While many small business owners may think “there’s no way a celebrity would endorse, wear or use my product”, it’s actually a very real possibility…If it’s done correctly. Like a small business, celebrities are constantly looking for “interesting content” to post/tweet/etc to their social media as well as their usual media outlets (radio and/or tv) to help them stay fresh and relevant. If your product will help them achieve that then you’re half way there! Here are some key steps to get them Instagramming, tweeting, posting to Facebook, or if you’re lucky, talking about or using/wearing your product via radio or television!
1. Research and identify appropriate celebrities. Just as you would conduct market research to determine who your niche market is for your product, you also need to understand who your niche celebrity is! That is, if your product is organic baby towels then obviously your celebrity should be a recent mom (or possibly new grandma). If your product is a silly gag gift then you’ve got a wider demographic (e.g. comedians, talk show hosts, etc…). If it’s not as cut and dry as the organic baby towel example, then once you have a general understanding of the types of celebrities you want to target, you should try and learn what causes they support and hopefully your product aligns with their interests. As an aside, you should only have as many individuals on the list as you or your staff can personally follow up with.
Once you have your main list you should try to classify each celebrity as an A, B, C or D-list celebrity so that the further down the alphabet you go, the easier it is to reach the person—and possibly get product recognition.
Lastly, it’s important to determine whom not to contact by researching what products the celebrity currently endorses, just to make sure your item isn’t a conflict of interest.
2. Find each celebrity’s publicist contact information. Don’t bother trying to find Angelina Jolie’s phone number or even her agent’s, what you need is her publicist’s phone number (or email, address, etc…). There are several online databases that offer numbers and addresses, including Contact Any Celebrity and IMDbPro. Both of these sites have a monthly fee, but I’ve heard that if you are looking for certain celebrities, you can just find that information and close out your account.
3. Call before sending. Call the publicist, introduce yourself and then ask if it would be okay if you sent the celebrity a gift. I’m sure you’ll have to explain a bit about the product, so be prepared to have your 30 second elevator speech ready. It’s also a good idea to ask if your product conflicts with any paid endorsements they may have.
4. Ship it off. Try to make the packaging as personal and interesting as possible. A handwritten note is nice and include a self-addressed stamped envelope with a card so the celebrity can send you a thank you note (basically this is just confirmation that someone from their “camp” has received your package). Then use FedEx as this method carries more weight and seems more important than UPS.
5. Follow up! Wait at least 10 business days before making your first follow up call to the publicist. You may want to nicely ask if the celeb will “say/post something” on social media about your product. If you don’t receive your thank you note back or see a picture of the celeb wearing/using your product, call back in about a month…After that, don’t bother. There will be many celebrities you won’t hear back from, after all, they probably get a dozen free gifts each week (especially if they’re an A-lister). But don’t sweat it, if you’ve done your homework and legwork then I’m sure at least a few celebrities will “bite”.
Needless to say, all of this takes time and energy, but luckily does not cost a ton of money! And as always, I’m always happy to help!
Danielle Foley, President ~ www.FoleyMarketingAdvisors.com ~ firstname.lastname@example.org ~ (973) 632-9170