This particular situation happens to many publicists, no matter if you’re in franchise PR, food and beverage PR or fashion PR. It’s 11:00 p.m. on a Monday night. You’re laying in bed watching your Instagram story line-up and *BOOM* you see it. XYZ celebrity just posted about your client, singing said client’s praises.
Que the excitement and letting the entire world knowby posting about it on every form of social media, DMing it to the rest of your account team and sending it off to your client as monitored coverage. Together, you all revel in how wonderful it feels to be recognized as a favorite by someone famous with millions of followers on social media. It’s a dream: free, organic PR.
For Konnect clients, this has happened with Wiz Khalifa having a full-blown photo shoot at Sky Zone whilst jumping on trampolines with his son and then again with Chrissy Tiegen posting about her obsession with 4505 Chicarones. Fatburger’s hand-scooped chocolate milkshakes were named best in Los Angeles by Behati Prinsloo, who also claimed the burger brand’s offering as her go-to pregnancy craving. All of the aforementioned were organic and, the music to a client’s ears, FREE.
A celebrity’s natural affinity for a brand creates a great amount of opportunity from a PR standpoint, however proceed with caution. While you may want to immediately bring awareness to the fact that your client is a celeb favorite, really think about the context of their post. If they just randomly posted an Instagram about eating a burger in the middle of the day, media isn’t going to care because there isn’t a hook.
Did they post about eating your cookie client on National Cookie Day? Then pitch a roundup of other celebs eating cookies in honor of National Cookie Day, or even send a standalone pitch to your entertainment friendlies if the celebrity is big enough. The point here is to think about context, and conduct outreach with newsworthiness in mind.
If your client is wondering why they should care about a celebrity liking their brand, tell them that there is literal proof that a celebrity’s recommendation has a direct link to a company’s success. In fact, a 2012 study conducted by the Harvard Business School revealed celebrity endorsements generate a 4 percent increase in sales on average for brands. Further, NPD found released a study in 2016 that found fans of a given celebrity are 50% more likely to buy and use products that said celebrity does.
That said, even if there isn’t a newsworthy enough hook to garner media coverage, you should still nurture a relationship with the celebrity by sending free product, swag or gift cards alongside a nice note as a token of appreciation. Build a raport with his or her team. Who knows what might happen next! They could mention your client’s name in a national ad campaign for Alexander Wang’s Spring/Summer collection like Behati did for Fatburger…