in: Public Relations - Celebrity
by: Sabina Hitchen
We were recently asked about gifting a "C or D List" celebrity from a Tin Shingler and because we know there are others of you who may be wondering the same thing, we're going to give you are thoughts on it here.
Before we answer this question specifically, first a little bit of food for thought: The power that celebrity gifting has on your business and brand isn't limited to Angelina Jolie and other A-list celebrities. I've seen plenty of bang for my buck come from gifting lower level (but still newsworthy) celebrities in my ten years of public relations work, and I've seen major spotlights shine on small brands when they go outside of the regular list of Hollywood celebrities and gift their products to sports figures, local celebrities, politicians, big bloggers and influencers.
It all boils down to the same questions I'm going to tell this small biz owner to ask when deciding whether or not to gift a C/D List celebrity (who in this case is a former beauty pageant contestant). Here's what I'd ponder before sending out product (because remember, product is essentially money, and so before you spend more money in your business you want to be sure it's worth it).
Questions to Ask Before Celebrity Gifting:
Does this celebrity "make sense" for my brand and business? Would they use the product? Would their followers and their audience use the product? Is your brand a good fit for their brand? You cannot simply send it to them because you're a big fan. I mean you can, but think of that as wasted product if they won't actually use it.
Will the press cover them? If you can't answer this as a "yes" then you're missing another big piece of the celebrity gifting puzzle because you're essentially doing this to raise buzz and visibility for your brand. If no one cares about them enough to write or blog about them you won't be getting as much return on investment for your gifting. That said...
Just because the press won't write about them doesn't mean you shouldn't gift. Just decide how else you'll get ROI: perhaps they'll tweet or share an image on Instagram about it (you can't ask them to, but you can check their social feeds to be sure their post will actually make an impact). The tricky part here is you can't control how they describe you in their post, but you CAN then have "proof of life" type images of someone using your product because of their post. That said...
Will anyone you're trying to sell your product to care that a reality star from 10 years ago is using your product? Does it add value to your business? Perhaps a beauty queen will. She probably has a local following, or a celebrity fan club. Perhaps some of them will be excited about your product. It's all a strategic move you need to consider.
Finally, How do You Feel in Your Gut About It? Do you really love or get inspired by this person? Do you feel in your gut you want to gift them? Do you perhaps sense their star is on the rise? Because here's the thing: It's your business, and from time to time you want certain people to have your products that you own and you should go for it. And here's the other thing: today's C listers can be tomorrow's A listers. I remember years ago I was at a gift suite and a lovely "up and coming" celebrity from Mexican television was hoping for one of my clients handbags and she was super likable and had such a powerful energy we couldn't resist. Her name? Sofia Vergara. Case closed.