Traditional media vs. celebrity endorsements – what’s your view?

A recent poll by ComRes revealed that only 17 per cent of the British public find celebrity endorsements trustworthy sources of information, despite brands throwing huge amounts of cash into campaigns fronted by media personalities.

On the other hand, good old fashioned word-of-mouth was trusted by 77 per cent of the 2,035 respondents, while 71 per cent put their faith in newspapers, magazines and online reviews.

So what does this mean from a PR perspective? Well it means that getting a famous face to champion a brand may garner attention, though not necessarily trust.  It also shows that new mediums such as Instagram and twitter, which have helped fuel the celebrity endorsement culture – Kim Kardashian is said to be paid tens of thousands for a single tweet waxing lyrical about a brand – might not deliver the best bang for your buck.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, and when it comes to certain products, such as clothing or jewellery, having a famous face wear your brand can work wonders, i.e. Kate Middleton gets pictured in a Reiss dress and it is sold out within minutes. But generally speaking, and as the results of the poll show, credibility comes through word-of-mouth – or ‘real people’ endorsements.

This of course, spells great news for business that don’t have six-figure budgets to secure a celebrity, as it appears that you don’t necessarily need one.  Instead, focussing on quality PR with client/customer case studies to showcase your work, and generating relevant editorial in ‘old media’ publications, will be much better for you brand, and your pocket.

What do you think of the results of the ComRes survey? Do you use celebrities in your PR campaigns, and has it lead to success? Share your thoughts in a comment below.

If you’d like to find out how to uncover a story in your business that journalists will love to cover, download our free storyfinding toolkit here.



Halima Khatun

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