"When seeking out individuals to write your letters of recommendation, avoid asking VIPs or those who you believe might have an “in” with the college or scholarship program if they don’t know you very well. A letter of recommendation from a prominent alumnus doesn’t carry much, if any, weight if he or she lacks firsthand knowledge of your personal qualities as they relate to the college’s admission requirements or scholarship’s selection criteria."
Getting a letter of recommendation is not a complicated business, but students tend to complicate matters when they don’t follow some basic rules. Listen to this 6-minute podcast with Eva Feucht, Director of North Carolina State University's premier Park Scholarships Program, to discover these best practices.
...and, if you want to read some additional thoughts on the matter, check out my blogpost, "My Pet Peeve".