The Fame Game

The Guideposts editor-in-chief reflects on a few down-to-earth celebrities.

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Last week I wrote about all the players, hall-of-famers and announcers attending this year’s baseball all-star game who had told their stories in GUIDEPOSTS.

I was pretty wowed and that got me thinking about why we have featured so many athletes and other famous people in the magazine.

In fact celebrities on the cover go back over 60 years to the magazine’s founding by Norman Vincent Peale and his wife Ruth. Back then it was stars like Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart and Rosalind Russell. Why feature celebrities on the cover of a magazine that is filled with inspiring first-person stories by everyday people?

Then, as today, we knew that celebrities attract readers who might not otherwise pick up a magazine like GUIDEPOSTS. The husband or son-in-law who is surprised to see a sports star on the cover, or the busy young mother who sees a chef whose TV show she takes a break to watch every afternoon.

Celebrities draw people in. But there’s more. Customers always tell us that they like celebrity stories when the celebrity is talking about a problem that the reader grapples with too.

For instance, our August cover features Ty Pennington, who explains why his childhood battle with ADD actually prepared him for the career he has today. How many of us have found that the challenges we are given early in life often lead to our greatest successes later?

Our September cover, actress Angie Harmon, talks about struggling with impatience, especially in her prayer life. I think a lot of us can identify with that. I know I sometimes try to rush God.

When I started as a young editor at GUIDEPOSTS I got to interview a lot of notable people. Over time I came to realize how completely normal most of them were, how approachable and vulnerable and human they became when they talked about the simple struggles and joys of their lives, which are the same as yours and mine: how to keep our families close, how to find meaning in our work, how to grow personally and spiritually to be the best we can be.

Maybe what we do at GUIDEPOSTS is make famous people unfamous, at least for a few pages in the magazine. I think that’s the secret.

If you have any celebrities or notable folks you think we should be doing GUIDEPOSTS, post a comment below. Then visit our homepage to read some great stories by famous people just like you and me.

Edward Grinnan is Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of GUIDEPOSTS Publications.

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