There’s no question that celebrity dominates our culture. However, the definition of celebrity has changed with the evolution of social media and fame now comes in different forms. Anyone with a YouTube account or blog can become an influencer now and social media provides a window into their lives away from the spotlight. This creates a sense that these celebs are on our wavelength, enabling them to reach out in a more relatable way, which is great news for PR and brands.
However, as with everything in the world of communications, there are risks involved. Choose the wrong person and there’s a danger that your message will get lost in the noise of their own PR. Tenuous connections won’t wash. If there is no genuine relationship between the influencer and the product/service they are endorsing, the media and your target audience will see through this. Therefore, carefully considered strategy and messaging are a crucial element of any collaboration. The relationship with the personality’s manager/ team is equally important. Briefs need to be detailed and feature pre-prepared answers for all possible questions that a journalist might throw at them.
This year’s Shared Ownership Week Campaign was successfully championed by broadcaster and presenter Reggie Yates. As someone who is self-made, mindful that he is in a very fortunate position and aware of the obstacles that exist when it comes to getting onto the property ladder in the current climate, Reggie is someone who resonates with the scheme’s target audience. His passion for his home and his genuine belief that everyone is entitled to their own space complemented our messaging, making him an excellent match for the campaign. We tapped into his personality which created an excellent tone for the campaign, engaging social media content and on message print coverage.
As well as organising several interviews with Reggie Yates for press, radio and editorial coverage, we created a series of questions for his video interview which formed a lot of the engaging content that was created and shared across the Shared Ownership Week social media accounts. As part of the week, Reggie also engaged with his 852,340 followers to help promote the awareness week through a series of social media posts. Thanks to his involvement, the accounts overall gained a 29% increase in new followers year on year.
And just because I don’t think we can cover this subject this month and not include Holly Willoughby, here are some other recent examples of hugely successful celebrity endorsements starring the presenter and brand ambassador of the moment. Not only does she have the ideal persona (clean cut and very media friendly), it is also impossible to take a bad picture of her! For big brands like M & S and Diet Coke who can afford big bucks, she’s PR gold.