PR Pros: Borrow These 3 Tips From Taylor Swift
By Caroline Radom, account manager
Taylor Swift has rocketed to the top of the music industry, and it’s not just because we’ve all woken up with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” stuck in our heads at one time or another. Sure, Taylor Swift has spent her career crafting memorable songs and catchy hooks, but much of her continued success can be attributed to the fact that she’s nothing short of a PR genius. At this point you might think I’ve lost my mind, but stick with me!
Whether you hate her or love her, Swift’s keen understanding of the importance of developing her image and engaging fans has helped her build a wildly successful music career and an incredibly loyal fan base. Here are a few tips companies and PR pros alike can borrow from pop’s most charismatic princess.
Build Relationships– Probably the most impressive thing about Taylor Swift is her ability to engage and build relationships with her fans in an incredibly genuine and authentic way. From “Swiftmas,” where she purchased unique gifts during the holiday season for fans based on their interests, to attending a fan’s bridal shower to simply stopping to take photos with a young fan while out on a jog, Swift clearly makes building connections and making lasting memories for her fans a priority. No matter your industry, delivering excellent service and going above and beyond for customers and clients will build their trust and in turn, help build a loyal customer base. This type of client service is one of our core focuses here at Commonwealth PR. In one interview, Taylor remarked that her relationship with her fans is “the longest and best relationship [she’s] ever had” – shouldn’t it be the same for your company, client or brand?
Authenticity Matters – It may be the understatement of the century to say that Swift is acutely aware of the importance of knowing your audience and creating quality content. Equally important is authentic engagement. A quick search online will bring up countless articles praising Swift for her thoughtful responses to fans. From sending inspiring messages to fans about getting through a challenging breakup to reaching out to thank her most devoted fans personally, Swift’s outreach to fans is always heartfelt and individualized, which goes a long way. Engaging with your audience in a positive way through traditional, as well as digital channels, helps build trust, gather customer or audience insights and thinking long-term, will help more effectively share your messaging. Ideally, communications with your audience should operate more like a one-on-one conversation, and less like a canned or copy-and-pasted response.
Embrace Consistent Branding –Swift’s carefully cultivated and polished image has played a large part in her success, especially in an age where a small slip up can go viral online in mere minutes. Though her image has evolved over the years, it has been consistent and provides something fans can relate to, as well as helps to leverage her strengths. It’s important for businesses and brands to do the same. From creating digital content to developing public relations campaigns and always being media ready, consistency and staying true to brand messaging will help you appeal to a wide audience. Swift successfully walks the fine line between being authentic and approachable while simultaneously ensuring each step moves her meticulously-cultivated brand forward.
It might seem strange to borrow PR tips from a pop star, but our advice is to take a cue from teenage girls everywhere and listen to Swift (for your PR needs, at least!). Building lasting relationships, embracing authenticity as well as consistent branding will help build a solid foundation for your brand or company and cultivate a loyal following.