Last weekend saw Europe’s largest free ticketed music event take place—Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Carlisle.
Alas, I wasn’t lucky enough to be there, but curiosity got the better of me and I couldn’t help but look online at Sunday’s headline performance
from Lady Gaga.
She is one of the most outlandish mainstream performers the world has seen in a long time—and the public loves her.
Some clients can be afraid of anything that’s too “out there.” But, whatever your opinion of her, Lady Gaga is proof that people are a lot more open than we think.
So, with that in mind, here are five things PR pros can learn from her:
1. Be creative, innovative—and bold.
Lady Gaga appeared on stage in a coffin, wearing a PVC cat suit and a plastic baby bump.
Her approach is certainly creative. And creativity and innovation are attributes that PR pros should have in abundance. At the drop of a hat, we should be able to come up with inventive and innovative, yet viable, ideas for clients.
Take the time to regularly brainstorm with your team. Come up with ideas that aren’t restrained by budgets or client briefs. Even if you don’t use the ideas, they are still useful for keeping that “creative on-switch” working, as well as providing a bank of material when your campaign needs a vital dose of “oomph.”
2. Don’t go too far—unless you can handle the repercussions.
Usually shrouded by glowing reviews, Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” video has caused outrage in some circles, with MTV
asking: “Has she gone too far?”
The controversial video features sexual and religious imagery that’s a bit too much for some people’s taste. Though creativity is valuable, it’s important to remember that the response to it is subjective. Think about your audience. Will they find it amusing and exciting—or insulting?
3. Support what you believe in.
Lady Gaga is mostly seen in the press for her weird and wacky sense of fashion, and for hit single after hit single. But she’s also been in and out of the papers for her charity work.
Charity partnerships are a great way for any brand to raise awareness of itself, get in the public eye, and build compassion. Lady Gaga’s charity work includes quitting Facebook
for the Keep a Child Alive charity, designing a charity bracelet for the Japanese earthquake
appeal, and performing at a benefit concert
for the Robin Hood Foundation.
4. Be current.
After her appearance last weekend, the British press splashed Lady Gaga’s homage to the royal couple, Kate and William, across its pages. The singer dedicated a cover of Nat King Cole’s classic jazz tune “Orange Colored Sky” to the couple and admitted that she wished she’d been part of their big day.
Linking into the news agenda and piggybacking onto the hype surrounding current affairs is a great way to gain more coverage for your clients, and it’s something all good PR pros should be able to do.
5. Always exceed expectations.
Lady Gaga was half an hour late to the stage, leaving many fans questioning her loyalty. Always strive to meet client expectations and, when possible, exceed them. This should be across all aspects of your campaigns; great ideas and amazing content count for nothing if you’re always late or never keep promises.
A version of this story first appeared on the blog PR tips.