On a roll: Sheila Casserly Clary

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Sheila Casserly Clary, 34, launched Celebrity Focus, Northbrook, Ill., with business partner Ric Bachrach in 1987. The 11-employee agency matches marketers like Procter & Gamble Co. and Radio Shack with celebrity spokesmen for public relations-based "media" campaigns.

Focus: We work from the marketer's point of view, finding the right person to promote a product or a cause, vs. a typical talent agent who finds opportunities for celebrities.

Trend: Public relations is an emerging channel for promoting products, brands and causes. Getting celebrities to talk about products or issues generates powerful publicity that reaches consumers in different ways from advertising.

Challenge: Finding celebrities who not only strike the right attitude but know how to work with the media. Not everyone is cut out for the task.

Examples: Getting Bonnie Blair, the Olympic speed skater, to represent P&G diapers and Olympic soccer star Brandi Chastain to appear for Fat-Free Pringles.

Facts: Fees vary from as low as $5,000 for a celebrity appearance to seven figures for a multiyear deal. A great deal of creativity is involved in teaming celebrities with marketers.

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