The Marketing of American Gangster as told by Publicist Roz Stevenson

By Joy A. Kennelly

American Gangster has become the iconic film to discuss at every Julian MyersEntertainment Public Relations UCLA Extension Class this semester. We were privileged to hear African-American Publicist for the film, Roz Stevenson of Roz Stevenson PR, share how she approached the public relations campaign for such a potentially controversial film.

She has enjoyed an amazing career representing numerous African-American and Studio-driven films over the years for all the major studios. Just this year alone, her firm has publicized such titles as:

American Gangster, Universal; The Kingdom, Universal; Who’s Your Caddy, Weinstein; Transformers, Paramount; Talk to Me, Universal Focus; Evan Almighty, Universal; Knocked Up, Universal; Grindhouse, Weinstein; Are We Done Yet, Sony; I Think I Love My Wife, Fox Searchlight; Norbit, Paramount; Breach, Universal; Smokin’ Aces, Universal; and Alpha Dog, Universal to name a few.

“The firm’s goal is to provide special handling of and create a greater awareness of films in the African-American community by providing coverage in appropriate magazines and newspapers, on radio and television shows, as well as web sites,” according to her official web-site.

The evening she spoke to us, she shared all the unique avenues she pursued to spread the word on American Gangster including the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the HipHop Summit, the Congressional Black Caucus, National Black Arts Festival, Gospel Music Workshop, Toronto Film Festival, syndicated radio outlets including Doug Banks, Steve Harvey and Tom Leykis’ shows, and over 200 weekly black newspapers.

I bet you didn’t know the African-American media was so strong did you? Well it is and Roz has over 20 years experience promoting films to this market. She is the one to call when your film focuses on this demographic.

Very delightful, humble woman.


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