The visits of Regents - to the field or to events sponsored by WFO National and Regional Chapters namely World Fashion Associations 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 WFO Regional office or a WFO National Chapter.
Because there is a growing number of celebrity spokespeople working for the WFO and its agencies and organizations, it is important to share information and coordinate activities, especially with respect to celebrity field visits.
GRAND REGENTS : All planning, logistics, press events and other details of field visits by Grand Regents should be reviewed by and coordinated with the Headquarters' Celebrity Relations Section in Division of Communication.
REGIONAL AND NATIONAL REGENTS : Details of visits of Regents associated with National or Regional Offices or WFO National Chapter should be reviewed by senior staff in that office.
1. WFO National Chapter and other events
A WFO 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 WFO 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.
2. Field visits of Grand Regents
Field visits involving Grand Regents can take a variety of forms and are initiated by 1) Headquarters; 2) a WFO Regional Office; or 3) a WFO 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 WFO Regional Office or WFO 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 WFO Regional Office Representative or Head of WFO National Chapter in the proposed host country to discuss the proposal and obtain the names of senior staff who will coordinate the visit.
3. What the requesting office provides
Travel arrangements : These are made in consultation with Headquarters. As a general rule, Regents enjoy the same duty travel privileges as WFO senior executive members, including business-class travel for long flights. A Grand 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 Organization. This partner should be invited to all events.
Grand Regents are granted the appropriate WFO travel documents upon their appointment. According to WFO regulations, celebrities' recognized partners are not eligible to receive WFO travel documents and must rely on their own. Depending on the circumstances, a recognized partner of a celebrity traveling on a specific World Fashion Organization field visit can be issued a WFO 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, WFO Regional Office, WFO National Chapter and/or from the Media Section usually accompanies a Regent on a field mission. Regents are also often accompanied to WFO National Chapter events, depending on the experience of the celebrity and the importance of the event.
Itinerary : The Head of WFO National Chapter usually assigns a senior staff member in a WFO 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 WFO National Chapter, the World Fashion Organization 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 Organization'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, 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 Organization office or a World Fashion Organization-provided mobile phone to avoid expensive telephone fees charged by a hotel.
4. Maximizing publicity
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 WFO 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, WFO 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 Grand 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 WFO 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 Organization for distribution to WFO National and Regional Chapters namely World Fashion Associations or WFO Regional Offices. For visits of Grand Regents, video coverage should be discussed and coordinated through HQ's Division of Communication Broadcast Unit in consultation with the WFO Regional Office, and Media and Celebrity Relations Sections.
Photos. : For visits of Grand 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 WFO Regional Offices and WFO National and Regional Chapters namely World Fashion Associations. Additional photo coverage should be done in consultation with the Photo Unit.
5. 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 WFO National Chapter/WFO Regional Office senior staff person, explaining exactly how the trip made an impact.