In this guide, I want to show you how to get a celebrity to support your cause or charity. While celebrity promotion of charities and other good causes may seem like a new trend, it’s been happening for years. Prior to the rise of social media and other online sharing sources, most of these deeds remained under the radar. From large corporate events to small nonprofits, having a celebrity on board presents many lasting benefits.
The celebrity’s presence will cause a near-instant increase in your cause’s public awareness. Through their influence, you have the opportunity to persuade people who may not have been interested in supporting your mission. When celebrities support a cause, people listen. You may also attract the attention of other causes with a similar goal. The opportunity for partnership and expansion may significantly grow.
The individual or organization behind the cause will gain credibility. This is particularly useful for startup causes and ones that are looking to expand their audience. Celebrities can take your cause from unknown to center stage, if their influence is utilized appropriately.
What Is A Celebrity?
Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, consider these thing before soliciting the help of a celebrity. First, clarify the term. “Celebrity” covers a wide variety of persons of influence. Hollywood superstars and famous entertainers are usually the first thing that pops into mind but you may be able to benefit from a different kind of celebrity.
Local celebrities like business leaders, advocates, minor league or collegiate athletes, or any other person in the community who’s attracted positive public attention may also be beneficial. If you’re running a nonprofit whose goal is to make change on the local level, these may spark the perfect amount of attention.
Social media superstars also bring their own unique influence. Rather focusing on the celebrity’s level of popularity, ask yourself these questions.
1. Are They An Organic Fit?
Even if your attention is on celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Taylor Swift because they’re known for endorsing good causes, make sure they are the right celebrity for the job. Whomever you choose should seamlessly match with the cause’s mission. The greater the connection, the more likely they are to take on the job.
2. Does Your Cause Impact Their Personal Life?
Celebrities have to wean through requests when their in search of causes to support, and they look for things that they can relate to. If your cause represents something that they are tied to personally, they may feel more compelled to offer their help.
3. Are Any of Their Associates Already on Board?
If someone from the celebrity’s close inner circle is interested in offering support to your cause, it’ll be easier to get the celebrity’s attention. Pitches that prove some of their friends have already agreed to offer their support, are less likely to be disregarded.
The associate doesn’t need to be a celebrity. If your research reveals that the celebrity’s parent, sibling, best friend, or even representative (agent, manager, publicist) has supported similar causes, this is a key point to emphasize on when drafting your pitch.
4. Can You Appeal to Their Love of Home?
Frequent travel can compel the celebrity to put more effort into enhancing their hometown or city. If you are an organization with an interest in localized improvement, and the celebrity expresses an interest in similar movements, this should definitely be included in your pitch.
5. What Types of Causes are They Already Supporting?
The goal is to create unique pitches to the right fit for your organization. Be sure you consider the celebrity’s current affiliations and compare these to your organization and your target audience. If your cause is geared around senior citizens, 50 Cent may not be the ideal celebrity decision, regardless of how many causes he’s supporting.
6. What’s Their Schedule Looking Like?
As badly as you may wish to land that A-list celebrity, other demands and agreements may prevent that from happening. Your research should inform you of the celebrity’s upcoming scheduling. If they’re supposed to be shooting a movie in Africa, asking them to show up to a charity event in Detroit that same weekend isn’t the wisest decision.
This is why it’s important to create a broad list of potential celebrity matches, then narrow them down to the most ideal partnerships. In the event that one celebrity is unable to participate, move on to the next ideal participant on your list.
7. Who Are Their Followers?
Who are this celebrity’s fans? Are they the type of people who would typically support your cause?
You need to make sure that the celebrity’s complete image and personal interests align with the cause. Should the addition of this person create a significant imbalance, it may detract from the cause’s credibility.
Drafting The Pitch
Before you start sending off pitches, consider the likelihood of having that celebrity on board. It’s ok to take a risk and contact a celebrity that may be “out of your league” but, if you’re going to take that route, you better have a pretty good reason.
If you can’t provide a solid history of past celebrity endorsements, or establish solid ground regarding why this A-lister should be the first one, you may want to aim for celebrities on a smaller level.
1. Decide How to Reach Out to Them
You can utilize our database to get the contact information for their agent, manager, or publicist, who can assist you. Before you send out a message, consider these focal points in order to make it perfect.
2. Focus on Your Similarities
The same reason why you selected this celebrity should be included in that pitch. Common ground entices people to put down their guard and embrace whatever you are propositioning.
3. Highlight the Benefits
Your pitch should explain how the celebrity’s participation will build their brand, increase their influence, and enhance their pubic credibility. Avoid writing a pitch that only explains what you want the celebrity to give without detailing what they will receive in return. A good partnership is mutually beneficial.
4. Don’t Hide Your Wallet
If you’re asking the celebrity to do something that they would normally be paid for, be prepared to pay them. Even causes with the best intentions need to respect the amount of time, money, and energy that goes into securing celebrity participation. However, there are ways to gain a celebrity’s endorsement without breaking the bank.
Consider how you want the celebrity to contribute to your cause. If you’re asking for something that relates to their profession such as a concert, sports game, or other performance, then you may need to spend some money. Things like tweets, photographs, donations, and brief meet and greets can be much less expensive, if not free.
When Paris Hilton tweeted out in support of Cesar Millan’s Millan Foundation for animal welfare, the link received 100 clicks within the first four minutes. Within an hour, the link reached 529 clicks, 26% were from the United States and the remainder from 48 other countries across the globe. After the first day, Paris’ tweet was seen by over 20,000 people with 331 retweets. The link to the Millan Foundation received just short of 1,000 clicks. This data doesn’t even track the additional traffic the link received once it was placed on other people’s pages. Something that probably took Paris all of 5 seconds proved very influential.
5. Make it Simple
The information in the last point leads to this very crucial component. The easier it is for the celebrity to comply, the easier it becomes for them to say “yes” to your request. If you want that celebrity to send out a tweet, your pitch should include a copy of the message and the desired link. You can utilize sources such as ClickToTweet.com to make this process even easier.
You may also request the celebrity donate items for a celebrity auction in support of your cause. The pitch should indicate any general items of interest and specify how you can make delivery or pickup of these items a minimal inconvenience for the celebrity.
Other requests may require more effort for the celebrity. These may include:
• Asking the celebrity to be an honoree at your event
• Onboarding as a spokesperson and public face
• Attending a special event such as a parade or product launch
• Hosting a meet & greet for the celebrity
If this is the type of participation that you’re requesting, your pitch should reassure the celebrity that you know what you’re doing and are able to provide them with adequate accommodations.
6. Make Your Message Personal
If you’re sending a pitch to multiple celebrities at once, using a generic template is the ultimate faux pas.
Personalize each email, catering to the specific reasons why you chose them.
1. Articulate specific reasons why the celebrity and your cause will work well together.
2. Offer a summary of your mission and the goal you hope to achieve through their participation.
3. Be clear about what you’re asking of them and let them know what they’ll get out of it.
Most importantly, you need to be able to do this as succinctly as possible. Don’t send the celebrity a small novel asking for support. An influx of requests combined with a demanding schedule means that lengthy requests will probably be filed away for later.
For something as simple as a tweet, it’s not necessary to send an elaborate pitch. Stick with the basics and make it simple. Even if you’re asking for more complex participation, your initial pitch should be informative yet condensed. If the celebrity is interested in learning more information, they’ll respond and ask you to provide it.
Follow these guidelines and you’re sure to make some lasting celebrity-cause relationships with a significant positive influence. The extra boost that you’ll get when a celebrity supports a cause that your promoting will really give it momentum. I know that takes a bit of planning and research but achieving your goal makes all the legwork worth it.