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Donna ON PR: Caught in a Lobster Trap - Breakout Manifesto

Across the street from my home (office) is a lobsterman. Yes, lobsterman… he catches lobsters and is darn good at what he does. Despite there being four feet of snow in our collective backyards, the past three days I’ve watched as he’s unloaded brand new lobster traps for the upcoming lobster season. Now, in addition to piles of snow to stare at while I work – I have mountains of lobster traps. A nice sign that spring really is around the corner despite Mother Nature’s attempt to keep us entrenched in the white stuff. Lobster is one of my favorite rites of passage as a New Englander. Weekly lobster boils, lobster chowda, lobster rolls (hot and buttered, thank you very much) fill my life, and it is a beautiful thing.

Lobsters on Board

Watch out for lobster traps

When these lobster traps are making me hungry for hearty crustaceans, I’ve realized the traps are making me very contemplative about my work, career and yes, even this column. My head has become overwhelmed by chaotic thoughts about job search, next column topics, apartment searches, car accidents, insurance, do I purchase a new car now? Do I need a car if we land full-time in NYC? Do I need to commute to NYC this week? If we land in D.C. or San Francisco – should I get the car now, or wait to ‘till we move? It’s been endless and, honestly, boring and unproductive. Who knew wooden crates could mess with your head so much, right!?

My last few columns, I’ve tried to tackle a nice variety of “PR” related topics that are also timely and touch upon issues happening in the film industry: Crowdfunding, Film Festivals, and building your film marketing nest egg. And, it’s been fun, but as I spend all this time gazing out at the traps, thinking… I realize I’ve fallen into a trap of my very own with this column. I’ve boxed myself into a corner and rather than exploring the possibilities, in the end, I’ve only limited myself and my readers.

There is more to what I do as a specialist than crowdfunding, press releases, social media and film festivals. There are no easy answers to marketing your film; if it were easy you wouldn’t need to hire people like me to help you with your campaigns. And, there is no way to create a column that just walks you through these non-existent steps; yet, since I started my column a year ago this month, that’s exactly how I’ve approached my topics. Yawn.

There are so many exciting roads to explore with filmmaking today. Just look at the changing landscape and impact of digital media. This industry is in the midst of unprecedented change and discovery; new avenues for distribution and the freedom to build integrated marketing plans specific to your particular film’s topic. We hear about exciting new titles through so many different sources: trades, social media, festivals, digital spots and traditional advertising. Rather than freezing up, not unlike those poor lobsters sitting out in the Atlantic right now, I need to break through my own preconceived notions with this column and explore the industry trends and how marketing and promotions are also evolving.

Let me present, my manifesto! I plan to incorporate these 15 intentions into my life and of course, my “ON PR” column. This is how I plan to get back on course and I hope, draw you in to read all my future columns for Script.

  1. Stop worrying; you’ve gotten this far in life – it will always work out.
  2. Quit procrastinating; it’s an insult to my beautiful, brain. I have a TON of things to say and write and if I stumble I can always take a page from Jeanne’s, aka Balls of Steel, playbook,
  3. Moving, car crashes, scheduling issues, and winter blech-iness is no excuse. Shit happens, and I’ve earned a masters degree in strategic juggling.
  4. Network, network, network: if my brain once again gets caught in a lobster trap pick up my phone, Skype, Face-time, or head to the nearest coffee shop to get inspired. Working from home office is a wonderful thing and sometimes, isolating as all hell. So, open up that trap door and call for help, dammit.
  5. Let you (screenwriters, filmmakers, civic and social leaders and storytellers) be my muse; I need to channel that when “isolation,” as mentioned above, sets in. We are more connected these days than ever so take advantage of it.
  6. Create my own editorial calendar and be two steps ahead of my current column.
  7. If all else fails, listen to this. Against all odds, I got to where I am in my journey due to my sheer determination and willpower, and I rock at what I do. So there!
  8. Remain passionate; embrace my passionate, Scorpio personality and wrap this energy around all that I do, touch and say.
  9. Be true to my roots and never forget where I’ve come from; I have an amazing family who are very different from me and don’t always understand my motives but support me 100%, no matter what I do.
  10. Help those people who are just gaining traction with their careers; I was taught by some of the best and need to continue to pay it forward. And, when feeling “trapped” go out and help those who have had everything crash down around them. There’s no time to feel sorry for myself.
  11. Be present for my daughter and share this manifesto with her and teach her how to love openly, honestly and without fear.
  12. Live vibrantly now; let go of the past.
  13. Keep rebelling, never apologize for it.
  14. I’m an explorer by nature; my soul thrives with new experiences. Some people don’t get it, and that’s OK.
  15. Allow nature and beauty to touch me every day; leave time in the day to let that nature sink in. This is my life, and it’s beautiful… no more lobster traps!

In celebration of my first manifesto; I encourage all of you to reach out and let me know what you want to see in my next few columns. All feedback is welcome, and I’ll coordinate with Script for a Twitter chat in April so I can take your questions and comments, and we can set upon figuring this out together.

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