Celebrities, public figures, athletes, and influencers––many of them look for monetary discounts when it comes to their own weddings. Some look to negotiate PR or social media trades and others flat-out expect a discount. What to do as a wedding business owner if you find yourself in a situation like this one? We tapped several seasoned wedding pros and experts with first-hand experience working with influencers and celebrities to get their advice. Here’s what to know!.
1. There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to PR and social barters
Every couple is going to have different connections, PR possibilities and social media reach and no two celebrities, influencers or public figures are the same. “Every influencer and celebrity works differently, but if you are smart with the trade and negotiate well, there is more to gain than standard advertising and word of mouth,” says Josh Spiegel of BIRCH. That in mind, aim to customize every deal accordingly. Analyze your couple and confirm you want to align with them and that they are on brand with yours. Then work on packaging together a price that takes those factors into account.
2. Narrow in on the guaranteed coverage. Then analyze that
Most every celebrity or influencer wedding involves a media plan. As a part of that media plan, there is what’s referred to as “guaranteed coverage.” Guaranteed coverage means that your brand or company will be mentioned in the PR of the event. Here’s where it gets a little messy though: Just because you have guaranteed coverage, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be mentioned in every piece. “If your company is the stationery company, PEOPLE Magazine is less likely to mention or showcase it than the dress,” says Harmony Walton of Bridal Bar. “I had one client many years ago negotiate that they would give a percent of their fee back to the couple for every media mention. The bride and groom name dropped them like it was their job so it turned out to be a win-win.”
3. Get it in writing
The same goes for PR and social barters as it does for your other clients. Clear deliverables and contracts are crucial from the start. “No handshakes. No promises via DMs,” says Persephone Maglaya of The Media Socialites. “Make sure to outline the give and get clearly.”
A few items that should be included:
- Timing: When exactly will each post go live?
- Content creation: Who is providing the content? What type of content are they providing?
- Approvals: Does the couple need to approve the posts? Are there wedding pros who need to approve them?
- Credits: Are social mentions going to include tags, mentions in the caption, hashtags, or all three?
- Embargoes: Are there embargoes to social media that need to be kept in mind?
- Content restrictions: What exactly can be posted from the event?
- Usage (this is a biggie!): Can you use assets on your site, in paid ads or media for your own business?
- Length of time: How far past the date can content be posted?
Also, bear in mind that most media coverage doesn’t get promised ahead of time. So that in mind, a portion of the above may not be able to go into the legal agreement. “An exhibit at the end of your standard contract outlining the give and take may be sufficient for your needs,” says Persephone. That said, always consult your attorney with specific questions related to contracts.
4. Manage your ROI expectations
Without the ability to guarantee coverage or promise it in the contract, ROI gets sticky as well. “Organize your goals before you finalize your ask and you’ll have an easier time judging the ROI on the backend,” says Harmony. And think about the other benefits beyond leads or media impressions. “There is no exact way of seeing your ROI on social media. However, at BIRCH we are firm believers that if you stick with it long enough, you will start seeing the fruits,” says Josh Spiegel.
5. Be realistic with yourself
It can be really exciting to work with an influencer or a celebrity. But stay grounded in all of it and be realistic about what you’re going to walk away with after the fact. That will not only help you figure out the best way to approach the wedding, but it’ll also help you keep your priorities straight throughout the process. “Just don’t expect to be famous because you worked on a famous person’s wedding,” says Harmony. “Be realistic about your expectations and you won’t be disappointed.”