the promotion of A Candle for my Mother book. By now, hopefully you have all seen the website That was a six-month effort by Stacey and Patrick. Why so long? Because we had to have cassette tapes digitized, pictures scanned, and tons of writing done (by me, who is still finishing the book) amongst many other things. Well this next promotional idea will happen faster and at a much more intense pace.
                  In the early Spring, we will be launching the social media campaign. One of our ideas is to ask folks questions about their mothers and share those stories and one-liners with our fans. There will be a bunch of questions asked in these “man on the street” interviews from… “What was your favorite Mother’s Day you ever spent together?” to “How did your mom show you she loved you?”  Accomplishing this requires a lot of things to come together. One of the first things was to find a location to film the interviews (kindly the school where I teach has allowed us to film in a couple of the classrooms).
                  It is a full day shoot from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, set-up starting at 7:00 am. Our filming date is December 16th to give us time to do all the editing necessary for the 60 video clips we require. We need a team of folks (6 to be exact) to work behind the scenes to make sure the filming flows smoothly. A legal sign-off had to be created, printed and then signed by the participants. We had to research and book a brilliant director who will be responsible for all the equipment and lighting. A “step and repeat” ordered (if you don’t know what that is, you’ll have fun looking it up) to serve as a back drop for the interviews and as advertising for the book. There needs to be food and water for the crew, interviewers to meet with folks and prep them for going in front of the camera, and a receptionist to greet them as they arrive from outside. We are using a white board at the beginning of filming each person, so we know who they are later and can send them their footage to share with their own social circle.
                  We also have a team member who will take photos of the day and some phone footage behind the scenes of all the craziness. As I often tell my students, put a camera on it. Film what you are doing. Later, you can figure out how you are going to use it. Social media is a beast that needs to be fed. Creating authentic, engaging content is critical.
                  From getting estimates to planning and filming, it will take about 6 weeks all total. But the intense work happens the two weeks before. We have a check list of every detail from pens and water to dry erase boards and tables. Each person knows what they are responsible for during the shoot. The better the planning, the better the day will go. But anyone of you who has ever planned any event from a child’s birthday party to a music recording session, knows that something always goes wrong. We know that too. When it does, we believe we have enough expertise and fire power working the shoot to manage the problem… unless the power goes out… and then we really are “royally scr**ed”, as Puss In Boots said to Shrek when Fiona told him they were expecting triplets.
                  Do you have advice for anyone who is planning an event, party, film shoot, vacation, meeting, etc.? What sort of crazy things have you encountered? What did you do? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

Happy Holidays, Pam.