TAYLOR SWIFT VS KESHA
Some of the best PR practitioners in the world these days are in the music industry - and Taylor Swift is the industry’s Queen. When she launches an album you certainly know about it.
This time around she wiped her Instagram, Facebook and Twitter page. Perfectly timed with the eclipse of the sun, she pulled the curtain on her life. Fans waited expectantly and the internet lit up with speculation as to what was going on. Was she dead? Had she turned her back on social media? What is going to happen next?
Even the Washington Post said: “Taylor Swift is trying to upstage the eclipse and it’s working.”
Taylor’s next move was to release a cryptic teaser video of a snake. The internet went crazy. With one single post Taylor Swift achieved more than most PR campaigns achieve over several months.
The snake was widely analysed by Swifters (the name of Taylor Swift enthusiasts) from noting that Taylor was born under Chinese Zodiac sign of the Snake and remembering that Snake was what her trolls had been calling her. Swift took what the ‘haters’ were calling her and made it her own.
Taylor Swift is anything but subtle and her resulting video saw her answering the phone saying: “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead!”
From a position of weakness and controversy, Taylor look the reins in her hands and rewrote her story. Regardless of whether you like the old Taylor or the new Taylor, one thing for sure is that people are talking about her.
This PR approach is bold. It takes no prisoners and keeps on marching forward. Highly calculated, it works by forcing the audience to talk about Taylor Swift.
Kesha (previously known as Ke$ha), on the other hand, took a different approach. No less bold and no less herself, Kesha decided to quietly do what she did best. She made great music, she rebranded and she released excellent single after excellent single.
Undergoing a major legal battle, Kesha fought for her freedom and a chance at happiness. The two stars were in very different situations but both of them wanted an opportunity to tell their story and set the record straight. Both had been dragged through media-storms and although they had their supporters, the criticism flying must have been daunting.
There are many ways to approach PR but any good campaign will tell your story in a way that engages with your target audience. In PR it is both what you say and how you say it.