From laying out film budgets to leading a strategy team, Laura Beth Winchester, a 2017 graduate of Trevecca, has worked her way up and helped make many Christian movies possible and widely viewed, including the recently released Jesus Revolution movie.
Winchester’s role in Jesus Revolution was heavily focused on young adult outreach, and specifically college-age students.
“There was a huge initiative on that film to reach the younger audience because that's kind of where that Jesus revolution started all those years ago, with teenagers and 20-somethings,” Winchester said.
As part of the film’s outreach program, led by Troops and Allies, a Nashville-based marketing agency -- Winchester participated in initiatives like free screenings at colleges and curating PR boxes filled with disposable cameras, a sweatshirt from a collaboration with a prominent brand and 70’s-themed candy.
Winchester was also able to attend the premiere for Jesus Revolution.
“I just was smiling the whole time because I rarely get to experience people reacting to a project that I’ve worked on for the last six months,” Winchester said. “I think that's one of the most rewarding parts about it, is getting a front row seat to people experiencing a project that you've worked really hard to put out into the world.”
Formative Years on the Hill
At Trevecca, Winchester double majored in communication studies and organizational communication, while minoring in leadership. She had many opportunities to gain real-world experience and was heavily involved in events on campus, such as serving as the social life executive on the student government team, helping lead a TNT (Top Nazarene Talent) event and participating in Trojan Idol.
“I was dipping my hands in little entertainment moments here and there that I had no idea were all preparing me for a full-time job in the entertainment industry,” Winchester said. “It all had a purpose.”
Besides equipping her for her career, her time at Trevecca taught her to value her work while also loving people she interacts with every day.
“Trevecca prepares you to go into work with such a grateful mindset wherever you are,” Winchester said. “Going into it with a grateful heart and with a heart to serve I think are two of the biggest things that I took away from Trevecca.”
Besides Jesus Revolution, Winchester has worked on other faith-based films such as I Still Believe and Redeeming Love. These opportunities have come through her job as a marketing manager for WTA Media, a branch of Educational Media Foundation, which owns and operates KLOVE Radio, Air One Radio, Access More podcasts, and KLOVE On Demand.
“What we'll essentially do is lead the marketing campaign team of digital buyers, content creators, publicists and communications directors. It's a lot of gatekeeping, copywriting, reviewing, so many things,” Winchester said. “We're a small team here and we're extremely collaborative, which is something that I really appreciate.”
Winchester’s responsibilities at WTA Media include being a spokesperson between vendors and producers; creatively strategizing for campaigns; managing film budgets; regulating social media flow; and working closely with major studios like Universal.
“Each film requires a totally different strategy to reach a totally different audience,” Winchester said. “So I work alongside the rest of our team working on what's going to work best for this audience. How do we take what we've learned so far in the campaign and adjust it as we continue moving forward and finish out?”
In 2019, Winchester hosted the Nazarene Youth Conference and will be hosting it again this summer. Being on stage and connecting with young adults and students is a passion of hers, and she hopes to incorporate that into her career moving forward.
“Ultimately, I want whatever I'm doing to just further the kingdom and to make people feel really blessed,” said Winchester. “Whether that's me speaking directly to them in a microphone or through an Instagram caption or a movie trailer, that’s what I want to do.”