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Strategies and Techniques for Developing/Creating Entertainment Partnerships

Build relationships–with local television, radio and news personalities, actors, directors, organizations and agencies (including talent and sports agents). They remember you as a reliable and cooperative resource for information or referral.

  • Join professional organizations (e.g., Public Relations Society of America [PRSA]), networking groups, and even fan clubs that may provide you access.
  • Be familiar with resources in your own community–organizations, materials, and referrals.
  • Know your topic, be confident, and view the entertainment industry as a partner–not an adversary.

Monitor the 'dailies' (e.g., Variety, Daily Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly) for upcoming movies and programs related to tobacco.

  • Identify contacts and share your expertise and willingness to act as a resource when needed.
  • Call and follow-up with a thank you letter. Reminder: creative productions, documentaries and local programming can take many years to develop and produce. Producers, directors, actors, and storylines can change in that time. It's important to stay both persistent and flexible!

Identify the key contact by NAME! Do not send form letters and expect them to be read or the contents aired.

  • Use the most recent publication of Star Guide (Star Guide includes more than 3,200 addresses of major stars from every field. Movies and TV, Music, Sports, Politics, Literature, and other Famous People)
  • Or use the most recent publication of Celebrity Directory (includes 9,000 listings).
    Get Celebrity Directory at
    (See Helpful Entertainment-Related Publications for contact information)

Monitor Internet sites and use e-mail and listservs to share messages about tobacco and media.

Partner and collaborate with other similar-interest organizations–often national organizations can provide more resources to leverage media collaboration, especially with the entertainment industry (e.g., American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association).

Be aware of standards and practices (program practices), related to all non-news broadcast matter, including entertainment, sports and commercials for compliance with legal, policy, factual and community standards, that may affect working relationships with celebrities and the media. This can be done by making informational meetings with local and national broadcast standards and practices contacts at television stations (Program Practices Departments). Note that standards and practices applies to commercial, cable, and public broadcasting.

Localize–Contact your local television (news, talk shows), radio stations and newspapers with stories and ideas for programs. This is a great way of attracting local, state, and regional media.

  • Use local expertise.
  • Use local talent.
  • Many states have their own film commission offices that serve to promote states as viable locations for productions and serve as resources to the creative community. You may want to contact your respective office, to serve as a local resource. See the Directory of State and Local Film Offices in the United States, Event Resource Guide at the following Web site.

Host a briefing meeting for local broadcasters, writers/editors, and producers that report health and science news. Briefings might focus on potential storylines, presentations by people affected by the health issue, and writers, producers who have used the science.

Recognize good work. Write a letter, E-mail, or telephone the author or presenter of a storyline that depicts a pro-health or a non-use message. Send flowers or cookies!

Celebrity partnerships can develop by chance meetings, fan encounters, etc. Seize those opportunities, but don’t disturb the celebrity’s private time or space (e.g., dinner in a restaurant with family).

Organize debates about local issues affecting health and tobacco use.

Suggest that your local media launch a Web site connection offering educational information and advice–include OSH Web site and your local tobacco control project.

Publicize World No Tobacco Day or the Great American Smoke Out with posters, billboards, stickers or ribbons, and alert your local and national media of the date and theme for World No Tobacco Day or the Great American Smoke Out. Arrange a photo call for journalists around those activities with a strong visual element.

Plan with local media to hold a World No Tobacco Day sponsored walk, run, swim, or soccer match. Invite well-known athletes from the area to take part alongside individuals with tobacco-related diseases.

Carry out a survey of the impact of tobacco use and health effects on people in your local area and report the findings to the local media.

Contact politicians and celebrities with tobacco-related diseases to support your cause.

Locate people with tobacco-related diseases who could help you tell your story to the media.

Work with local media to present an award to smoke-free establishments.

Plan a reception for celebrities and their families as well as with "ordinary" members of the public with tobacco-related diseases to attend.

Suggest a tobacco Question & Answer page or session to your national newspaper or radio station.

Organize an exhibition of tobacco advertisements from the past to the present–sponsored by the local media–at a local museum or other public site.

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