Monday, 7 February 2011

Celebrity endorsement in the non profit sector

The effectiveness of using celebrity endorsement to promote a charity has been explored in a recent survey and the results are somewhat surprising. NfpSynergy surveyed more than 1,000 11- to 25-year-olds living in Britain. Only one in five young people said they would support a charity because a celebrity happened to endorse it. The non profit sector is something that I myself am particularly interested in and I love to see the latest campaigns and viral ads. I do think celebrity endorsement can be effective but I also think that some charities simply rely on their message to reach their audience.

The results of the survey also showed how a celebrity's influence can diminish the older you get with much more 11 to 13 year olds insisting that a celebrity might sway them to support a charity whilst many 23-25 year olds could not say the same. Whether this will affect the direction that non profit PR takes is doubtful. However, maybe it will encourage more charities to take a different approach to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive sector. Personally I think if you are going to incorporate celebrities into a campaign then you need to pick the right ambassador who feels strongly enough about the cause to do it justice

Monday, 24 January 2011


Recently I have been there first hand to witness the devastating effect that job cuts can have on employees and the negative atmosphere it can create within an organisation. When budgets are squeezed and staff are being laid off and you're left with the 'lucky' ones who have managed to survive (this time) can you really blame people for wondering who's next? Understandably it creates a terrible atmosphere full of whispers and an each for their own mentality which can be detrimental to business.

I am left wondering whether less money means less chance of success. Obviously this depends on which sector you are in, the scale of the job cuts and the skill and attitude of your workforce but in general terms does throwing money at something guarantee that it will work? Sometimes it may well do but this is certainly not a hard and fast rule. In marketing and communications I believe that money doesn't always equal success and I have seen small scale campaigns which have been far more imaginative and effective than those done by huge multinationals that have a much bigger budget to play with.

The best example that I can think of to demonstrate this is when a small Tourism board promoting a little known island off the Great Barrier Reef started a marketing campaign called The Best Job In The World. It created a huge amount of media attention and was a great tool to promote the Island. There were 34,000 video entries and when they did eventually recruit the campaign didn't stop there as the winner Ben Southall then began blogging about his new adventures. The campaign has done wonders for the Island and demonstrates how something great can be achieved on a relatively low budget. I think that sometimes not having so much money to play with forces you to think outside the box and push the boundaries to make your campaign stand out from the crowd