Getting a celebrity to help our nonprofit?
May 24, 2011 7:22 AM   Subscribe

How do we get a (music) celebrity to help promote an event in a YouTube-type video? Our community nonprofit is having a month-long event in June, and my daydream is to get some (recognizable) musician/band in a video that we could post on our very popular Facebook page. Ideally, he/she would say something like, "If I weren't on tour in [wherever] right now, I'd definitely be at [event name]! Don't miss it!" How do I even attempt this? I'm in a medium-sized city on the East Coast.
posted by trillian to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
I do a lot of work with the music industry and I just asked a publicist friend of mine - he says he gets similar requests so I suppose the answer is to contact the publicist, label or management. And also have a budget proportional to the "fame" of the musician you're contacting.
posted by blaneyphoto at 7:42 AM on May 24, 2011

It's unclear from your question whether you have a specific musician you're interested in, or if you just want any high-profile musician. If it's the latter, it would be helpful to know the nature of the non-profit, as there are a lot of musicians that align themselves with specific issues and are more willing to do gratis appearances. Can you give us more detail, both on the nature of your organization and the genre(s) of musicians you're interested in?
posted by jbickers at 7:49 AM on May 24, 2011

Is there a local artist who made it big who may be compelled to help?
posted by kat518 at 7:50 AM on May 24, 2011

Do you have a specific person in mind? Then what blaneyphoto said, or if you chose that person because someone relevant has a connection to them, then do that.

If you are brainstorming who to go for, I'd pick someone with some connection to the area or the sort of event that it is, or the cause that your nonprofit deals with. This would make them more likely to cooperate, and it also means that their publicist is used to handling this sort of request.

Musicians often have websites which include information "for press inquiries" or "publicity". Start there if you don't know who the person's publicist is.
posted by Sara C. at 7:52 AM on May 24, 2011

Response by poster: A few answers:

Our budget for this is zero... I'm not expecting this to really happen, but I thought I might try.

This is an animal-related organization, and the event is loosely pop/rock-themed. (I'd mention more specific things, but I like to keep my username unconnected to my offline life...)

There might be one or two local possibilities, and that's something I should probably look into further!
posted by trillian at 8:18 AM on May 24, 2011

The organization's inability to pay is probably going to halt the idea right there unless you're able to identify a specific artist with a passion for the goals of the organization. How big is the group? Is this an organization that's just local or national? If its just local a popular local musician might be a better choice anyway - and certainly more easily accessible!
posted by blaneyphoto at 8:29 AM on May 24, 2011

Response by poster: This is a local organization ... and there is a big local music scene here, so I might be able to find someone willing to do this.
posted by trillian at 8:45 AM on May 24, 2011

Yeah, I'd suggest looking into local musicians. Maybe you could include one of the person's songs in the background of the video clip, so they get some promotion, too?
posted by sarahsynonymous at 9:43 AM on May 24, 2011

When I helped organize a benefit for the family of a woman with cancer, we made it a Blues BBQ, and located a local organization of blues musicians. Then we sent out individual emails to members. They were incredibly generous with their time, and we ended up having the whole spectrum, from Texas blues to Bluegrass, to gospel, to Chicago Blues. Several also donated CDs as auction/raffle items, as well as Tshirts and other items. So that would be my suggestion - just send emails to local musicians.
posted by MexicanYenta at 11:25 AM on May 24, 2011

You can contact a band's promoter as has been said. You can also see who is playing in your area (dig around to see if they are interested in animal-charities) in the next month, look at the promotional material, and see if a local promoter is attached to the show. These people often (in addition to designing and hanging posters) field requests and set up appointments for local radio stations/weeklies to interview touring bands as they pass through town. Some (larger) bands have their own publicists who handle it all, some (smaller) acts have none and let the local promoters handle it all, sometimes it's a mix.
posted by K.P. at 11:31 AM on May 24, 2011

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