If you are working on an event that has more than a few announcements (at a minimum you have to thank sponsors, chair people and volunteers) you may want to find a high profile celebrity to do the honors. People pay more attention when a professional is on the microphone. If they are well – known and respected in your community they will bring great awareness to your cause and may even increase attendance.
But how to go about it? I’ve found the easiest and most effective way to nail down a television anchor (or local radio DJ, winning coach, etc.) is to go where they are! Just like fishing – you want to cast your line in an area where there’s fish. Local celebrities are really busy, usually swamped and running a million miles an hour. So, if you can find them at an event they are supporting, they may have a few minutes to listen to your short, concise pitch. Bring a Save the Date Card or visual flyer too!
Of course, be sure to do your homework to find the right person to fit your cause! Here’s a sample dialog –
Hi Bill, I’m Patty Smith with the local Animal Rescue League. We’re doing a fabulous fundraiser called Tails and Tuxes that we’d really like to get you involved in. You’re the perfect MC for us because I happen to know that you have 2 dogs! It’s Saturday night – (a date should be 3 to 6 months out) at the Hilton and we’ve got about 15 minutes slated for some announcements. Might you be available to attend?
Give him your business card, flyer or contact info and be sure to get his business card so you can e-mail him with all the details. Remember they are busy so don’t bug them with umpteen e-mails/calls. One to give him the details, perhaps one more to request a head shot if you want to put his face on invitations or posters, and one more to remind him a week ahead of time. That’s it! Always remember you are sowing seeds for the future and if you want him to have “buy-in” to your event – you’ll want to be EASY to do business with.
Once on location, you’ll want to have a designated person making sure the celebrity has a seat, has a script and is ferried around for photo opportunities. If they have fun while helping out a great cause – Everyone wins!!