Entertainment and public relations are interconnected on a greater scale than some might imagine. The music industry strategizes the entertainment it provides. Branding is a critical aspect of the entertainment business, often times in ways that people may not expect.
Building a Brand
Audience engagement is crucial in the entertainment business. Whether it’s the artist’s overall image, their label’s image, or the image that is created through their songs, one thing remains true—branding is critical in the music industry. The appeal to certain audiences is necessary when building and maintaining a fan base. Popular entertainers have numerous team members behind the scenes that help them bring everything together. Knowing this, it’s hard not to question what comes from the mind of the musician or what’s a PR strategy.
Songwriting & Talent Searching
When writing a song or searching for new talent, it’s important to think about the brand image. Decisions are made so the song or talent positively reflects the overall image of the artist. In studio settings, the creative process is generally collaborative. Individuals bring their own ideas and share them with one another, finding new concepts and learning in the process. Songwriting can be done strategically when developing the image of an artist and making sure to maintain the general look and sound that is desired.
The same is done when management is looking for new talent. They want to see what fits their ideal image and who will look and sound best to their audience. Different genres have their own ways of doing this, but most industry folks are on the hunt for fresh faces with something new to bring to the table.
Learning from Beyoncé & Jay-Z
One recent social media hot topic has been Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s relationship. The duo typically receives momentous media coverage, but when Beyoncé released her album Lemonade in April 2016, allegations of her husband cheating on her were flying through Twitter and Facebook. The world was shook. Numerous memes were created in retaliation to Jay-Z and some of Beyoncé’s hard-core fans were legitimately peeved by the scandal. Her fans felt connected to her music and the visuals to her songs.
In June 2017, Jay Z released an album with references to the cheating allegations, seemingly apologetic for hurting his wife. He threw a few one-liners in some of his songs on 4:44 regarding the infidelity. The famous rapper used this as his chance to refute, sharing his side of the story and putting social media in an uproar, yet again.
This is a perfect example of engaging with an audience and utilizing personal experience as a way to connect with fans on a more intimate level. Both scenarios were most likely well planned out by the artists and their PR teams, especially since Jay-Z waited almost two years for his response, gaining publicity for the same incident again.
Music & PR: Connected
As a musician myself, I love the fact that two of my favorite topics are so closely related. I have been given the opportunity to study music and the business that occurs in the background and have learned a lot about the relationship with brands, songwriting, and audience engagement. As social media platforms evolve and new musicians emerge, there will always be a relationship between PR and the entertainment industry.
Courtney Fogle is a sophomore studying Advertising and Public Relations. She enjoys being a member of the Alumni Relations Committee for the APR program and an account associate at GrandPR. Courtney is a singer-songwriter, with hopes to combine her love of music and PR so that she can work in the music industry managing artists and their brands. In her free time, you can find her listening to music or taking pictures of her cat, Oliver.