CCA Membership Empowerment Series

The Membership Empowerment Series is a program of interactive workshops and panels that help Critics Choice Association members advance their careers. Top level media experts share their wisdom, experience and advice to enable members to stand out and move forward in this ever changing media landscape. At the end of each presentation, members are invited to interact with the speakers and ask pertinent questions. Each session is recorded and posted in these archives, for the benefit of those who can’t attend live.

Session 8: Diversity In Criticism

Giselle Phelps, Founder/CEO of Grand Rising Talent, and Erin E. Evans, HuffPost senior culture editor fill you in on the secrets of knowing how and when to acquire an agent, and how you can freelance for the HuffPost. They also expand on what type of film criticism work is most in demand right now, how to successfully pitch both editors and agents and how to successfully navigate the ever-changing employment environment as a person of color.

Giselle Phelps – Founder/CEO of Grand Rising Talent
Erin E. Evans – HuffPost senior culture editor

Session 7: Make Yourself Irresistible to Employers

Did you know there are three easy changes you can make to your LinkedIn profile that will quickly grab the attention of editors looking for film critics? Career expert Madeline Mann, who has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, on ABC News and multiple other outlets, shares vital LinkedIn techniques that will help put you at the top of potential employers’ search lists, and find yourself receiving invitations to apply for top media positions. It sure beats blindly responding to posts and waiting indefinitely for responses! 

Madeline Mann – Career Expert

Session 6: Vital SEO Techniques

SEO expert Jason Hennessy, keynote speaker, frequent guest on podcasts and webinars and contributor to publications including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, Inc., Newsweek, and Rolling Stone, shows critics simple yet mind-blowing techniques to use SEO to increase your content’s traffic, brand awareness and revenue. He fills us in on some surprising tools that can make a huge difference, and others that are not really worth our time. He also answers important questions posed by members, and fills us in on tips and tricks that they can apply immediately, and that will can a huge difference.

Jason Hennessy – Keynote Speaker, SEO Expert6

Session 5: Mastering Social Media

Washington Post technology/online culture columnist Taylor Lorenz, shares information on the latest social media news/trends, as well as advice on how film/TV critics can better market themselves on social media and monetize their social media platforms. She answers vital questions about which platform is the most important today, how to acquire followers, and which type of content draws the most response.

Washington Post technology/online culture columnist Taylor Lorenz

Session 4: Light Up Your YouTube Channel

YouTube and online video marketing expert and author Derral Eves tells us how to better utilize our YouTube channels by creating better content, generating more traffic and increasing revenue in creative ways that you may not have considered before.

YouTube Expert & Online Marketing Strategist Derral Eves (

Session 3: Take Your Podcast to the Next Level

Podcast expert and coach Sam Laliberte gives extraordinary tips to help you monetize, market and attract listeners to your podcast, presenting specific tips and tricks to get yourself heard. She is followed by William Morris Endeavor Podcast Agent Carly Frankel, who gives straight forward and riveting information about the most popular podcasts today, why they work, and what you can do to engage listeners and increase demand for your own podcast. A member Q&A follows.
Speakers include:
Sam Laliberte, Speaker/host/podcast expert: S[email protected]
Carly Frankel, William Morris Endeavor:

Session 2: Hey You! Want a Better Gig? The Sequel

Experts from top media outlets give members a realistic look at what it takes to get a job as a film critic, full-time or freelance, in this rapidly changing media environment. They discuss what to pitch and how to pitch effectively. After the panel discussion, members ask relevant questions. 

Panelists includes:
Hoai-Tran Bui, Inverse entertainment editor
Geoffrey Roth, Former News Director, KSWB San Diego, KSTU Salt Lake City, WJZY Charlotte
Andrew Pulver, Guardian Film Editor

Session 1: Hey You! Want a Better Gig?

Managerial supervisors from top entertainment media outlets speak about film/TV criticism and what they’re looking for in film/TV critics at their respective outlets. After the panel discussion, members ask relevant questions.

Panelists include:
Eric Kohn, IndieWire vice president of editorial strategy/executive editor
Nekesa Mumbi Moody, The Hollywood Reporter editorial director
Tammy Phillips, Nexstar Media Group vice president of talent acquisition