The Oscar ceremony is the oldest media award ceremony and is televised in more than 200 countries. This annual star-fest has topped 40 million viewers and is regarded as one of the best examples of good public relations ever. How does the Academy do it?
Exceptional public relations efforts set the Oscars apart. Here are four reasons why.
1. Because it was the first award ceremony of its kind. The very first Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 as a way to make movies more popular as a leisure activity. The Oscars encouraged people to go to the movies and over the years, movies have encouraged people to watch the Oscars. The formal setting of the awards conveyed the elegant and prestigious image the Oscars have today. Prestige is what gives the Oscars so many opportunities to capitalize on good public relations. It is an event packed full of big stars, big fashion and big jewels.
2. The Oscars are selective and delight in being careful with who is chosen.
The image of the Oscars is that it is elite and extremely hard to win. The Oscars has fewer categories than other awards shows and the selection committee refuses to have separate categories for comedic and dramatic performances or give recognition to stunt personnel. By using fewer categories and increasing the competition, it has made winning an award a mark of distinction.
3. The legacy of the Oscars has been kept strong.
The Academy has secured its reputation as a leading judge of film and the history of film by establishing the Margaret Herrick Library, a preeminent film research facility, which gives the Oscars credibility as an awards organization.
The Oscars legacy is also continued by those who watch, read about, write about and share Oscars information. While people are enthused about who will win an award, the televised ceremony also captures a huge worldwide audience because it packages its product with glitz and glamour, something PR practitioners need to do at a local or industry level whenever possible.
4. Early buzz also builds anticipation in viewers. All year round, movies trailers and packaging advertise “Nominated for an Academy Award” or “Winner of Best Picture.” Actors are constantly referred to as “Best Actress winner” or “Best Actor nominee.” Press for the Oscars begins months before the actual event, building up anticipation for the ceremony, held in late February or early March. In addition, red carpet events and coverage of star-studded parties before the actual Oscars broadcast build up the anticipation for viewers even greater. Countdowns to the Oscars occur for months before the show on television stations, in newspaper advertisements, on websites, social media platforms, etc. And the shows rarely disappoint, leaving viewers coming back year after year.
Being first or unique; creating an image of selectivity and exclusivity; creating a legacy worldwide; and generating a great deal of buzz...These tactics have proven to be successful for the Academy and can help you be successful with your PR campaigns.