A day in the life of... Programme Publicity
Hi Zoe, so what’s Programme Publicity?
We work with online, television, radio, social and print publications to promote our programmes in editorial space. We use our talent or contributors to give interviews that will be read, watched or heard, as well as drawing on our programmes to create news and feature stories. Working alongside our colleagues in Marketing, we try to reach audiences that may not already be watching ITV and therefore may not see our promos.
We aim to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. Our channels will always have something that’ll appeal to everyone.
How do you promote a programme?
We have regular meetings with Commissioning and Marketing to establish our priority programmes. We also work with our colleagues in Corporate Comms and Compliance, to make sure the way we promote our programmes doesn’t damage our channel, programme or talent brands, and pre-empt media management of controversial issues. Publicity’s the first taste the media and public have of new shows, so we need to make sure we position them in the right way.
New series need extra promotion, so we encourage the talent to do as much as possible to help us - some are more helpful than others! For example, press launches where we screen the show and arrange round table interviews, appearances at events, screenings at BAFTA.
Sometimes the talent have their own personal publicists who only want their clients to do particular kinds of publicity. So it helps that we work closely with Business Affairs, who draw up and refine the talent contracts, allowing us to negotiate how much publicity we can ask talent to get involved in. We also work alongside Commercial, Sponsorship, International and Corporate Affairs.
Hows does your work affect ITV’s overall strategy?
Our overarching aim is helping ITV grow audience share, every day. Our work reaches out to the ‘light-touch’ audience, who aren’t dedicated ITV fans yet.
We cut clips before they air as promotional material, and they get uploaded along with other content to our ITV Press Centre. Our videos are then embedded on other online media like MediaGuardian and the Huffington Post.
We value our partnership with the media, as we’re both reliant on each other. For us, they help create a buzz and for them, we help sell their publications.
You must have some memorable moments?
My first job at ITV was working on Blind Date. It was a great show with the most fantastic production team, very much like the teams who work on I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! and Saturday Night Takeaway. Cilla, as everyone says, was an amazing woman and I felt privileged to have known her. Her sons asked for our help handling the media around her funeral - it was almost on a royal event scale, with eight news crews and tens of journalists, who all needed questions answered and materials supplied. They were in turn, very respectful of the family.
Everyone who leaves ITV says the thing they’ll miss most is their colleagues. ITV attracts very talented and creative people and I adore my team. They’re the cream of the PR crop and work so hard and are so passionate about our programmes. We want whatever we’re working on to be huge success and get terribly upset if it isn’t!