Making a sports star, celebrity, or other public figure the face of a PR campaign is a successful marketing tool that can add credibility and star power to your program.
The right spokesperson will attract media, build brand awareness, and drive sales; the wrong one could do some real damage.
Identifying the spot-on spokesperson is essential. As someone who has secured thousands of celebrities, sports stars, and experts to serve as spokespersons for brands, I understand that the task can seem overwhelming.
Here are some tips to help you choose the most effective spokesperson for your PR campaign.
First, thoroughly assess each element of the spokesperson program so you know exactly what you’re looking for. Keep in mind:
• The company’s image: What’s your position in the marketplace? An established, family-centric business, or a hip and edgy startup? Is its reputation solid, or does it require some reshaping? The spokesperson’s talent and image should align with the attributes of the company.
• The objectives of the spokesperson program: What are you trying to accomplish? Is your aim to educate the consumer about a new product, or do you want to entice the media to an event? The spokesperson must possess the skills and personality to accomplish your objectives.
• Target demos: Are you targeting moms ages 25–45, or single males from 18–35? The field of spokespersons will narrow based upon the target demographics.
• Dates and term of the program: Are the dates you need in December? If so, NFL players will not be available, and certain actresses may have production conflicts. Likewise, is the program spanning two months, or do you have the use of the spokesperson’s name and likeness for one year? You’ve got to keep all that in mind for scheduling.
• Your budget: Is your budget $20,000 or $200,000? The spokesperson budget determines the caliber of the spokesperson you can afford, including their level of expertise and notoriety. The good news is that there is almost always a spokesperson who will fit your budget.
• What services you require: Are you planning a national campaign or a five-city, local-market tour? Does the program include social media components or personal appearances? It is more important to designate what services are required of the spokesperson than the number of actual work days.
Once that’s all determined, you can knowledgably choose your spokesperson.
You can either look for people on your own or partner with a company that specializes in spokesperson procurement. Here are key considerations, regardless of which route you take:
The type of spokesperson: This person might be a TV or film actor, an athlete or coach, or a notable subject expert.
Making an authentic connection: If your program is promoting a new food product, does the spokesperson genuinely like it? If your program is on a health care issue, does the spokesperson have a direct connection to it? Consumers are sophisticated and believe the spokesperson when it feels authentic.
Credentials and skills: Does the spokesperson have the skills to fulfill your program elements? Are they media savvy and able to deliver message points? If your program calls for media interviews, the spokesperson must be able to communicate clearly and effectively.
Affordability: Whom can you afford? Celebrities and experts have wide ranges of fees depending upon their accomplishments and fame. Consider whether you’d prefer to have someone very expensive on hand for a few weeks, or whether you’d prefer to have a long-term spokesperson whose rates are a little lower.
Spokespersons will enhance your PR campaigns, but the selection of the spokesperson must be done strategically. That front person will help draw traffic to an event, attract media to cover a program, and help educate and inform the consumer.
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Follow these steps, and you will be better equipped to choose the appropriate spokesperson for your upcoming PR campaign.
Darcy Bouzeos is founder of the sports and entertainment marketing firm DLB, which identifies and links sports and celebrity endorsers with brands.