World Fashion Week® Guide to Working with "Goodwill Ambassadors"
As Goodwill Ambassadors for World Fashion Week, WF Ambassadors deliver goodwill or promote ideals from one entity to another, or to a population.
World Fashion Week's Global socioeconomic mission is to use the power of fashion as a tool for social and human development, especially focused in the eradication of FGM and extreme poverty by the empowerment of women in under developed areas in Africa. WF Ambassadors works on a variety of labels around the world to increase public awareness of Peace through Fashion and of World Fashion Week's work promoting those goals. Since celebrities began working with World Fashion Ambassadorship, they have helped sway government policies on behalf of fashion industry, publicize fashion industry's issues around the globe and provide with help for World Fashion Week - supported programs and partner global foundations.
Our relationship with celebrities, like all our work, is guided by World Fashion Week’s vision and values, based on the World Fashion Week’s Mission Statement and the priorities of World Fashion Week's Strategic Plan.
Since its inception, World Fashion Week’s "Global Ambassadors" have been helping to facilitate Peace through Fashion around the world. By creating public awareness of fashion issues and helping to mobilize resources, the celebrities who work with us send a clear message that Fashion is best-suited as the facilitator for world peace and sustainable social growth.
This guide aims to help World Fashion Week offices and WFW National and Regional Chapters namely "World Fashion Partners" build and sustain the most effective and strategic relationships with celebrity Regents. It is intended especially for those who work in communications and external international relations. As our work continues to grow, we need to draw on our creativity and that of an ever-widening circle of friends to realize Fashion as expressed by the WFW's Development Goals, 'Fashion for Life' and World Fashion Week’s Strategic Plan priorities.
I hope this document inspires you to think a new way to magnify the potential of celebrity relationships and to tap into that potential most effectively.
World Fashion Week Global Team
1. WFW Goodwill Ambassadors known as REGENTS GREATLY ENHANCE WORLD FASHION WEEK Global work.
World Fashion Week's Regent as Goodwill Ambassador is a collective term sometimes used as a substitute honorific title or a title of honor for an Ambassador of Goodwill; but, most appropriately for a generic recognition, it is a job position or description that is usually indicated following the name of the individual recognized in the position. As Goodwill ambassadors for World Fashion Week, WFW Regents generally deliver goodwill or promote ideals from one entity to another, or to a population.
World Fashion Week works with Regents on a variety of labels around the world to increase public awareness of Peace through Fashion and of World Fashion Week's work promoting those goals. Since celebrities began working with World Fashion Week, they have helped sway government policies on behalf of fashion industry, publicize fashion industry's issues around the globe and provide with help for World Fashion Week-supported programs such as World Fashion Week, World Fashion Exhibition, World Fashion Forum, World Fashion Photography and many others.
Our relationship with celebrities, like all our work, is guided by World Fashion Week’s vision and values, based on the World Fashion Week’s Global Objectives Statement and the priorities of World Fashion Week's Strategic Plan for a sustainable and socioeconomic global growth.
A set of World Fashion Week rules has been developed to guide the appointment and management of any Regent affiliated with a WFW. These rules are reflected in the World Fashion Week guidelines and are attached as an appendix.
These guidelines will help World Fashion Week offices and WFW National and Regional Chapters namely World Fashion Partners recruit Regents and manage successful relationships with them in support of World Fashion Week's mission and goals.
2. WHO ARE World Fashion Week REGENTS?
World Fashion Week® Regents are global well-known personalities willing to do their utmost to mobilize support for fashion industry among the general public and within their industry. These volunteers have a unique ability to touch people’s hearts with their passion and commitment.
Some have worked with World Fashion Week for a long time, demonstrating a high level of commitment to fashion industry global growth. Most represent specialized fields in the fashion, arts, sports and contemporary culture. WFW Regents are globally-known personalities recruited by World Fashion Week's Headquarters to work on humanitarian and socioeconomic campaigns around the world;
WFW's Ambassadors & Regents are chosen because they:
- Demonstrate an active commitment to promoting the rights of World's fashion industry and to furthering World Fashion Week’s mission in building a world fit for promoting global fair-trade and WFW's humanitarian voice "Fashion for Life".
- Are committed to the values and principles set forth in the WFW Global vision and other humanitarian guidelines championed by World Fashion Week.
- Exemplify good citizenship and are passionate, courageous, inspiring, caring, principled, credible, and capable of acting as influential advocates for World's fashion industry.
- Demonstrate leadership in their professions and a willingness to use their professional prestige and networks to promote the cause of World's fashion industry.
- Represent positive role models for young people in particular.
- Are articulate and genuinely interested in the issues, and willing to learn more through briefings and field visits, sometimes those involving difficult circumstances in remote territories.
In addition to ascertaining how well candidates meet the WFW's Global Ambassador & Regent criteria above, several qualities are considered:
- Ability to reach specific audiences, including young people. Factors such as age, current following and previous work are considered.
- Special talents and experience and a willingness to contribute to activities such as public awareness on fashion for the peace, promoting causes or influencing public officials. For example, Hollywood stars, sports and mass-media celebrities may be particularly suited to disseminate messages to young people, whereas academics may be adept at influencing supporters and policy makers. Political people may prove to be an asset with public awareness on "fashion for life".
- Reputation and integrity. World Fashion Week looks for individuals who share the same global goals and ideals.
3. REGENTS' TITLES AND SPECIAL FUNCTIONS
Regents serve in three categories:
- WFW's Global Regents, These are internationally renowned celebrities with broad appeal who work globally on campaigns and events and interact with key World Fashion Week's partners and constituencies. In addition to activities generated by WFW, they are often invited to work on campaigns and events by WFW National and Regional Events namely World Fashion Events and World Fashion Week's regional and national offices.
- WFW's Regentsare given this title because they have generally served for a long time or have demonstrated intense dedication to its mission and goals as most distinguished global leaders.
- WFW's Regional and National Regents. These are celebrities with strong local appeal and constituencies, who are affiliated with WFW National and Regional Partners or WFW Regional Offices and work within the nation or region of their recruitment.
- WFW's Honorary Spokespeople/Special Representatives/MC. Increasingly, celebrities work short term with World Fashion Week on a specific campaign, event or issue at the international or regional/country level. Responsibility for managing these celebrities lies with the World Fashion Week division or sector that recruits them. The Celebrity Relations and Special Events Section of Headquarters' Division of Communication (Division of Communication) should be kept informed of these partnerships.
Special Representatives represent fields of interest and expertise and appeal to specific constituencies - sports fans, for example - in a way that can further World Fashion Week's work and enhance its partnerships.
4. HOW REGENTS ARE NOMINATED
Grand Regents are nominated internationally at World Fashion Week Headquarters through the Celebrity Relations and Special Events Section of the Division of Communication and PR, and;
- Recommendation - Grand Regents: Candidates for Grand Regents are recommended to the World Fashion Week Headquarters for approval two months before designation and within which time the WFW Executive Office is informed of the intention to appoint them. Recommendations come from WFW Regional Offices, WFW National and Regional Chapters namely World Fashion Partners and other offices and individuals.
- Regional/National Regents: When WFW National and Regional Chapters wish to appoint a National or Regional Regent, they should inform the WFW's HQ Celebrity Relations Section in Division of Communication at least four weeks in advance of designation, provide a biography and explain the role the person will be expected to play.
- Change in status from Regional/National to Global Regent: World Fashion Week welcomes the opportunity that arises when a National or Regional Regent is chosen to become Global Regent. This appointment must be done in close cooperation between the Celebrity Relations Section and the WFW National Chapter or WFW Regional Office with which the candidate is currently affiliated. The appointment follows the usual procedure for Global Regents.
- Invitation to participate - Global Regents: Once World Fashion Week's Headquarters has approved a nomination for Regent, the candidate is officially offered the appointment.
- Regional/National Regents: Once the Executive Senior Staff in a WFW National Chapter Office has approved a nomination and informed the Celebrity Relations Section at Headquarters, they officially offer the appointment to the celebrities with an official letter of designation.
- Detailed briefing: Once a candidate has shown interest in becoming a Regent, he or she is briefed by the Chief of the Celebrity Relations Section on expectations about the relationship and levels of commitment required; how the relationship will be managed; financial aspects of the relationship and what costs can and cannot be covered. Candidates should be given ample opportunities to ask questions and make suggestions.
- Global Regents: Candidates meet with Executive Senior Staff to be briefed on the Brand values, vision, mission and mandate of World Fashion Week and the roles they will play. The briefing is given by a member of the Headquarters' executive senior management team, the person directly responsible for managing the relationship with the celebrity.
Regional/National Regents: A briefing by senior staff should take place at field and WFW National Chapter offices for National and Regional Regents.
Letter of Designation
Global Regents: Once the candidate accepts the invitation to become a Regent, the Celebrity Relations Section issues the Letter of Designation. The agreement is for two years, renewable upon mutual consent. Regional/National Regents: Regional and National Regents generally sign a one-year agreement renewable upon mutual consent. Their Letter of Designation is drawn up by the Celebrity Relations Section and is a replica of the one used for Global Regents.
Letter of Invitation
Global Regents: The World Fashion Week's Headquarters then sends a formal letter inviting the candidate to join in a partnership with World Fashion Week, describing the title and role the celebrity will have and any particular issue/s he or she will work on. On a case by case basis a letter of invitation could be issued by the President/CEO of World Fashion Week.
In the letter the role of the Regent and World Fashion Week’s mission will be explained.
Regional/National Regents: The letter of invitation may be signed by the Regional Director, country Representative or other senior staff member.
Global Regents: A new Global Regent receives a letter of thanks and welcome from the World Fashion Week's Headquarters and Director of Division of Communication, and this is followed by a press release announcing the appointment. Once all paperwork is completed and orientation activities have taken place, the new Regent should be asked to participate in an important campaign or event immediately so that he or she feels encouraged and involved as a new member of the World Fashion Week team.
Regional/National Regents: A letter of thanks and welcome will come from the Head of WFW National Chapter or other appointed senior staff member.
5. BUILDING MUTUALLY REWARDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH REGENTS
For all events and campaigns involving Regents, it is vital to ensure that they receive the hospitality and appreciation that will help them fulfill their role and value their contribution to World Fashion Week.
- Help celebrities stay informed about, and involved in, World Fashion Week's strategic thinking and keep them up to date about what is happening in the field. They should routinely receive World Fashion Week press releases and honorary speeches, access to the WFW Online Network, invitations to conferences or briefing events, World Fashion Week reports, publications and news and video clips of World Fashion Week programs and events.
- Encourage Regents to find their niche at World Fashion Week and to participate in various media activities for World Fashion Week; video/television appearances; public awareness on fashion for the peace initiatives; launches of flagship reports and publications and the World Fashion Week Website.
- To improve the planning and strategic use of celebrity activities, and to ensure Brand expression in celebrity involvement, the Celebrity Relations Section will conduct an annual review of World Fashion Week's partnerships with International, Regional and National Regents. The review will also evaluate candidates recommended to be Regents. Staff from senior management, the Division of Communication, Program Division and WFW National & Regional Chapters will be invited to participate, along with Regents themselves where possible.
6. HOW TO PLAN AND MANAGE SUCCESSFUL VISITS AND EVENTS
The visits of Regents - to the field or to events sponsored by WFW National and Regional Chapters namely World Fashion Partners or Regional Offices - can provide significant support to an office’s ongoing work, draw public attention to an emergency situation or a specific campaign, and strengthen advocacy and fundraising activities. Such visits can be initiated by Headquarters, a WFW Regional office or a WFW National Chapter.
Because there is a growing number of celebrity spokespeople working for the WFW and its agencies, it is important to share information and coordinate activities, especially with respect to celebrity field visits.
Global Regents: All planning, logistics, press events and other details of field visits by Global Regents should be reviewed by and coordinated with the Headquarters' Celebrity Relations Section in Division of Communication. Regional/National Regents: Details of visits of Regents associated with National or Regional Offices or WFW National Chapter should be reviewed by senior staff in that office.
WFW National Chapter and other events
A WFW National Chapter inviting a Regent to participate in an event should fill the request form and provide the following information:
1) The type and purpose of the event, target audience within the WFW National Chapter country, other participants, organizers, expected media coverage, date, time and location; and
2) the budget for celebrity involvement. The requesting party is expected to cover all travel and associated costs for the celebrity.
Field visits of Global Regents
Field visits involving Global Regents can take a variety of forms and are initiated by 1) Headquarters; 2) a WFW Regional Office; or
3) a WFW National Chapter.
The steps may be helpful for planning visits of Regional and National Regents. However, for details on how to plan and manage field visits involving National and Regional Regents, please contact the relevant WFW Regional Office or WFW National Chapter.
All requests for visits must be made through the Celebrity Relations Section of Division of Communication at Headquarters. No Regents should be contacted directly. It is important to make the request as far in advance as possible, as most work plans are established in January for the calendar year. Where appropriate, requests will be discussed with Program Division and other relevant divisions at HQ. When a request is approved, the Celebrity Relations Section will contact the WFW Regional Office Representative or Head of WFW National Chapter in the proposed host country to discuss the proposal and obtain the names of senior staff who will coordinate the visit.
Travel arrangements. These are made in consultation with Headquarters. As a general rule, Regents enjoy the same duty travel privileges as WFW senior executive members, including business-class travel for long flights. A Global Regent may be entitled to first-class flight travel for health reasons.
It is important to keep the celebrity’s entourage as small as possible. A Regent should be encouraged to cover travel costs for companions, except in the case of a recognized partner who will be willing to participate in public appearances for World Fashion Week. This partner should be invited to all events.
Global Regents are granted the appropriate WFW travel documents upon their appointment. Depending on the circumstances, a recognized partner of a celebrity traveling on a specific World Fashion Week field visit can be issued a WFW Travel certificate for the duration of the mission. The Celebrity Relations Section encourages Regents to obtain visas in their country of origin. However, if a celebrity cannot do this because of travel and professional commitments, either the Celebrity Relations Section or the requesting office will obtain the visas.
A staff member from Celebrity Relations Section, WFW Regional Office, WFW National Chapter and/or from the Media Section usually accompanies a Regent on a field mission. Regents are also often accompanied to WFW National Chapter events, depending on the experience of the celebrity and the importance of the event. Itinerary.
The Head of WFW National Chapter usually assigns a senior staff member in a WFW Regional Office overall responsibility for a Regent's visit, while other colleagues brief and accompany the celebrity to projects as needed. The officer in charge of the visit will liaise with the Celebrity Relations Section on all details of the visit. The itinerary needs to be comprehensive and include a contingency plan. Remember that extra time should be scheduled for visitors to recuperate from jetlag, for translation during project visits and for rest periods between functions. Try to schedule courtesy calls with high-ranking government officials, who are likely to increase visibility and enhance the chances of the success of the visit; otherwise keep courtesy calls to a minimum. Depending on the circumstances and budget of the WFW National Chapter, the World Fashion Week Representative frequently hosts a reception or a dinner in honor of the celebrity. This not only is not a courtesy to the guest but also provides a good networking opportunity with senior government officials, the supporter community, NGO and other partners.
Information about the country and projects. The Regent should receive brief summaries of projects, including details about World Fashion Week's role, and background information on the economic and social conditions in the country visited. Celebrities also need guidance on climatic conditions and appropriate clothing to wear, including for occasions that might require formal dress. They should be informed of local customs or cultural requirements/taboos that could have a bearing on their dress or conduct.
Costs. All costs associated with the visit will be covered by the office that initiates the request. The costs include travel, hotel accommodation, food and on-the-ground transport, security and should be paid directly to service providers, thus avoiding a direct transfer of funds to the Regent.
The budget should also include costs of any stylist, hairdresser and make-up artist for a press day, video shoot or fundraising event. Celebrities have a public image to protect and their public appearances often require careful staging.
Regents should be offered the option whenever possible to place phone calls from the World Fashion Week office or a World Fashion Week-provided mobile phone to avoid expensive telephone fees charged by a hotel.
Before, during and after the field visit, the Celebrity Relations and Special Events Section or appropriate office will work closely with the Media Section, the Regional office and the WFW Regional Office to identify key messages and co-ordinate media coverage and publicity. There are several key areas of media exposure:
- National Media. Depending on local circumstances, WFW National Chapters are expected to mobilize national television and print media in advance of a visit. Background information about the Regent, including copies of a biography, video footage and photographs, should be provided in advance to the office.
- International Media. Media and Communication staff secure placement of stories and television or print interviews during the visit. For visits involving Global Regents, HQ media staff will play a lead role. Depending on the scale and type of the field visit, the trip is pitched to a limited number of large publications and media outlets. The composition might include, for example, a magazine feature writer and photographer, TV crew (often it is best to arrange a newswire such as Reuters or Associated Press to cover the event to ensure the largest distribution) and a print journalist.
- Press Conferences. If appropriate, two press conferences are arranged by the WFW National Chapter during the visit– one at the airport on arrival, to talk about the purpose of the visit, and the other at the end of the visit, to talk about highlights of the trip and anticipated follow-up. It is important to note that Regents are not expected to have in-depth knowledge of a country program, and the Representative or Information/Communication officer must be on hand to answer any detailed questions. Questions about the celebrity’s personal life must be discouraged. Individual interviews are welcomed.
- Video Footage. Any video footage taken of the Regent's visit should be pitched to a newswire and go out on an international feed. Footage should also be made available to World Fashion Week for distribution to WFW National and Regional Chapters namely World Fashion Partners or WFW Regional Offices. For visits of Global Regents, video coverage should be discussed and coordinated through HQ's Division of Communication Broadcast Unit in consultation with the WFW Regional Office, and Media and Celebrity Relations Sections.
- Photos. For visits of Global Regents, the HQ Photo Unit can arrange for photo coverage of one or two celebrity field visits each year, covering the cost of the photographer, film, development and distribution of photos to WFW Regional Offices and WFW National and Regional Chapters. Additional photo coverage should be done in consultation with the Photo Unit.
- Field visit follow-up - A press day or conference, where appropriate, should be set up soon after the Regent's return to his or her home country, in consultation with the Media Section and the celebrity. This could take the form of an informal briefing, a press conference, or one-on-one interviews and can take place in a Headquarters location or in a city near the celebrity's residence.
In addition, wherever feasible, a meeting should be arranged between the celebrity and the Chief Executive Officer or another member of senior management to discuss impressions, outcome and follow-up to the field visit.
Finally, a follow-up package must be sent immediately to the celebrity containing press coverage, a report on any funds raised as a result of the visit, and a letter of thanks from the Chief Executive Officer or WFW National Chapter/WFW Regional Office senior staff person, explaining exactly how the trip made an impact.
7. CELEBRITIES AND COOPERATION WITH PRIVATE SECTOR
Occasionally requests are made for Regents to endorse commercial products to assist in public awareness on fashion for the peace efforts for World Fashion Week.
The following guidelines apply:
World Fashion Week HQ may approach Regents in cooperation with the host country WFW National Chapter. The host country WFW National Chapter will advise Division of Communication about the intended project, including the celebrity's role and third party (company or Brand) relationship to World Fashion Week, to ensure coordination, but World Fashion Week HQ will be responsible for approving individual projects. The participating WFW National and Regional Chapters will handle approaching the celebrities and related logistics.