Most entrepreneurs dream about their favorite movie star or performer using, wearing or endorsing their product. Getting your products into the hands of celebrities can take a lot of work (and money), but depending on your product it may be well worth your time to contact a celebrity. Here’s how:
My experience with contacting celebrities
I’ve had mixed experiences with contact a celebrity attempts.
Two years ago, I worked with a PR company that invited celebrity stylists to visit their office to see new products. I gave away 30 of my t-shirts to Dancing with the Stars cast members and a few other celebrities. To date, I’ve never seen a photo of those celebrities wearing my tees (but that's the thing about celebrity endorsements – they are never guaranteed).
In 2010, I organized Savor The Success' Celebrity Gift Basket campaign. We assembled beautiful gift baskets sent to 10 high profile celebrities. I signed up for a 30-day subscription to Contact a Celebrity to get the mailing address of their publicist and I mailed the packages via FedEx. To my delight, I received thank you notes from Courtney Cox, Denise Richards, Tori Spelling and Ed Begley. I used the notes to earn more PR exposure by sending them to my customers and wholesale clients. I also contacted celebrity magazines to let them know about some new products that celebrities love – and I had the Thank You cards to prove it! Glamour.com, ellegirl.com, and others mentioned my brand, which boosted my profile and my sales.
Not all products are created equal
While celebrity gifting can be great for PR, not all products are suited for this. In order for your efforts to pay off, here are the types of products that are a good fit:
- The celebrity can be photographed using or wearing the product (apparel, accessories, handbags, jewelry, etc.)
- The product can be easily identified in a photo
- Children’s items, like toys and clothes
- Baby products, like strollers and carriers
Other products can benefit from your effort to contact a celebrity if you can get the celebrity to write a testimonial for your website or mention it in an interview, but your best bet is something they will wear.
Four ways contact a celebrity
1. Sign up with a celebrity gifting suite: PR and gifting companies set up booths or organize the gift bags at high profile events.
Benefit: You can often get a photo of a celebrity holding your product
Disadvantage: You can’t control who actually receives your product
Cost: Up to $10,000 per event
2. Hire a PR company that specializes in celebrity gift baskets: Companies in this niche prepare and deliver gift baskets of assorted products to celebrities and their teams.
Benefit: These companies often have long-term relationships with celebrities and their managers
Disadvantage: You product is surrounded by others and may be overlooked
Cost: Several hundred dollars for each gift basket sent
3. Hire a PR company that has celebrities' contacts: By hiring a PR company for all of your PR needs you can include celebrity gifting in your package.
Benefit: As your PR firm, the team is focused on your goals and can leverage existing relationships with celebrities
Disadvantage: It makes take some cold calling to find a firm that has the expertise you need
Cost: $2,000 – $10,000 per month
4. Contact a celebrity on your own: In the past, I’ve used ContactAnyCelebrity.com to send my products directly to celebrities and their representatives.
Benefit: You can handpick the celebrities you want to reach
Disadvantage: As an unknown company sending an unsolicited package, your item may be overlooked.
Cost: $30 a month for database access
What happens next?
Getting the most out of your brush with fame requires a little more work once the package is mailed.
Include a self-addressed, stamped card with your item that the celebrity can write a quick thank you note on. Include copy saying you hope they enjoy the product and that you’d love their feedback.
If you’re working with a PR firm they’ll handle follow-up, but if you’re going it alone, you need diligence. Keep notes about what you sent, where and when. Call the agency to which you sent the package to ask if it was delivered and for them to return the comment card. Don’t be intimidated. Agency staffers can be brisk, but you both have jobs to do.
How did you contact a celebrity? Share your experiences, and your questions, in the comment section below.