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'Jane & Emma' team seeks to 'follow the prophet', adapts publicity plan in honor of social media fast

SALT LAKE CITY ― “Jane and Emma” is set to premiere in theaters this weekend and as a final publicity push, the marketing team had intended to “rely heavily on social media” to spread the word.

That is, of course, until last Saturday when President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invited all women in the church to participate in a 10-day social media fast. As a result, the marketing team decided to shift focus and regroup.

"I won't lie — initially, we were thrown for a loop by the announcement, but in the end we fell in love with the new plan,” said Chantelle Squires, director of "Jane and Emma," in a press release.

The “new plan” was to quickly organize a phone bank of women for this Thursday in the Canyons conference room of the Hilton Hotel in Salt Lake City. Call bank participants will have the opportunity to make personal phone calls to get the word out about the movie.

“At the core of President Nelson's announcement was a recognition that we should build stronger relationships with each other offline,” Squires said. “By personally connecting with members of our community, we can adhere to the church's request and get the word out about our movie at the same time.”

"Jane and Emma" is a true story based on the life of Jane Manning James, one of the first black members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The movie explores Manning’s friendship with Emma Smith, wife of church leader Joseph Smith, and how the two comforted each other on the night of Joseph’s death. The film addresses issues of racism and polygamy in context of the movie’s 19th century setting.

Thursday's event is open to the public and media.

If you go …

What: "Jane and Emma" Volunteer Phone Bank

When: Thursday, Oct. 11, 8 a.m.-noon

Where: Canyons conference room at the Hilton Hotel Salt Lake City, 255 S. West Temple

Phone: 801-637-4207