As posted in the Gaston Gazette
In an age of influencers, it’s still a small business owner’s dream to attract the attention of a celebrity who loves what you do and who is willing to say so. Although the results from celebrity endorsement run the gamut, according to Alison Coleman at Forbes, if an endorsement is paired with media exposure, then a business can see a significant jump in sales and brand recognition. Who wouldn’t enjoy having that kind of visibility and excitement about their business?
While it might seem like this publicity is out of reach for most businesses, there are a few ways to grab the attention – and admiration – of a celebrity. Here are a few ideas:
- Develop a great pitch kit. Pitch kits can sometimes seem like a dated enterprise in 2018, but it’s their ability to make a personal connection that helps them retain value. A pitch kit can give potential customers great information about who you are and what you do, help tell the story of your product, and help your product or service look professional. Most pitch kits include a cover letter from the business’s CEO, a fact sheet and more. But the pitch kit is also a great opportunity to include information that is personalized to the celebrity’s concerns or interests, which shows — even before you meet face-to-face — that you know who she is and what kinds of causes and services might be of interest. That kind of goodwill can go a long way to establish the beginnings of a strong and beneficial relationship.
- Find a connector. Before you can get that pitch kit to your chosen celebrity, however, you first must find a way to make contact. Rather than reaching out to one of the celeb’s official contacts first, it’s wise to find a way to reach her on a more personal level. One of the best ways to do that is to nail down your connections to the person. What do you know about the celebrity? What about the person’s career? Interests? Who might you know who would connect the two of you? What causes or interests you might share with this celebrity that might facilitate that connection? How can you illustrate just what sets your business apart? While this step can take some considerable work on your part, it’s worth the payoff; if you can find a genuine way of connecting with the celebrity, it makes your chances of securing r her interest and support that much more likely.
- Befriend the publicist. Because it’s the publicist’s job to keep their clients in the news in a favorable light, publicists – not agents – are your best bet for reaching out through official channels. Publicists are actively looking for opportunities to showcase and promote their clients. In other words, they want to make their clients look good. The best way to do this is to build both personal and professional relationships with other publicists. In doing this, however, Tonya Garcia at AdWeek notes that it’s a good idea to steer clear of the tendency to be a “yes” person or to make promises that you can’t keep – both things that tend to crop up frequently when people attempt to approach celebrities. Instead, she says, focus on establishing a true rapport by offering candor and genuineness. Offer gifts and suggest goods and services from this position, and the publicist is more likely to begin to trust you and to see you as an asset to his work.
- Make a grand gesture. We’ve all seen the stories on social media of average people attracting a celebrity’s attention. In reality, all it takes is one great idea to get a celebrity to respond to you. Sometimes that idea comes in the form of an event or invitation: think of high schooler Katie Kelzenberg’s invitation to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson earlier this year to attend her prom, which she filmed and shared on social media. Johnson couldn’t attend, but he was so impressed by her “charm and confidence” that he sent her a special message on her school’s intercom system and rented out a theater for her and friends so they could see his latest movie for free. Using what you’ve learned about a celebrity’s passions and interests, think of what large-scale event or action you could engage in to try to harness that individual’s attention. While there are no guarantees, if it’s fun and interesting, it’s got a chance of getting the public’s attention as well as the celebrity’s.
- Make any interaction a good one. No matter the celebrity’s response to your invitation, always be gracious. If a celebrity ignores you, speak of her with respect. If she says no, thank that celebrity for any time extended and offer a kind and thoughtful response. No matter that influencer’s decision, consider sharing a package of your company’s branded materials so that she will have a positive memory to associate with you down the road and to provide a meaningful way to connect to one another on a personal level, building a strong bond between the two of you. The better the memory of your shared interactions, the better the chance that the celebrity will consider a partnership with you down the road.
There are, of course, no guarantees when it comes to trying to get the attention of a celebrity. But if you handle yourself with grace, honesty and innovation in all of your interactions, you’ve got a shot of securing some pretty powerful interest and raising your business’s visibility.