While it isn’t for everyone, it’s certainly true that having a celebrity leading your PR campaign can help it to reach a wider, more readily engaged audience than it might otherwise manage.
However, it’s important to tread carefully when planning a celebrity PR campaign. A famous figure who would be a credible and authentic voice for one campaign might prove entirely unsuitable for another – and simply attaching a big name to your PR efforts won’t necessarily translate to success.
The role of celebrity in PR campaigns
Builds Independent Credibility: Because talent is often seen as an independent third-party voice, the media often feels they are more impartial, which can lend them more credibility than a figure who’s overtly affiliated with a brand. What’s more, having talent can help to open doors to better-quality media outlets that wouldn’t normally take less well-known names.
Relevance: Using celebrity spokespeople provides opportunities to think creatively about the campaign’s concept, and link it directly to the celebrity’s work and current trends. For example, at Broadcast Revolution, we recently secured cricketing star Paul Collingood on Sky Sports to discuss a campaign by Metro Bank on the subject of pocket money in the cost of living crisis. Without that celebrity, Metro Bank wouldn’t have reached this particular audience.
Trust: Consumers feel like they have a connection with the artists, musicians, actors, personalities and influencers. They may relate to their public-facing persona or admire their work, and be more likely to listen to their perspective on the issues or topics raised in a campaign.
Reach: By harnessing their existing audience, a celebrity can boost the reach of your PR campaign significantly, with those interested in that celebrity being immediately drawn to them as a figure. Where an advert or brand message can get lost in a crowded marketplace – using a celebrity can help you stand out from the crowd. What’s more, depending on the nature of the celebrity, their audience is likely to be niche or belong to a specific demographic, allowing you to target your campaigns more effectively at the right audience.
Why you should always prioritise authenticity
There are times when using a celebrity isn’t necessary at all, and might come across as insincere. The relative fame of the spokesperson in question shouldn’t be your biggest consideration. Instead, it is more important that the spokesperson for your campaign is authentic, credible and relatable, whether they are a celebrity or not.
How celebrities in PR campaigns can deepen the story you are telling
An example of where Broadcast Revolution helped to facilitate the engagement of a celebrity to front a PR campaign was when we worked with Bumble, who wanted to undertake a campaign to raise awareness of the impact that receiving unsolicited explicit images can have.
Research revealed that 37% of women under 44 had received a photo of male genitals that they did not ask for over the previous year. The impact was that 59% of women surveyed felt less trusting of others online and 23% felt more vulnerable when using the internet. To discuss these shocking statistics, we sourced Love Island’s Amy Hart and former Director of UN Women UK, Professor Clare McGlynn QC.
At first glance, this may appear to be an inappropriate contrast of credentials. But Amy Hart was able to talk candidly and relatably about her first-hand experience with the subject and how it affected her life, while Professor McGlynn QC could speak about cyber-flashing from a legal perspective – including what can and should be done to tackle perpetrators.
Furthermore, the demographic of Amy’s followers is teenagers and young people, who are, as digital natives, the next generation of internet users. By reaching this audience, the campaign made a tangible difference, and won several industry awards. This was the perfect demonstration of the power of celebrity PR: bringing credibility, authority, relatability and, ultimately, engagement to a campaign.
A celebrity PR campaign is a great way to reach an extensive, engaged and niche audience very quickly. Using a famous face (and voice) to front your campaign can also boost credibility and help you to cut through the noise, but it is something that requires careful consideration.
If you’re wondering whether a celebrity PR campaign would be suitable for your purposes, speak to us today.