Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Celebrity helps...

If you have a good'un

Effective celebrity patronage can be a bit of a Holy Grail, much sought-after but rarely found.

Celebrity involvement can turn out can turn out a disappointment, an expense, a drain on scarce time, even a bit of a pain.

Unless you have a good one, that is, preferably one living locally and an integral part of your local community. A good one is worth its weight...

Perhaps I should stop there because what has triggered this particular report is an example of positive, active, long-term, celebrity involvement, the long-term relationship between the Steps CE Centre in rural Leicestershire and locally based fitness and health guru, Rosemary Conley.

I have been hearing for quite some time now how much Ms Conley does for Steps. I was reminded of this by her tweet on Twitter yesterday morning, announcng Steps' Conductive Education Awareness Week, the first time (to my knowledge) that any CE event has been publicised through this fast-expanding medium.

She follows up most convincingly on her blog, a strong example of convincing celebrity endorsement (which is after all what most people expect from their patrons) and, just as important, the media/communications savvy to get this message out.


Steps is itself a useful example of a business model that seems to work, even when times are hard:
  • it has modest, focused service-delivery goals
  • it is strongly embedded in its local comunity
  • it represents long-term, total, personal commitment.

It is uusual, though not altogether unique over the years, for being founded and run not by parents but by grandparents, Heather and George Crate.

Public recognition and honours for Conductive Education are curently in the air. Here's another one to add to the list. In July 2004, the founder of Steps, grandmother-activist Heather Crate. was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of the University, by her old university, Loughborough, also part of the community that she and Steps serve.

Note and references

Steps: Leicestershire Conductive Education Centre


Conley, R. (2009) Rosemary Conley diet and fitness blog , 22 June


Cantor, L. (2004) Presentation of Honorary Graduand, University of Loughborough, 13 July


Sutton, A. (2009) Twitter. What are you doing? Conductive World, 23 June


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