Shannon Rose is like every 16 year old girl. She studies for Year 11, goes to the beach with friends and has developed an extended limb through her iPhone 4. An active member of social media and a fan of popular culture, I thought Shannon to be the perfect subject for an interview on celebrities and the effectiveness that they play in aiding and promoting charity organisations and campaigns. Below is a series of possible questions that my group and I have decided to use within our surveys and focus group, followed by an analysis of the questions and answers.
1. Have you donated to any charities in the past year?
Yes I have. I have donated to the Kids Wish Foundations, as well as the Illawarra Disabled Basketball Association. As of recently, I have also been involved in ‘Project Compassion’ though my school community, though in previous years, I have also donated to cancer charities as well as other minority charities.
2. Have you ever participated in a social media activism campaign?
I did participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I thought it was an effective social media campaign in raising awareness. I do however believe that people began to trivialise the challenge, and began to do it just to follow the huge social media trend that it evolved into.
3. When and how did you first come across this campaign?
I saw many of my friends participating on it and posting it on Facebook and Instagram. I also saw celebrities such as Mike Tyson participating in the campaign.
4. Would you be more likely to support a charity/campaign if a celebrity were endorsing it?
No, not necessarily. I have become more aware of various charities through the advertisement and promotional activities of well-known celebrities, but it is not actually the celebrity which influences me to donate or participate. I will only become active in a charity or campaign if I myself believe it is for a good cause. I definitely however do see how the idea of celebrity can be a key factor in promoting a charity, and especially within our society, youth are very influenced by stars as they are now able to not only follow celebrities through the means of media, but also on social media.
5. Do you feel that organisations then greatly benefit from having celebrities as figure heads?
Definitely. Especially within my generation as they are so struck with stardom and celebrities.
6. Why do you feel that celebrities become involved in charity and activism campaigns?
I believe celebrities become involved for a few reasons. Firstly, it can provide the star with major self-promotion, making them look good in the media and society as they are building positive images of themselves. Secondly, I think stars may also become involved due to their own personal experiences. An example could be Angelina Jolie and her work with breast cancer foundations. Lastly, I think some celebrities do understand the significance that they have upon society, and hope to make the world a better place, realising their power and impact.
7. Are you familiar with Emma Watson’s role in the United Nations He for She campaign?
Yes, I am familiar with the campaign.
8. Do you think that with Emma Watson being involved and presenting the speech, more people were likely to watch it and become involved?
Most definitely, as Emma Watson is very influential and held in high regard, especially due to her fame. I first watched this speech in Pastoral Care at school and I honestly doubt that I would have been shown this speech, had it not been Emma Watson presenting it. I think we were all more intrigued to watch her and see what she had to say due to her fame.
Overall, I was really happy with how the interview progressed. I believe that the question chosen does lead to discussion, which will be beneficial for the focus groups. I do however feel that question 4 and 5 were too similar, and will most likely remove question 5 from further research. I am also happy with the questions focusing on Emma Watson and the ‘He for She’ campaign, as it provides a relevant contemporary example.