media relations specialists red carpet tips

Red Carpet Wrangling Tips

If you’ve ever worked a celebrity red carpet you know the challenges: added security, unpredictable fans, unpredictable media, celebs with no sense of timing who run late, or who run late AND show up in an altered state, sometimes with unruly entourages.

Then there’s the jockeying with celebrity publicists, agents, managers, spouses, siblings, bodyguards, life coaches, etc.

Having worked red carpets for film festivals such as the Austin Film Festival and South by Southwest, as well as charity events like Mack, Jack and McConaughey, I’ve managed a few high-anxiety carpets. One particular Xanax moment occurred on the first red carpet I ran solo, which involved multiple talent walking at different times. Just as we were ready for the ultimate A-list celeb, the main reason the media were there, I was told he would not come out in public for press photos because he had hair issues involving “big, untamed hair.” (I can’t say who, but he plays a really good elf.) The sticky situation was solved when the media were allowed into the back of the theater for five minutes to shoot from an agreed upon distance that made his hair look smaller.

Here are a few ways to keep your cool no matter what occurs when running a high profile red carpet:

No matter how hard you plan, expect the unexpected

This could be anything from weather issues to over-zealous fans or pushy members of a celeb entourage. It could be that your talent is late or that more people show up to walk than expected. Or barely any press show up. Be prepared to pivot at a moment’s notice.

Treat the media with respect

Take into consideration issues they may have with lighting, make sure they know how to pronounce hard-to-pronounce names of people walking the carpet, offer them water if they are baking in the sun, or umbrellas if the skies open up. And above all thank them for coming.

Never lose your cool or let them see you sweat but be firm (with a smile)

You’re in charge so no matter how many things are going on in any given moment, stay calm and project Zen energy to all. It’s contagious.

Always be a few steps ahead of the talent in terms of their needs

Anticipate the needs of the talent walking, whether it’s cutting an uncomfortable interview short, or having paper towels and a makeup artist handy because it’s a scorcher, or inviting their family guests on the red carpet because you know they will want a group shot on the red carpet as a memento.

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