A PR event can be great for generating free media coverage for your client. One thing which can make it even more successful, however, is the presence of a celebrity or two.
By their very nature, celebrities seem to be followed by the limelight, and anything which they are seen to endorse or choose to be a part of automatically becomes more successful by association. This is why advertisers use celebrities to endorse products in print media advertisements and television commercials.
There are three main ways of attracting celebrities to your event, and which one you choose to take will depend primarily on the nature of the event itself..
1. Rent a Celebrity
Many celebrities are happy to show up at an event in return for a fee. Whilst few clients can afford the fees demanded by ‘A List’ celebrities (movie stars, gold-medal athletes, and so on), there are many more ‘B List’ celebs (soap stars, daytime TV presenters, etc.) who charge more affordable fees for an appearance.
While these individuals won’t necessarily have journalists from the gossip magazines following their every move, they almost always make it easy to get local television and newspaper coverage, which would normally cost much more than their fee.
2. Invite a Celebrity Customer
If your client has worked with or for a celebrity in the past then this prior association might encourage the celebrity to volunteer his or her presence at the event. For example, if a celebrity uses your client’s product with great enthusiasm, he or she might be more than happy to attend the event for free, or perhaps in return for a year’s supply of free product. The more enthusiastic the celebrity is about your client or his product, the more chance you have of having him attend.
3. Liaise with the Charity
If the event in question is being held primarily for charitable purposes, you might find it most useful to speak with the PR department of the charity concerned and find out if they already have some celebrity supporters who may be willing to attend. If they do (and most recognized charities have at least a few) then the charity’s own PR department should do the rest and ensure that someone comes to support the event you are organizing.
Although attracting celebrities often increases the effectiveness of a PR event, this doesn’t mean that an event which doesn’t have such high-profile support will be a failure. Certainly not. If any PR event is well organized and promoted properly, it will almost always prove to be a success as far as generating publicity for your client is concerned. Celebrity presence must therefore be viewed as the ‘icing on the cake’ rather than essential for success.