How do you get the attention of a celebrity/expert for product/service endorsement?
I am launching a new teen magazine with a strong message and cause behind it. My business coach says I need to get a celebrity endorsement, no idea how to do that on a shoe string budget.
I know it's not an easy feat but I also know it's not impossible, especially if the cause is one that is current and that the celebrities care about.
I am in the process of finding seed money, so once that comes in it may help, but having the endorsement on board would probably make that part easier too.
young generation celebrities are very keen to support causes they believe in. If appropriate you might want to start with young athletes, perhaps Winter Olympic hopefuls in sports that appeal to young people but aren't mainstream yet. They may welcome the opportunity to support your cause and be a spokesperson. People that come to mind are Genie Bouchard (teen tennis up and coming star),North American women's hockey team members, anyone in the snowboard, snowcross community. If you are looking for seed money you might want to look at the CYBF programs. http://www.cybf.ca/ Another connection you might want to make is the CEO of SheEO, Vicki Saunders
All the companies (headed by women) that are part of the SheEO initiative have a social component. Vicki is well connected and responsive. She might be able to point you in the right direction. If you want a wonderful story about teens, check out these Halifax at risk kids that were featured on Dragons Den and on CBC The National .http://hopeblooms.ca/
No offense, but your business coach should have also guided you on how to accomplish this. For example, if I told you as a business coach you needed a celebrity endorsement, I would recommend putting together some promotional material to showcase your magazine and highlight its key attributes. This would best be done in a press release and then distributed worldwide. It has the potential to catch the eye of someone's Public Relations manager and you could get a call.
If you have never written a press release, there are lots of resources online and this can even be done free. There are templates to use and you will ALWAYS want to provide your contact information so people know how to get a hold of you.
Good luck with the magazine and keep us informed of your progress! It sounds like a very cool concept indeed.
Where do I start...
Lets start with your business coach, I think you need to challenge them a bit and ask them which teem magazines have they launched that has received an endorsements right from the start. I would like to know. I have worked with several startup magazines and there was not endorsement deals from the start. They had to build their audience first before the deals started to come in.
Now I'm assuming your Teen magazine has no audience/followers right now, is that correct?
If that is the case you are going to have to pay for an endorsement from a celebrity if you want them to endorse your magazine. Which is going to be big bucks an only a small endorsement for you 15min in fame. Which will sizzle off very quickly as well. Remember celebrities get approached by thousands of companies asking them to endorse their latest, greatest, product, service...etc. Unless it is something that touches them emotionally like you are saving baby Panda's from being slaughtered for fur and you have a strong track record of doing this. You are going to have a very very hard battle trying to get an endorsement.
Now that being said, there is another strategy and I am surprised your business coach has not informed you of. Write about the celebrates, what is going on with them that is news worthy. Like Justin Berber getting arrested in Toronto. You might not know this but right now that story is going global. It is one of the hottest trending searches on Google. If you want to get noticed and build your brand as a teen magazine write about what is news worthy so teens will read your magazine.
Once you get some brand recognition and a following, don't worry about endorsements, get interviews. Once you establish you have a strong following that is engaging. You can start interviewing celebrities, they are more liking to accept an interview that will get them more exposure then do an endorsement. Which will give you an endorsement you don't have to pay for. See how that works.
Here are some things I don't know if you discussed with your business coach and I am telling you this because I have worked for several magazines:
1) Have you setup your teen magazine website. What is the user experience when people come to the site? Is it very visual, easy to navigate around? Easy to find what a visitor is looking for? Are you going to incorporate image marketing, video marketing...etc? Leading edge technology? Is it responsive so teen's can read it on their phones, iPad...etc?
2) Technically have you put your site on a strong service that can support high traffic volume, have you SEO'd the site to make sure you have the right keywords, in the code, copy...etc?
3) What is your content schedule, research methods, how are you going to be up to date with the leading teen news?
Remember you have a 6 month to 1 year battle of building your audience and your brand. There are lots of teen magazines in the market. It's going to take a lot of work and sweat equity to build it. I am not saying it's not possible but you are going to have to work hard to make it happen.
Remember if you want to be noticed and engage with celebrities, write about them and be authentic, give massive value. Then when you are ready to approach them for an interview they will know who you are. Then once you get established and have a brand, you can then look at endorsement deals. Which might be companies vs. celebrities, to be honest they will be more interests in paid advertising if you have the audience. You get 4 to 5 companies paying $1,000 to $2,500 a month in banner ads you will be doing pretty well for a new magazine.
Good luck Jessica, I hope that helps.
Hi Jessica! I would suggest you use Twitter to connect with celebrities, experts and other influencers online to evangelize your cause with them directly. This strategy will also help you increase your twitter following, which only further promotes your cause. If the celebrities or experts your interested in still aren't responding to your enquires, I would recommend you use IMDb to look up their agent's contact information and send them a formal proposal. Good luck!
Be bold, be daring, be original, Jessica. But, be respectful and non-intrusive.
For example, create a life-sized cutout of the celeb and have your photo taken handing a mock-up of your magazine to them. Then, send the photo along with your product sample, requesting their buy-in. Many celeb's will have their hands out and only endorse for money. Others committed to your cause will respond favorably.
First determine who you'd want as a celebrity endorser. Then find them, via the web and social media and start developing a relationship with them. Be transparent about what you want and where you are at. And follow the other advice offered as well.
Thank you everyone for such wonderful, insightful and helpful responses I really appreciate it and hope I can return the favour one day :)
Coincidence, you are asking about celebrity endorsements, I just got this article in my e-mail and tweeted it... See this http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/television/are-celebrities-that-influential-38018/?utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=mc&utm_medium=textlink
You'd be surprised, like I was.
I work with celebrity endorsements for entrepreneurs daily and Brandon is right. I'd suggest you take his advice and if you can, hire him. :-)
Most celebrities have agents. Pick the celebrity you want and search for their agent online. Call their agent and discuss your needs. He or she will be
1. very easy to reach,
2. open to discussing price/cash, and
3. Will take your offer to the celebrity
Best of luck,